A fine second-half performance saw Rotherham earn just their second victory of the Championship season as they beat Coventry 2-0.

Lee Peltier glanced in shortly after the interval and then Ollie Rathbone lashed home in stoppage time to give the depleted Millers’ season a much-needed shot in the arm.

This was one of their best performances of the campaign and it sees them cut the gap to safety to five points with a game in hand.

Coventry had chances to get back into the game when they were trailing 1-0, but their inconsistent start to the season continues.

The Sky Blues made an assured start and almost took a 13th-minute lead when Kyle McFadzean found Ellis Simms in space 12 yards out, but his instinctive first-time shot was well saved by Sweden goalkeeper Viktor Johansson.

The Millers settled down and also had a fine chance to go ahead seven minutes later.

Cafu played Jordan Hugill in down the left and his cross was perfect for Fred Onyedinma at the near post and the net seemed destined to bulge, but the on-loan Luton man planted his header wide.

Neither side could get a grip on the match as promising positions for both were let down by poor final passes.

The second half immediately brought more entertainment as the Millers went ahead in the 51st minute.

Cafu whipped in a delicious corner to the near post and Peltier sent a glancing header into the far corner.

Coventry’s response was strong and they created a raft of chances to equalise.

Simms had a fine double opportunity as he met Jay Dasilva’s cross with a powering head that saw Johansson pull off a miraculous one-handed save, with the Everton loanee firing the rebound into the side netting.

Ben Sheaf then forced Johansson into another save with a shot from distance before Matt Godden could not make sufficient contact with a cross when the goal was gaping.

The game was suddenly alive and Rotherham had two great chances of their own to extend their lead.

First, Seb Revan’s cross fell to Rathbone and he looked primed to score but Ben Wilson got down to make a fine stop and then Hugill sent a header against the post from Dexter Lembikisa’s cross.

The Millers kept on pushing as Christ Tiehi sent a looping header just wide, Onyedinma shot straight at Wilson when through on goal and then the Sky Blues goalkeeper made a flying save to keep out Rathbone’s vicious strike.

Milan van Ewijk had a shot blocked and then Tatsuhiro Sakamoto put a glancing header inches wide as Coventry pushed for an equaliser.

But Rotherham deservedly made the game safe in the third minute of added time when Rathbone lashed home Georgie Kelly’s knockdown.

Mark Robins was left frustrated after seeing his Coventry side beaten 1-0 despite an impressive display at Bristol City.

The Sky Blues fell to a sucker punch in first-half stoppage time, allowing centre-back Rob Dickie to rise and head his first Bristol City goal from a Taylor Gardner-Hickman free kick.

Coventry had dominated to that point without finding a finish, clipping the crossbar twice through Ben Sheaf and Matt Godden, as well as missing several chances.

Boss Robins said: “I should be talking about a brilliant away performance because that’s what it was.

“Instead, we are reflecting on a defeat because we lacked that finishing touch and have lost to set-piece goal we should have defended better.

“We could have played until midnight and not scored. It wasn’t our day, but you make your own luck and some of our decision-making on the ball was lacking.

“We have to be better in that respect. When you don’t take your chances, you are always vulnerable.

“I am disappointed with the goal because Rob Dickie has just moved Kyle McFadzean out of the way. Ben Wilson has done well even to get a hand on the header because there was pace on it.

“They changed shape to cope with us and offered more what we expected.

“I’m so frustrated because we should be looking back on a brilliant three points against a good side.

“They had injuries, but still boasted a lot of experience in the likes of Andy King and Matty James.

“We remain a work in progress, but we still created enough chances to have won. That’s the disappointment, but we will take the positives out of the game and move on.”

The hosts improved after manager Nigel Pearson made a 37th-minute substitution, replacing youngster Haydon Roberts with the more experienced Jason Knight and switching from a back-three to a four-man defence.

Pearson is still struggling with a back problem so assistant Curtis Fleming met the written press after the game.

“Nigel has partly a neurological problem, which will not require surgery,” he said. “It is just a case of coming up with a treatment plan.”

Of the game, Fleming added: “We lost a couple of players to injury in the build-up to the game and it was a great win in the circumstances.

“Coventry were really good, but sometimes you have to win horribly and the change of shape made a big difference.

“It was tough on young Haydon coming off in the first half, but the change needed making.

