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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Thursday, May 10th 2018

2017/18 Season review: September/October

City would go so close to a two-month unbeaten streak, leading to deserved recognition for head coach Lee Johnson and the ever-impressive Aden Flint.

It had been a summer of speculation for City’s number four but the club were adamant they could keep their man.

They did just that and Flint duly repaid them with stellar performances.

It was a super September for the Robins and Johnson picked up the Manager of the Month award, while Flint collected the Player of the Month award.

Lee Johnson and Aden Flint with their EFL awards for September 2017

September began with a trip down the M4 to Reading where the tall defender grabbed the only goal of the game to ensure three points for the side from BS3.

Then came a tougher test just three days later as City headed north to face eventual champions Wolves. The Mollineux has proved a difficult place to play for the Robins historically, and Leo Bonatini and Diego Jota twice put the hosts in front, cancelled out on each occasion by that man Flint and Famara Diédhiou’s penalty.

With eight minutes to play Bobby Reid nudged in his sixth goal of the campaign, but almost instantly Wolves responded through their skipper Danny Batth’s pinpoint header.

FROM GOOD TO GREAT

Four points from two away games wasn’t a bad start to the month at all and things only improved further in a 4-1 rout over Derby County at Ashton Gate. Matej Vydra had already hit the post for the visitors before he opened the scoring from the penalty spot after a foul by Frank Fielding.

But City’s response after the interval was emphatic; Cauley Woodrow and Bobby Reid – from the penalty spot – both scored inside a five-minute period.

Jamie Paterson sealed the win with a brilliant free kick before Diédhiou put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.

Josh Brownhill celebrates scoring at Portman Road. See below.

City then added another Premier League scalp to their repertoire as they dispatched a strong Stoke City side at the Gate in the Carabao Cup, courtesy of strikes from the in-form Diédhiou and Matty Taylor.

A 0-0 draw at Norwich City followed before they notched up consecutive wins against Bolton Wanders and an historic 3-1 victory at Ipswich Town - City’s first win at Portman Road since 1978.

The result extended the unbeaten run, meaning they had not lost a game throughout the entire month, with prolific City averaging two goals per game.

INTO OCTOBER

The club went on to make more cup history by reaching the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup for the first time in almost 30 years, as they dispatched Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace.

Their tie with the Eagles - their third clash with Premier League opponents - came at the end of three home games on the trot.

Matty Taylor finds the net against Palace

City had kicked off the autumnal season against a defensive-minded Burton Albion, who held City to a 0-0 draw. A blip against Leeds United followed but the BS3 crowd witnesses the goals once more as Palace were rolled over. Bakary Sako's opener was cancelled out through Milan Djuric, as he made his return from a long-term injury lay-off.

Thunderous strikes from Joe Bryan and Callum O'Dowda followed and Matty Taylor smashed home for his second goal in as many games in the competition.

Their reward? A certain home tie with Manchester United!

But focus was turned immediately back to the Championship, where City were on the road for consecutive games, impressing to beat Sunderland 2-1 and Fulham 2-0.

WATCH: CITY ON TARGET IN SUPERB SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER