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Match Report


Posted Sat 29 Sep 12 at 20:58 PM

Bristol City 2-3 Leeds United

Bristol City 2-3 Leeds United
Mark Perrow reports from Ashton Gate

City's defensive woes continued with two injuries and three goals conceded against Leeds United in another Ashton Gate goalfest.

A brace from El-Hadji Diouf either side of Albert Adomah's 70th minute equaliser set the platform for Neil Warnock to inflict back-to-back home defeats on Derek McInnes' side, who were finished off by Michael Tonge's late third.

Sam Byram's late own goal gave City a lifeline with six added minutes to save themselves, but one more chance proved elusive.

Left-back George Elokobi was stretchered off before half-time on his City debut, while replacement Joe Bryan was also forced off with a head injury shortly before Diouf's opener.

Derek McInnes handed a debut to George Elokobi at left-back, while Neil Kilkenny and Jon Stead were unexpected starters at the expense of Marvin Elliott and Sam Baldock.

But Stead and Ryan Taylor have been a thorn in the side of every Ashton Gate opponent so far this season, helping City hit 11 goals combined against Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and Blackburn Rovers.

The pair showed their understanding for the first time inside ten minutes, as Stead's perfectly weighted through ball sent Taylor clear.

The tall striker was never going to race away from the Leeds backline so took the shot early from the edge of the penalty area and connected sweetly, but without the direction to trouble Leeds keeper Paddy Kenny, who simply patted the ball down and gathered it at the second attempt.

Stead himself then tested his former Sheffield United team-mate, but again Kenny was well positioned to make a routine stop.

At the other end, Leeds were keeping possession impressively with no real goal threat, although Rodolph Austin did hook a speculative shot goalwards in an attempt to catch out City number one Tom Heaton.

City were improving as the first half went on, and Richard Foster's left-footed cross almost provided the opener via a glancing header from Martyn Woolford, but the winger was unable to connect with enough purchase to help the ball into the bottom corner.

A first half lacking rhythm was extended by a further four minutes when Elokobi took an innocuous tumble inside his own penalty area but was immediately in obvious discomfort, ultimately becoming the third City player to be stretchered off in three games, suffering the same fate of Cole Skuse and Greg Cunningham at Peterborough.

After the first period petered out following Elokobi's injury, the second began with two clear chances for the visitors.

City were slow out of the blocks and should have been punished almost immediately by Austin, who found himself completely unopposed from Diouf's free kick but could only head against the crossbar from the middle of the penalty area.

If McInnes was already frustrated by his side's defending, he would have been fuming two minutes later when the same combination produced an almost identical opening. This time Austin did find the target, but saw his stooping header turned away by Heaton.

Problems in City's back four continued to mount when 19-year-old Joe Bryan, introduced for Elokobi shortly before the interval, was unable to continue after coming off worse in an aerial clash on the touchline just in front of his manager.

Liam Fontaine set about improving the fortunes of the City rearguard, sliding in at the back post to help Woolford's free kick back across goal, but the ball ran away beyond the far post and Leeds survived.

But the visitors were soon in front shortly after the hour mark when Diouf steered Sam Byram's low cross into the far corner.

City had not been at their usual fluent Ashton Gate best, but still managed to level things up within seven minutes thanks to a rare Adomah header from a pinpoint Richard Foster cross, with the Scot now McInnes' third left-back of the day.

To their credit, Leeds did not allow a rejuvenated home crowd to force them back, and responded with a rasping Austin drive dealt with unconvincingly by Heaton before Diouf struck again nine minutes from time when Fontaine failed to clear.

This time City were unable to recover, and Tonge struck the killer blow two minutes later with an arrowing drive across Heaton from 20 yards.

There was still time for Fontaine to cause problems in the Leeds penalty area as Kenny was beaten for a second time from Adomah's corner, but the visitors held on.

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