“We didn’t start with Jason Knight because he had run 12k in two games on international duty with Ireland and picked up a 24-hour bug on his return.

“He has gone on and done a great job for us. But the team as a collective responded so well in the second half. I thought Andy King was superb at the back

“We can’t shy away from the fact that Coventry were better in the first half.  But we showed a real character with several players operating out of position and put bodies on the line.

“Rob Dickie has shown his worth at both ends, with a big challenge at the end. He lost his place through being sent off against Birmingham and he has come back strong.”

Centre-back Rob Dickie was Bristol City’s match-winner in a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship victory over Coventry at Ashton Gate.

Having survived incessant pressure, the home side took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Dickie rose to net with a downward header from Taylor Gardner-Hickman’s free-kick.

Coventry had squandered several chances and were not the same force after the break as their opponents leapfrogged them in the table with a dogged display.

Both managers made four changes, injury-hit Bristol bringing in Haydon Roberts, Andy King, Andreas Weimann and Tommy Conway, with five academy players on the bench, while Coventry named Ben Sheaf, Luis Binks, Milan van Ewijk and Matty Godden in their starting line-up.

The half-time score was completely against the run of play. Cheered on by one of the loudest contingents of travelling fans at Ashton Gate this season, Coventry dominated from the opening whistle without finding a finish to match impressive approach play.

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto had a fourth-minute shot palmed over by Max O’Leary and three minutes later Sheaf clipped the crossbar.

City, with experienced midfielder King operating in the middle of a back-three, looked all over the place as their former player Jay Dasilva revelled in yards of space on Coventry’s left flank.

Sakamoto went close again and Ellis Simms fired narrowly wide before the visitors hit the bar again through Godden’s drive.

A head injury to midfielder Matty James after 20 minutes allowed Bristol time to regroup. He continued swathed in a bandage, but still Coventry piled forward and Godden shot wide after being set up by Simms.

The hosts at last featured as an attacking force after 34 minutes when a crunching tackle by James led to Weimann cutting in from the right to force a diving save from Ben Wilson.

Even so, by the 38th minute City manager Nigel Pearson had seen enough and sent on Jason Knight for youngster Roberts, switching to a back-four, with Mark Sykes dropping to right-back. His team improved, but Dickie’s goal just before the break still came out of the blue.

The hosts looked better-balanced at the start of the second half and Cameron Pring had a 53rd-minute shot blocked. Nine minutes later Knight’s powerful long-range effort was held by Wilson.

Sakamoto fired wide, but Coventry were struggling to re-establish their first-half superiority.

Chances were few and far between after the break, substitute Haji Wright shooting wide of the near post for the Sky Blues after 79 minutes.

The home side were better organised and more tenacious, Sykes nullifying the threat of Dasilva and Dickie producing a goal-saving challenge in injury time to complete what for 45 minutes looked an unlikely success.

Mark Robins admitted his disappointment as Coventry salvaged a point against Norwich with a 1-1 draw at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Ben Gibson’s 88th-minute own goal handed the Sky Blues a point and maintained their unbeaten home start to the season after Jonathan Rowe poked in his sixth of the season before half time.

The Sky Blues had chances to take all three points after Milan van Ewijk and Tatsuhiro Sakamoto had chances to steal all three points in added time.

Robins explained: “We deserved a point very much so, but I think we can be a little bit disappointed that we didn’t go on and win it.

“During the game that’s the first time we feel that we’ve been able to have any sort of meaningful possession, and even though we went behind we knew we were in the game.

“We got in at half-time at 1-0 and we knew we were in the game, well in it. The fact that we were shows that there’s been a significant step forward been taken.

“The fact that we ended up pinning them in for large parts of the second half and especially at the end, when I made the changes, I think that had a benefit because it re-energised us, which was really important.

“The ball into the penalty area for the own goal, the quality on the ball meant that Gibson had to head it and thankfully it hit the back of the net.

“It keeps our unbeaten record at home intact and that’s huge. This point is a big point on the back of the two previous wins, so seven points from three games is really good and we can look forward to building, and hopefully we can start to get a few players back now and hopefully things will start to look a little bit better after the international break.”

Norwich manager David Wagner rued the missed chances that could have seen his side double their lead in the second half as he reflected on a hard-fought point on the road following three consecutive away defeats.

“The result is because we conceded so late, even if I can say I think it was a fair result.” said the former Huddersfield boss. “I was very pleased with how the players execute our idea, to give Coventry a little bit possession, make sure we defend from a low block and be a threat on the transition.

