Report: Bristol City 0-1 Brentford
Monday, April 2nd 2018
It was an Easter Monday to forget for City as the Bees delivered a late sting to secure a 1-0 victory at Ashton Gate.
Substitute Neal Maupay found the target ten minutes from the end in a game where the hosts struggled to get going, while the Bees wasted a number of opportunities.
Frank Fielding and poor finishing prevented a Brentford rout but the visitors' win means City have not beaten the Bees for nine years.
But City are still within the play-off chasing pack as they look for better fortunes at Millwall next weekend.
Lee Johnson named three changes to the side which kicked off Good Friday’s 2-2 draw at Barnsley, with Aden Flint returned to the starting XI after serving his three-game suspension. He replaced Nathan Baker, while Liam Walsh and Ryan Kent started ahead of Jamie Paterson and Marlon Pack, who dropped to the bench.
It was an even first half as the BS3 faithful roared on their team in the mild, spring temperatures.
WATKINS KEEPING BUSY
But it was Ollie Watkins who was at the heart of the visiting threat; the travelling side making this no easy task for the Robins who saw a rare attempt on goal through Flint’s back-post header in the opening minutes.
But Brentford’s top scorer Watkins first saw a shot blocked by Bailey Wright after he twisted and turned in the box and moments later he was the centre of penalty call, but the referee Keith Stroud booked the winger for simulation instead.
Frank Fielding produced a comfortable save to deny Watkins again, before Romaine Sawyers flashed a cross into the six-yard box as the visitors piled on the pressure.
City were struggling to keep hold of the ball or clear their lines with authority but thankfully the Bees were not making the most of their opportunities.
A Josh McEachran free kick looked destined for the far corner but Fielding was again alert to make the catch, while Bobby Reid sliced a cross when Famara Diédhiou would have been a free option in the middle before the whistle signalled half time.
Brentford had looked the more likely to score and the momentum was still on their side after the break but the busy Watkins was again wasteful as he curled a top-corner effort narrowly over the crossbar, before Sawyer did well to work himself into space before slicing off target.
Florian Jozefzoon was next to scoop a strike over Fielding’s bar after he found space down the Brentford right, as was Watkins a little while later, before Fielding got down low to save Maupay’s strike.
But the Bees found the breakthrough on the counter attack. City began to put pressure on the Brentford goal but the hosts broke away and Nicholas Yennaris slipped a neat pass through to Maupay, who rolled the ball into the bottom corner.
BROWNHILL OFF THE LINE
And the forward came inches from doubling the lead just two minutes later as Fielding blocked his first strike and Josh Brownhill was on the line to acrobatically clear as Maupay headed the rebound back towards goal.
Fielding would go on to deny the striker with a good block after the forward jinked his way through the City defence in stoppage time, and with the hosts unable to turn their fortunes around, they had defeat confirmed at the full-time whistle.
City travel to face Millwall in their next Sky Bet Championship fixture on Saturday (3pm kick-off).