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Match Reports


29 March 2024

Match Reports


29 March 2024

Rhys Healey’s first Town goal only a consolation.

- Huddersfield Town 1-3 Coventry City
- Town fall two goals behind in the first half
- Rhys Healey goal gives hope before added time

A first Town goal for Rhys Healey gave the home faithful hope of a late comeback against Coventry City after the visitors took a first half lead, only for an added time strike to end that possibility.

After an even opening period, the promotion-chasing visitors took a two-goal lead midway through the first half.

Head Coach André Breitenreiter responded by changing the formation and making several substitutions and the improvement heralded a late goal from Healey, but Coventry put the game to bed as Town chased the equaliser.

With Sorba Thomas suspended, Breitenreiter brought Alex Matos and Josh Koroma in for their first starts in five games, with Brodie Spencer the other player to make way following his two-game week for Northern Ireland.

Town stayed in the 3-4-1-2 shape that they deployed in the most recent game at Rotherham and although the game started fairly evenly, the visitors soon started to have some success in playing their forwards Haji Wright and Ellis Simms in down the sides of our defence.

That led to the first chance of the game in the ninth minute, when ex-Town man Kasey Palmer played Wright in behind Pearson. Thankfully Lee Nicholls came to the rescue, saving with his legs when the American shot with his left foot inside our area.

Town then enjoyed a few half chances. First a short corner worked between Rudoni and Burgzorg saw the Dutchman let fly inside the area, only for his snapshot to be deflected wide, and the following corner fell to Koroma, who couldn’t find a Town man with his pull back.

Koroma, on his 150th league start, had a clearer opportunity on the quarter hour mark. Pearson played a raking ball forward and defender van Ewijk slipped, allowing Josh to race clear down the right. He approached the Coventry goal but the angle was narrow, which allowed goalkeeper Brad Collins to block his eventual shot at the near post.

Unfortunately, Coventry then hit two goals in five minutes through former Everton striker Simms.

The first, in the 17th minute, came when the forward got the ball on the right edge of our penalty area, where he expertly found a yard on his right foot inside Helik before smashing a shot across Nicholls and inside the far post.

Coventry’s second was more of a team move and come down our left. Town felt there was a foul on Matos in the build-up, but play continued and Palmer rode two challenges before finding van Ewijk on the right; his pull-back was perfect for Simms to sweep across Nicholls and inside the far post.

Simms was only denied a hat-trick through a smart Nicholls save a few minutes later, and in response Town changed their shape on the half hour mark to a back four, with Hogg playing behind Kasumu and Matos in the middle. That shape saw the momentum swing towards Town after that tough period.

Rudoni, now on the right, soon drove infield and played a great through pass behind the away defence to put Koroma clear – only for the assistant’s flag to go up.

Kasumu then drove at the heart of the defence after Hogg intercepted a pass and the former MK Dons man was unlucky not to open his John Smith’s Stadium account, with his 25 yard piledriver smashing the outside of Collins’ right-hand post before bouncing wide.

Town also had a number of chances to deliver after getting into good positions wide on the right, but our players couldn’t find a teammate in the middle.

Breitenreiter was forced into an early second half change when Radinio Balker was seemingly hurt in being fouled by Simms in the corner. Brodie Spencer came on and Town soon hit the woodwork again when Rudoni worked his way into the middle before shooting from just on the edge of the penalty area, striking the crossbar with the goalkeeper seemingly beaten.

Our Head Coach then rang the changes just after the hour, introducing Healey, Ben Wiles and Pat Jones to the fray. All three showed their ability, with Jones in particular causing havoc with his pace and direct style down our right side.

The Town goal came with 10 minutes left. Goalkeeper Collins had looked to play out all game and, on this occasion, Healey got a foot to his pass out of the area. That deflected the ball straight to Wiles, who quickly returned passed back to Healey for the striker to sweep the ball home from 12 yards.

That gave Town some real momentum, and they pushed hard for a time. First Jones stepped inside full back Bidwell and forced Collins to tip his shot around the post, and then the Wales Under-21 international made the goalkeeper tip over another shot soon after.

With Town throwing bodies forward, and Helik operating as a late striker alongside Healey and Bojan Radulovic, Coventry added an added time third through Wright to put the game to bed.

Town’s team vs Coventry City (3-4-1-2)
Lee Nicholls; Matty Pearson, Michał Helik, Radinio Balker (Brodie Spencer, 53’); David Kasumu (Ben Wiles, 64’), Jonathan Hogg (c) (Pat Jones, 64’), Alex Matos, Jaheim Headley; Jack Rudoni; Delano Burgzorg (Rhys Healey, 64’), Josh Koroma (Bojan Radulovic, 76’)

Unused substitutes
Chris Maxwell; Tom Edwards, Ben Jackson, Tom Iorpenda

Town booking
Radinio Balker (14’)

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