“I think it worked, they put in a real shift. Obviously, you have to defend your crosses and you have to have some blocks but there were no real big chances which I’ve seen over a long period.

“We scored a great counter press goal and had two further golden opportunities from Adam Idah and Liam Gibbs where we have to kill the game, especially in the second half where we had this period of 25-30 minutes where we were very comfortable on the ball, there we have to kill the game and this is unfortunately what we haven’t done.

“If you defend crosses then always a mistake can happen what happened and then you concede a goal and obviously the feeling is totally different even if you have done exactly the same game, exactly the same performance because the outcome is different, but I was pleased with the effort, with the togetherness, with the commitment, it was a hard fought point which they deserved.”

Ben Gibson’s late own goal handed Coventry a point as they came from a goal behind to draw 1-1 with Norwich.

Jonathan Rowe had prodded Norwich ahead in the first half before Gibson headed through his own net to prevent a first Coventry home defeat since April.

The Canaries came into the weekend with three away defeats on the bounce and had conceded the most goals away from home in the Championship.

David Wagner made four changes to his starting line-up and the Canaries made the brighter start as former Coventry academy graduate Sam McCallum fizzed a cross across goal which narrowly evaded the sliding Adam Idah.

Rowe, Gabriel Sara and Idah all had efforts at goal inside the opening six minutes as Norwich looked for an early opener.

Liam Kitching was making his first start for the Sky Blues since his summer move from Barnsley and he came closest for Coventry in the opening 45 minutes as Angus Gunn was forced to beat away his goal-bound header.

Josh Eccles was left rueing his mistake on the edge of the box when he lost possession to Liam Gibbs, who was making just his second start of the season.

The Norwich midfielder drove into the box and his backheel picked out Jack Stacey, who calmly played in top scorer Rowe to take a touch and poke his effort beyond Ben Wilson.

It was the first time Coventry, who had earned back-to-back wins against QPR and Blackburn, had found themselves behind at half time this season.

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and Yasin Ayari had been recalled to the starting XI by manager Mark Robins and they combined early in the second half when the Japan international wriggled his way into the box and picked out Ayari, whose shot was blocked for a corner.

Gibbs could have extended the lead after Rowe drove at the Coventry back line and played in the former Ipswich man, but his effort was well blocked.

Summer signings Ellis Simms and midweek match-winner Haji Wright started together for the first time up front but failed to make an impact as the latter was replaced by Matty Godden.

The Sky Blues top scorer teed up Eccles, but his sweetly struck volley was straight at Gunn.

Coventry pushed for a late equaliser as Eccles’ second effort was tipped over by Gunn for a corner.

The Sky Blues finally had their reward a minute from time when Gibson diverted Milan van Ewijk’s inviting cross beyond the despairing Gunn to haul the hosts level.

Mark Robins’ men smelled blood as they went in search of a winner as the returning van Ewijk’s effort was blocked by Gunn before Sakamato’s header from close range was also blocked.

Mark Robins praised his brave Coventry side after they earned a narrow 1-0 victory over Blackburn at the CBS Arena.

Record signing Haji Wright nodded in on 85 minutes after Yasin Ayari’s effort had rebounded off the crossbar.

The Sky Blues had already hit the woodwork twice through Matty Godden and Bobby Thomas, while James Hill’s thunderous effort came back off the woodwork in the first half for Blackburn.

It meant back-to-back wins for the first time this season for Coventry, who beat QPR 3-1 at the weekend thanks to a brace from Ellis Simms.

“We started the brighter of the teams, had loads of energy, tried to execute what we wanted to do and did it pretty successfully to start with,” explained Robins.

“They got control in the second half of the first half and had a lot of possession and they can do that to you.

“You’ve got to be brave, work really hard to try and play through them and if you can do that and the first pass is a really good pass, then you can take out the majority of the team.

“With the pace of Ellis and Haji you can cause them problems and it looked that way. We had the spell in the second half when we created a lot more chances.

“The header is a brilliant header from Haji and he gets a lot of power on it and just waits for the right moment and the timing is perfect.

“It gives us a lead, having conceded a goal at the other end I thought he was going to give. Ben Wilson has got the ball in both hands and he has kicked the ball out of his hands by Moran.

“They are a good side and they will probably get fed up of hearing it, because they have played some really good teams now.

