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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 21 Aug 12 at 19:45 PM

Bristol City 4-1 Crystal Palace

City 4-1 Crystal Palace
Mark Perrow reports from Ashton Gate


City stormed to a convincing victory to mark the first home league fixture of the season at Ashton Gate in style.


Goals in the opening 12 minutes from Ryan Taylor and Martyn Woolford had City in dreamland early on and an advantaged they never looked like letting slip.


After the home fans were introduced to marquee signing Sam Baldock at the interval, Jon Stead reminded Derek McInnes of his capabilities with a third from the penalty spot.


Kagisho Dikgacoi reduced the arrears 15 minutes from time, but Albert Adomah added gloss to the scoreline with a late fourth.


McInnes handed a surprise start to Taylor alongside Jon Stead up front, leaving newest striker Steven Davies on the bench, while Mark Wilson was the only absentee from the side who on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on the opening day.


The visitors started brightly, with danger man Wilfried Zaha making his intentions clear in the first five minutes with a run and shot easily fielded by Tom Heaton.


But it was City who took the lead through Taylor, who lashed home from eight yards at the end of a well-worked corner routine. Adomah took the corner short to Woolford, before playing a high cross to the back post from his fellow wide man's return pass.


Louis Carey helped the ball back across for Stead to hit the crossbar, only for Taylor to drill the loose ball low into the net beyond stranded Palace keeper Julian Speroni.


Three minutes later it was two, as Woolford pounced on a mistake from last man Dean Moxey to race through and delicately lift the ball over Speroni for an outstanding finish.


Martyn Woolford
Martyn Woolford celebrates City's opener in front of the East End


City were flying and Palace were in free fall, conceding their fifth goal in just 102 minutes of league football this season.


And it was nearly three before the half-hour mark, as more great work from Woolford culminated in a deep cross for Taylor to intelligently attempt a looping header back across goal over Speroni, who was only bailed out by the face of his crossbar.


Stead was next to come close, dragging wide with Woolford well placed, before the striker was denied by Speroni from an even better position when one on one with the Argentinian stopper who stayed low to prevent Stead's side-foot shot sneaking between his legs.


Sam Baldock
City showed off new signing Sam Baldock at half-time


Palace responded positively after the interval, with Zaha looking to weave his magic inside the City box, but the hosts weathered a mild storm and added a decisive third just shy of the hour.


McInnes' side were happy to contain and counter, and did so to great effect to allow Stead to dispatch an unstoppable spot-kick into the top corner after he was brought down upon nutmegging the hapless Moxey, who dived in to concede the clearest of penalties.


City continued to push, with Taylor and Adomah only narrowly off target, while at the other end substitute Kwesi Appiah provided a rare warning shot which had to be turned aside by Heaton.


It was a warning City did not learn from, after more good work from Zaha and midfielder Owen Garvan provided a close-range finish for Dikgacoi to abandon hopes of a clean sheet.


Carey threatened to restore the three-goal lead but headed over when unmarked at a corner, before City were indebted to Heaton for a crucial stop to deny Palace captain Mile Jedinak who looked set to set up a nervy last ten minutes, but Adomah found the bottom corner from 20 yards to put the result beyond doubt.

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