|Bristol City 2 v 1 Ipswich Town|
Saturday, 26th January 2013 Kick-off 15:00
Bristol City 2-1 Town
Saturday, 26th Jan 2013 17:02
Former Town striker Jon Stead netted a last-minute winner for Bristol City as the Robins came from a goal behind to beat the Blues 2-1 at Ashton Gate. Mick McCarthy’s men had gone ahead in the first half through Daryl Murphy and ought to have been two in front when Lee Martin spurned a gilt-edged chance, but Steven Davies netted straight after the break and Stead claimed the three points in the final minute.
Boss Mick McCarthy made one change from the side which drew 1-1 with Barnsley last week with Murphy replacing Aaron Mclean up front.
The Blues started brightly, Martin sending in a cross from the left which was headed behind for a corner. The former Manchester United man whipped over a corner which the home side failed to deal with but no Town player could get on to the ball.
The opening quarter of an hour was scrappy and wasn’t helped by a couple of stoppages due to Robins striker Ryan Taylor requiring treatment to a shoulder injury after he fell awkwardly when challenging Tommy Smith in the air. Eventually he was replaced by former Derby frontman Steven Davies, who was targeted by Paul Jewell in the summer.
The home side’s first serious chance of the game came in the 22nd minute when Paul Anderson cut the ball back from the left to Sam Baldock, who hit a low shot from the edge of the box which was deflected wide of Scott Loach’s left post. From the resultant corner, City captain Cole Skuse volleyed wide.
Town threatened at the other end three minutes later when David McGoldrick hit a low strike past Robins keeper Tom Heaton’s left post.
The Blues went in front in the 31st minute when McGoldrick headed Murphy in on goal from the edge of the area. The Irishman shook off the attentions of Liam Fontaine – who appeared to pull him back – before taking his time and slotting the ball past Heaton with his left foot from eight yards for his sixth goal of the season.,The goal was very much the highlight of what had been a drab game.
On 35 the lively McGoldrick was unimpressed when he was pulled back by Louis Carey not far outside the area but referee Stephen Martin – taking control of his first Championship game – waved away his protests.
Town should have been 2-0 in front in the 37th minute when McGoldrick found himself space on the left and sent in a low cross which Martin – still without a goal this season - slammed wide from six yards when he should have scored.
The Robins were struggling to make much of an impact in the Town half of the field but on 39 sub Davies hit a 30-yard freekick which bounced awkwardly in front of Loach, who dealt with it comfortably.
But it was the Blues who were looking the more dangerous side, former Robin Bradley Orr – playing the last game of his Town loan spell – sending over a cross from the right, which was bundled behind just ahead of Martin.
As the half moved into injury time, Anderson curled a low effort from the edge of the box, which failed to trouble Loach. Just before the whistle, Liam Kelly shot well wide for the home side.
The Blues had been largely on top during a not overly exciting half, keeping the ball better in the final 25 minutes or so and creating most of the best chances.
McGoldrick in particular had been a thorn in the home side’s defence and created the goal, which Murphy took with great confidence. Martin really should have made it 2-0 when he shot wide when it seemed easier to score.
At the other end, keeper Loach had rarely been tested by a bottom of the table Bristol City team looking bereft of confidence and ideas.
However, within two minutes of the restart, the Robins were on terms. Carey found Anderson on the left with a ball Orr really should have cut out and fed the on-rushing Davies on the left of the area, the ex-Derby man lashing the ball into the roof of Loach’s net.
The Blues had been caught cold after the break, but quickly looked to regain their lead, Murphy heading over from Orr’s 51st minute cross after good work from McGoldrick. Five minutes later, Murphy cut the ball back from the left but behind Martin and McGoldrick.
The second half had reverted back to the scrappy, attritional fare of the early part of the first period with neither side able to create anything of note in front of goal.
On the hour, Greg Cunningham picked up the game’s first booking for a foul on Murphy as the Blues striker broke forward midway inside the Bristol City half. From Cresswell’s deft freekick, Fontaine did well to touch the ball away from Luke Chambers at the far post.
Aaron Mclean replaced Murphy and ex-Blue Jon Stead was introduced for the home side on 79 as Town prepared to take a freekick after a foul on McGoldrick. The ball was eventually played short to Cresswell, who hit a 30-yard strike which Heaton pushed out to Martin. The winger headed goalwards, but the keeper to recovered and blocked again. The loose ball ran out to the left and McGoldrick shot into the sidenetting from a tight angle.
With two minutes remaining, McGoldrick teed up Edwards on the right 20 yards out but the skipper’s shot deflected off Cunningham through to Heaton. McGoldrick played Martin in on goal on 89 but Heaton was off his line to claim at the midfielder’s feet.
In the final minute of normal time, former Town striker Stead grabbed the game’s winner. The sub was found by Davies inside the box and twisted his way past Cresswell and Smith before scuffing a low shot past the wrong-footed Loach and into the net.
As time ran out for the Blues, skipper Edwards shot wide from distance but the points were to go to the home side.
Although the defeat was probably hard on Mick McCarthy’s men, a draw would have been a fair result, they never really recovered from conceding so soon after half-time.
Before the break, the momentum was with the Blues and having gone ahead the game would have been sealed by a second goal, Martin’s miss ultimately proving very costly indeed.
Bristol City: Heaton, Moloney, Carey, Fontaine, Cunningham, Kelly, Skuse, Kilkenny (Elliott 83), Anderson, Taylor (Davies 16), Baldock (Stead 79). Unused: Gerken, J Wilson, Foster, Pearson.
Town: Loach, Orr, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Hyam, N'Daw, Martin, Murphy (Mclean 82), McGoldrick. Unused: Lee-Barrett, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Drury, Nouble, Chopra. Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffs). Att: 12,662 (897).
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