“I think they are a really good team and we’ve done really well to get the three points. Back-to-back wins for the first time this season which is really welcome.”

Blackburn head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson was defiant after his Rovers side suffered a fourth loss on the bounce, as well as seeing a goal disallowed when Andrew Moran was adjudged to have kicked the ball out of Ben Wilson’s hands before tapping in.

“Disappointed with the result of course, I actually saw a really good team, great spirit and togetherness against a good opponent in an away game,” said the Dane.

“I think we were quite solid in everything we did with the ball, without the ball, we created chances and we had big moments where we probably should have done better.

“We need to be more clinical in the box to get results but I think the boys have played an excellent game so if we keep on doing this then we will get some results.

“From my distance it was a strange situation wasn’t it? The referee had no clue if it was a goal or not, the linesman did nothing and after a short chat suddenly it was a free kick.

“I haven’t seen it back, then after that we have an extremely big moment, maybe one or two against one with the goalkeeper, then we are leading 1-0, but a good performance from my players for sure.

“We are doing a lot of good things, we have been giving too easy goals away, I think we were quite solid today mostly and we have created plenty of goal chances to win games, but of course we need to score.”

Haji Wright headed a late winner as Coventry made it consecutive wins with a 1-0 victory over Blackburn.

The Sky Blues had hit the crossbar three times on the night, firstly through Matty Godden and Bobby Thomas, before Yasin Ayari’s effort rebounded off the woodwork only for Wright to nod home five minutes from time.

The American’s second Sky Blues goal since his summer arrival from Antalyaspor condemned Rovers to their fourth straight defeat, with Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men having conceded 12 in the process.

Rovers hit the crossbar themselves in the first half through on-loan Bournemouth defender James Hill, while Sammie Szmodics saw an early effort curl wide of Ben Wilson’s goal after good work from Tyrhys Dolan.

Mark Robins’ Sky Blues pipped their visitors to a play-off place by one point last season, but the two came into the clash languishing in 14th and 18th in the league table after slow starts to the campaign.

Hill went closest in a subdued first half when he crashed his thunderous effort against the crossbar, in what would have been a memorable way to mark the 21-year-old’s first league start for Rovers.

Ellis Simms had opened his Sky Blues account with a brace against QPR in a welcome 3-1 win for Coventry at the weekend, but was kept quiet by the Rovers back-line which included former Sky Blue Dominic Hyam.

Injury-plagued Coventry skipper Liam Kelly hobbled off 25 minutes into the contest and was replaced by Brighton loanee Ayari, who could have opened the scoring immediately for the hosts.

He was picked out in acres of space in the box by Jay Dasilva, but scuffed his effort.

Coventry rattled the crossbar for the first time merely 30 seconds after the restart when Sweden international Ayari cut back for Godden, but the Sky Blues’ top scorer could only lift his effort against the woodwork from close range.

Blackburn had the ball in the net shortly after as Brighton loanee Andrew Moran celebrated what would have been his first career goal to a chorus of boos from the home crowd.

However, after consulting his assistant, referee Jeremy Simpson deemed Moran had fouled goalkeeper Wilson by kicking the ball out of his hands and tapping home, keeping things all square.

The goal in front of the traveling support was living a charmed life as Thomas was next to hit the woodwork, latching onto an out-swinging corner and firing his effort against Leopold Wahlstedt’s crossbar.

Substitute Arnor Sigurdsson should have ended Coventry’s unbeaten home record when he found himself through on goal with two for company, but his tame effort was straight at the chest of the Sky Blues stopper.

But on 85 minutes Coventry got the luck they felt they had deserved.

Ayari’s effort rebounded off the crossbar before the Sky Blues’ record signing nodded home to secure Coventry’s second home win of the season.

Coventry boss Mark Robins believes Ellis Simms’ two goals for the club in a 3-1 win at QPR can be a turning point for the striker.

Simms, signed from Everton during the summer, had failed to score for the Sky Blues but got off the mark in a resounding victory at Loftus Road, where Josh Eccles also netted for the visitors.

Robins said: “The two goals scored by Ellis were brilliant. He got the first one – and he needed that chance – and connected with it brilliantly.

“His other goal was fantastic. Jamie Allen has guided it in and you can’t underestimate the finish.

“The first goal has given him the confidence to finish the second one. If it happens the other way around I don’t know if he does it – he’s capable, but a bit of doubt creeps in.

