Bristol City 0-1 Town
Saturday, 16th Apr 2011 17:15
Josh Carson’s third goal of the week saw 10-man Town to a 1-0 victory at Bristol City. Midfielder Lee Martin saw red in the first half for a dangerous challenge on Kalifa Cisse but the 17-year-old Northern Irishman lashed home from 30 yards after the break, Town holding on for their fourth win in five.
Boss Paul Jewell made the two expected changes, Darren O’Dea and Lee Martin coming into the side for the injured Mark Kennedy and Jason Scotland, who dropped to the bench alongside 17-year-old left-back Joe Whight, as predicted by TWTD on Friday. Former Blue Jon Stead was a surprise inclusion in the Robins line-up after his ankle injury.
The game opened brightly with both sides threatening to get into dangerous areas but Bristol Citymlooking the more likely to score.
On eight Jamal Campbell-Ryce probably should have tested Arran Lee-Barrett more after Albert Adomah’s cross from the right reached him on the penalty spot, the midfielder hitting his shot straight at the Blues keeper, who saved.
Town almost went in front on the quarter hour. Edwards sent a cross in from deep, behind the Robins backline towards Connor Wickham, who reached it just inside the six-yard box but his right-footed volley was too close to former England keeper David James, who blocked.
There was a scare for the Blues in the 19th minute when Nicky Maynard chased a long Damion Stewart long ball down the middle. Gareth McAuley looked to have averted the danger but the one-time Blues target continued on and closed down Lee-Barrett, who grabbed the ball at his feet.
While McAuley received treatment for a knock to the ankle, the players went off for an impromptu drinks break, to the crowd’s displeasure. After the players returned, Leadbitter got his name in referee Russell Booth’s book for a foul on Adomah.
The home side were continuing to have the better of it and on 24 McAuley had to be alert to a one-two involving Maynard and Stead, the Northern Irishman getting his toe in ahead of the former Crewe man. From the resultant corner, Robins right-back Jordan Spence headed over.
Town were reduced to 10 men in the 29th minute when Lee Martin was shown a red card for a dangerous challenge on Kalifa Cisse. The winger looked to have won the ball but caught Cisse high with his trailing leg, a tackle which didn't appear to much different to one made by the Robins midfielder a few minutes earlier.
Martin's was the type of challenge which wouldn’t have been a red card a few years ago but under the current interpretation of the laws the ref was probably right to deem it dangerous.
The game continued much as before, Stead’s shot from the edge was blocked by McAuley, who was clearly struggling with his ankle, then Spence curled over from 25 yards.
Campbell-Ryce had another chance to put his side in front in the 41st minute when Stead and Maynard both dummied a ball in from the left but again shot straight at Lee-Barrett, who blocked. The ball was sent back in towards Stead but his header across the box found no one and was cleared.
At the other end, Edwards lashed over but Lee-Barrett had been the busier of the two keepers in the opening period, saving everything sent in his direction and confidently catching everything in the air.
The 27-year-old had been Town’s stand-out performer in a half in which the Blues had been second best even before Lee Martin’s dismissal with Wickham’s volley their only serious opportunity, Edwards having been the source of any threat.
The red card was perhaps a touch harsh, but similar challenges tend to lead to sendings off these days, although Cisse’s earlier tackle hadn’t been too much different and hadn’t even led to a booking.
Eight minutes into the second half, the Blues went in front with their first shot of the period. Josh Carson seized on a loose pass by Marvin Elliott midway inside the Bristol City half before unleashing a low 30-yard shot which beat James inside his left post for his third goal in a week.
Ex-Town striker Jon Stead shot wide from the edge of the area on 56 and moments later was replaced in the Robins attack by Brett Pitman.
On 62 the game was held up for seven minutes after Grant Leadbitter clashed heads with Damion Stewart, the Town man coming out of it much the worse. After extensive attention on the pitch, the midfielder was eventually carried off the field strapped to a stretcher. Colin Healy took over.
Spence was booked for a foul on a breaking Carson on 74 with Delaney unable to head Bullard’s freekick from the right towards David James’s goal.
At the other end, the Blues were continuing to resist everything thrown at them, mainly from the right with Adomah having the better of O’Dea, with Delaney and McAuley dominant in the air. Elliott headed wide on 80 before being replaced in the Bristol City midfield by Martyn Woolford.
On 85 Pitman hit a shot which deflected wide off Delaney. The resultant corner was cleared, then sent back in from the other flank, Lee-Barrett dropping the cross but a determined McAuley blocked sub Cole Skuse’s shot.
Town chances were rare but on 87 Wickham was sent away on the left by Bullard, the 18-year-old cutting in from the left but laying the ball across too far in front of Norris.
Lee-Barrett was back on form two minutes later when he tipped Pitman’s header from a right-wing cross over. Moments later, Adomah hit a powerful strike across the face of goal.
Soon after the fourth official had raised a board showing 11 additional minutes, the Blues were close to increasing their lead. Bullard and Edwards exchanged passes on the right, but the on-loan Hull man shot weakly to James.
Lee-Barrett made another impressive save as injury time moved into its third minute, Pitman hitting a strike on the turn from a freekick on the right but the Town keeper leaping to his left to punch behind.
Pitman curled another shot wide as injury time moved into its last five minutes, then Wickham was yellow-carded for timewasting with the Blues increasingly under the cosh.
However, the home side were unable to break through and referee Booth’s whistle eventually came to wild cheers from the almost 1,000-strong Town support.
After Carson scored his superb goal, the Blues largely sat back and defended with Lee-Barrett making a number of impressive saves and McAuley and Delaney again heading away everything sent in their direction.
The Blues rode their luck at times but Bristol City never really threatened enough or made the extra man tell and overall Town deserved the three points
Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, O’Dea, McAuley, Delaney, Leadbitter (Healy 69) , Bullard, Norris, Martin, Carson, Wickham. Unused: Fülöp, Peters, Scotland, Drury, Civelli, Healy, Whight.
Bristol City: James, Spence, McAllister, Stewart, Nyatanga, Elliott (Woolford 80), Cisse (Skuse 72), Campbell-Ryce, Adomah, Stead (Pitman 57), Maynard. Unused: Gerken, Johnson, Clarkson, Edwards. Referee Russell Booth (Nottinghamshire). Att: 14,159 (Att: 970).
Photo: Action Images
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