“He’s been desperate to score and it’s taken nine for him to get on the scoresheet, but that will do him the world of good.

“All it is is a bit of confidence and that should give him a load of it. He’s going to be a really good player.”

City took control by scoring three times in the space of 12 minutes in the second half.

It meant a superb save by keeper Ben Wilson in the first half proved to be crucial, having pushed away a header from QPR striker Lyndon Dykes during the hosts’ best spell of the game.

“He’s done what he’s paid for – he’s made a really good save. It was a good header, in fairness,” Robins said.

“QPR threw everything at us. It was a good win and a welcome win. If you can get that win it can start to build momentum and confidence and that’s important.”

QPR boss Gareth Ainsworth was furious that two crucial refereeing decisions went against his team.

Ainsworth felt Simms’ opening goal should have been disallowed for offside and, shortly after the second goal, Rangers were incensed when they were not awarded a penalty despite Sinclair Armstrong being upended by Wilson.

Ainsworth said: “The officiating today, in my opinion, wasn’t good enough for the Championship. There was an offside goal and an absolute stonewall penalty.

“I’ve been in to see the officials and they know (the decisions were wrong). They’ve almost apologised and that’s great, but that doesn’t change the result.

“I’m gutted at my lads seeming to collapse. Maybe the offside goal really dented them, but we were then wide open on two counter-attacks for the other two goals.

“But at 2-0, Sinclair’s penalty is a stonewaller and if that gets us back in the game then I think we go on and get something.”

Rangers, who were among the pre-season favourites for relegation, have won just once at home in almost a year.

“I’m not stupid – a 3-1 defeat at home is not good enough. I’m sure the haters will be out there loving this one, but there’s a bit more of a story to it,” Ainsworth said.

“But we’ve got to be better at home. We’ve got to put away the chances that we had in the first half.

“We were the better team in the first half and for all the world I didn’t see that coming in the second half. But we have to test their keeper more.

“We haven’t looked threatening enough. After all the territory and all the possession we must be better than that going forward.

“We didn’t take our chances and that was the story of the game, although the officials played a big part too.”

Ellis Simms scored his first goals for Coventry as they stormed to a 3-1 victory at QPR.

The Sky Blues netted three times in the space of 12 second-half minutes, with Simms finding the target twice and Josh Eccles getting their other goal in a comprehensive win for Mark Robins’ side.

Kenneth Paal scored a consolation in stoppage time for the hosts.

The defeat continued a miserable run at Loftus Road for Rangers, who have won just once at home in almost a year and have lost four of their five matches there so far this season.

They were denied a first-half opener by City goalkeeper Ben Wilson superbly pushing away Lyndon Dykes’ glancing header from Paal’s cross.

Dykes sent another effort wide before the interval, but the visitors took complete control in the second half.

Striker Simms, signed from Everton during the summer, opened his account to break the deadlock after 56 minutes.

After Osman Kakay’s unnecessary foul on Jamie Allen, Jay Dasilva’s delivery into the box ricocheted off City’s Luis Binks towards Simms, who made the most of his good fortune.

Coventry also had luck on their side for the second goal, scored four minutes later – this time after a double deflection.

Matt Godden’s shot struck team-mate Joel Latibeaudiere to inadvertently tee up Eccles, whose shot took a deflection off Kakay to completely wrong-foot keeper Asmir Begovic.

City seemed to ride their luck once again when Rangers were not awarded a penalty, despite Wilson appearing to upend Sinclair Armstrong in the area just after the young striker had been brought on as a substitute.

And there was no way back for QPR after an emphatic finish from Simms made it three after 68 minutes.

Allen played an excellent ball in behind the R’s defence and Simms fired into the roof of the net.

Paal reduced the deficit after Armstrong pulled the ball back for the Dutch wing-back, whose goal was his third of the season, making him QPR’s top scorer.

Boss Robins will hope this fine win proves to be a turning point for last season’s beaten play-off finalists, who have endured a disappointing start to the Championship season.

However, the pressure is on his Rangers counterpart Gareth Ainsworth. Rangers were almost relegated under him last season and were widely tipped to struggle this term, with their home form a major concern.

New Huddersfield boss Darren Moore was impressed by his side’s spirit after they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Coventry.

Michal Helik’s dramatic added-time qualiser cancelled out Yasin Ayari’s opener and ensured Moore’s managerial return did not end in a Sky Bet Championship defeat.

“It’s been an incredible few days getting into the club and working with the boys,” said Moore, who left Sheffield Wednesday in the summer.

“They have taken a lot of information on over the past couple of days. The fighting spirit was incredible and they got their just rewards and something out of the game at the end.

“I’m really pleased with the boys and their second-half performance. I’ve seen enough there and there’s enough quality in the team to get more out of the players and I’ll look forward to working with the boys over the next couple of weeks.

“Once we grew into the game we had to throw caution to the wind and change things up. I thought the boys did that themselves by the way they controlled large parts of the second half and gave themselves confidence.

“Come the end we had to go all out to try and get something out of the game and I’m pleased we fashioned a really good chance and took it.”

The 49-year-old continued: “I’m pleased for the travelling away support that they’ve gone back up north with something to get hold of – and hopefully (there are) encouraging signs from the team.

“I’m looking forward to my first home game in charge against Ipswich. I’m looking forward to being back in front of the home fans.”

Mark Robins was frustrated after seeing his side – play-off finalists last season – concede late for a third successive game.

It means they have dropped nine points from winning positions, the most in the Championship, this season.

Robins said: “It’s so frustrating but you have to dust yourselves down and get on with it.

“We could have won every game we’ve played in, but we’re sitting here talking about eight points in eight games. It will turn around, but it’s painful getting there.

“It [conceding late] can start to become a thing. It’s about taking control of those situations.

“I think if you let your heart rule your head at times because you know that’s been the case and you know we’re within touching distance of winning the game, the game can kick you in the teeth if you make mistakes.

“They had bodies and a weight of numbers in their favour, but we have to do better. The defending wasn’t good enough.

“You can’t get that momentum if you lose some of your players. It’s not an excuse. We’ve got a small squad with some key individuals out. It’s going to take some time.”

Darren Moore’s first game in charge of Huddersfield saw them draw 1-1 at Coventry thanks to Michal Helik’s dramatic added-time goal.

Brighton loanee Yasin Ayari, 19, had seemingly ended the Sky Blues’ five-game winless run in the Sky Bet Championship with a first-half goal he knew little about.

However, Terriers defender Helik equalised five minutes into stoppage time to ensure former Sheffield Wednesday boss Moore avoided defeat in his return to management.

It meant Coventry stopper Ben Wilson’s string of fine second-half saves were in vain as he was eventually beaten, meaning Huddersfield are now unbeaten in four matches.

Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Moore, who got the South Yorkshire club promoted last season before leaving in the summer, made four changes as he took the helm for the first time.

There was a sedate start to the game before Ayari fired a speculative 25-yard strike wide of the mark.

Town caught the hosts on the counter attack and Mark Robins’ charges were indebted to Liam Kelly as he blocked Josh Koroma’s effort.

The deadlock was broken in the 27th minute as summer signing Ellis Simms, still seeking his first Coventry goal, saw his rasping drive tipped onto the bar by Town goalkeeper Lee Nicholls and bounce in off an unsuspecting Ayari.

Moore’s men finished the first half strongly without creating any clear-cut chances to equalise and they also threatened early in the second period without any end product.

Jack Rudoni created space to get a shot off from outside of the box, but his left-footed strike flew high and wide.

Minutes later the former AFC Wimbledon man squandered another chance as his scuffed effort, after being nicely teed up by Jaheim Headley, was easily saved by Wilson.

After a routine first save of the evening, Wilson was forced into a much tougher save to beat away Delano Burgzorg’s powerful strike.

Josh Eccles produced a last-gasp diving block to deny a Koroma strike after a spell of sustained pressure in the hosts’ box.

Wilson produced another fine save to deny substitute Sorba Thomas’ free-kick from the left-hand corner of the box.

Nicholls pulled off a super save from Bobby Thomas’ snapshot to keep the visitors in the game, before substitute Haji Wright poked the rebound over from close range, with just three minutes left.

That huge save was worthwhile as Helik took advantage of a scrappy clearance in the Coventry box and expertly found the top corner with his guided left-footed volley.

Cardiff manager Erol Bulut’s gamble on resting Aaron Ramsey paid handsome dividends as his side beat Coventry 3-2 to make it back-to-back home wins in the Championship for the first time since February.

Ramsey sat out the game against the Sky Blues having played for both club and country last week and Bulut did not want to push him too hard too soon.

“Aaron was rested because he had had a problem with his adductor muscle when he was away with the national team and he felt it again against Swansea,” said Bulut.

“I couldn’t risk him getting any more injuries, but he’ll be back for Sunderland on Sunday.

“He’s a great, great player who has enjoyed a great career, but the players who came in tonight showed that all the team is important, not just individuals.

“We have to be a team and we showed we are a team tonight against a good Coventry side. It was a good victory over Swansea, but we couldn’t celebrate too much because of this game.

“We had to rest, work hard and then put in 100 per cent effort for 100 minutes to make it back-to-back wins.”

Dimitrios Goutas and Karlan Grant each scored their first Cardiff goal, either side of Matt Godden’s equaliser. Kion Etete scored Cardiff’s clincher before Godden pulled another back in stoppage time.

After four successive draws, Mark Robins’ Sky Blues – play-off finalists last season – saw Cardiff overtake them in the league table as they slumped to 15th.

“We weren’t brave enough – for the first 20-25 minutes, we didn’t lay a glove on them,” said Robins.

“We are normally braver and better on the ball than that. We turned the ball over a lot.

“I also felt disappointed by the manner of the goals we conceded. We scored two goals away from home and gave three away – that’s not like us.

“We don’t normally concede like that, and certainly not from set-pieces. We have players in the side who are better than that.

“We have got good players in the side who can do the job but for two thirds of the first half we didn’t cause them any issues. We had a good spell at the end when Matt Godden got his second goal.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again. We’ve got good players who can do a job, but they need to communicate better.”

Dimitrios Goutas and Karlan Grant both scored their first goals for Cardiff as the Bluebirds made it back-to-back wins in the Championship for the first time this season.

Their 3-2 home win over Coventry pushed them into the top half of the table and saw the Sky Blues drop to 15th. Kion Etete polished things off for the home side with a goal with his first touch in the 84th minute.

Matt Godden scored twice for the visitors, levelling the scores in the first half and then heading home his second in the 95th minute.

Cardiff boss Erol Bulut opted to rest Wales skipper Aaron Ramsey after his two games for club and country last week but rewarded Ollie Tanner for scoring his first goal for the club in the 2-0 win over Swansea by giving him his first start at home in the Championship.

It had taken Tanner a mere 40 seconds to score with his first touch after coming on at the weekend and he was the first into the thick of the action for the Bluebirds playing in a wide right position as he tested the Coventry defence.

He flashed a header past the post in the fifth minute and then saw Greek defender Goutas follow in his footsteps three minutes later by scoring his first goal for the club as he powered home a free header from a Joe Ralls corner.

The home side were good value for their lead and almost got a second in the 33rd minute when a Ryan Wintle cross from the right edge of the box was turned inches wide by Ike Ugbo from the middle of the six-yard box.

Coventry arrived in the Welsh capital sitting two places above their hosts but on the same number of points. Having absorbed most of the pressure in the opening half-hour, they hit back in the 33rd minute from a corner.

Jak Alnwick punched the ball away from his goal, but only as far as the edge of the D. Milan van Ewijk immediately stroked a pass to his left to skipper Liam Kelly, whose first-time touch into the area found Godden to turn on the edge of the six-yard box and bag the equaliser.

It was his fifth goal in eight games to underline just why the Sky Blues were so keen to get him to sign a new contract last month.

All of a sudden there was a real spring in the step of the visitors and when Tatsuhiro Sakamoto was introduced eight minutes into the second half they got even livelier.

Cardiff, though, regained the lead just after the hour mark after they swept the play upfield and Ralls carried across field to give Tanner and Wintle the chance to combine on the right. It was Wintle’s measured cross that enabled West Brom loanee Grant to stoop low and head home from eight yards.

Alnwick had to be at his best in the home goal to stop Kasey Palmer from levelling in the 71st minute when he shot from 10 yards out.

Etete fired across goal to hit the left corner to make it a two-goal lead and though Godden scored his second of the night in the fifth of the 10 added minutes it was too little, too late.

Head coach Liam Rosenior challenged Aaron Connolly to maintain his promising early-season form after his equaliser earned Hull a late 1-1 draw at home to Coventry.

The visitors looked in control after Joel Latibeaudiere headed home in the first half.

But Republic of Ireland international Connolly had the final word with an enterprising header with three minutes remaining – his fourth goal of the new campaign.

Rosenior said: “Aaron’s capable of anything he wants in his career, if he stays on track.

“He’s not 100 per cent fit, which is scary.

“He’s a leader in the dressing room. He’s a massive influence and has really taken Liam Delap under his wing.

“Some of his runs and some of his movement are top level. He knows when he needs a rocket but he knows I love him as I’ve known him since he was 15.”

Hull, who have now lost once in 15 league games at home, appeared in trouble following a poor first half.

They continually gave away possession and were punished when unmarked defender Latibeaudiere headed home Josh Eccles’ near-post corner after 27 minutes.

Coventry, despite having to soak up plenty of pressure after the restart, rarely looked troubled in a fascinating game between two well-matched sides.

But Connolly was a constant threat and he equalised after 87 minutes with an artful, glancing back-header off substitute Tyler Morton’s lofted cross from the right.

Rosenior said: “I thought first half they had a bit of the upper hand.

“They’re a good side. I live 200 yards away from Mark (Robins) – he’s been really good to me in my coaching career – and they’re going to be up there at the end of the season.

“But for us to dominate in the second half like that, I’m proud of my players.

“To go a goal down and come back, I couldn’t be happier.

“I want to build a squad. We’re going to need that through the season so I’m going to have to be really smart with my team selections.

“I thought Tyler was magnificent when he came on and showed exactly why we worked so hard to get him to the club from Liverpool.”

Coventry manager Mark Robins accepted that a draw was a fair result.

He said: “I thought it was a really good game between two good teams.

“Both teams asked questions of each other through the game and we took a deserved lead.

“There were some really good performances from us, but it was disappointing to get our noses in front and then to have chances to score again.

“On balance, though, it was probably a fair result.

“Every time you come away and you get something, you think, ‘It’s a good point’, but it’s tinged with disappointment because of the timing of their goal.”

Robins added: “Their substitutions were good and had a bigger impact than ours.

“With the timing of the goal and the nature of the goal – it was really poor from our perspective, was disappointing.

“But the weight (possession) of the ball that they had – that keeps the crowd interested – we ended up dropping deeper and made silly decisions.

“It was a really good, hard-fought game, but, on balance, I probably think it was a fair result.”

Aaron Connolly’s brilliant late header earned Hull a 1-1 draw at home to Coventry.

The Republic of Ireland international glanced home Tyler Morton’s cross following a sustained spell of pressure to deny the visitors a hard-earned victory.

With Hull short of ideas, Joel Latibeaudiere’s first-half header looked to have been the difference between two evenly-matched sides.

The Jamaica international put the gloss on a fine individual performance after 27 minutes to claim his first goal since joining last year’s play-off finalists in the summer.

And though Coventry were organised from the outset, Hull’s late burst of energy resulted in a well-worked equaliser after 87 minutes.

Substitute Morton, perhaps more in desperation than with finesse, lofted a cross into the box in a central area.

But Connolly had the street-smarts to make clean contact and direct the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net with the back of his head.

Following their win at Leicester before the international break, a near-full house at the MKM Stadium expected big things from the Tigers.

But the hosts laboured for much of the game and would not have had too many complaints had they lost, despite having controlled possession for much of the second half.

They had their moments – Connolly flashed one wide from a difficult angle early on – but Hull were raw at the back and gave the ball away countless times.

Such uncertainty provided Coventry with momentum.

Excellent wing-back Jay Dasilva served notice of the visitors’ growing confidence after 25 minutes.

Yasin Ayari cutely teed up his team-mate inside the penalty area, but Dasilva’s radar was just off from an inviting position on the left.

Hull continued to give away possession and were punished soon after.

Josh Eccles’ near-post corner from the right was strong, but Jamaica international Latibeaudiere was still given an extraordinary amount of space to head home.

Hull manager Liam Rosenior demanded improvement, but it never came until after the restart.

Indeed, the home side should have been 2-0 down when Haji Wright misdirected a whipped pass from the right over the crossbar after 30 minutes, when it seemed far easier to hit the target.

Mark Robins would have expected from Hull a response in the second half. But aside from Scott Twine’s hit from distance – easily saved by Ben Wilson – it never arrived until the death.

Yet, despite the best endeavours of Coventry’s well-structured defence, a one-sided final 10 minutes offered Hull supporters hope.

And their optimism was rewarded when Connolly expertly scored a fourth league goal this season.

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