- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, January 12th 2019
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
Saturday, January 12th 2019
Kasey Palmer scored just five minutes into his debut as City extended the unbeaten run to 10 games with a 2-1 win against Bolton Wanderers at Ashton Gate.
The crossbar twice prevented City from scoring, before Will Buckley headed in from close range as Bolton struck first, against the run of play.
However, two goals in as many minutes saw the hosts secure their fourth-consecutive win in all competitions. Matty Taylor was the first of the two super subs when his low shot had the beating of Ben Alnwick, before Palmer headed in from close range.
The win lifts City to seventh in the Sky Bet Championship.
Lee Johnson made four changes to the starting XI after last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup win, with Tomas Kalas, Marlon Pack, Lloyd Kelly and Andreas Weimann returning ahead of Jay Dasilva, Bailey Wright, Niclas Eliasson and Joe Morrell, respectively.
Callum O’Dowda and Weimann had the early half-chances, both firing over the top, with Josh Brownhill likely to be disappointed with two free kicks, both of which were soft and failed to beat the Bolton wall.
But the home side were having plenty of the ball, the home crowd in fine voice and Bolton’s threats were nullified.
Alnwick was forced into his first save of the match as the 20th minute mark arrived when Famara Diédhiou latched on to O’Dowda’s free kick at the far post. With Pawel Olkowski on his back, Diédhiou managed to flick the ball over his marker before firing a low shot on goal, with Alnwick was quick to block before Bolton cleared.
Niki Mäenpää’s first call to action soon followed, but it was comfortable catching practice for the former Finland international after Sammy Ameobi picked off Pack’s loose pass and drove forward before trying his luck from distance.
The woodwork would then deny Weimann, still searching for his first goal since August, after a solo surge in the opposition half. He motored forward, unmarked before unleashing a shot on goal which flicked off Olkowski before bouncing back off the crossbar.
The half would end goalless but the Robins came flying out the traps after the restart with three chances in a matter of minutes. All fell to Diédhiou, who first headed wide from Weimann’s cross, before blasting a shot over the bar just yards from goal, after the crossbar had denied Adam Webster’s header.
The striker was then a whisker away from sliding City in front. Pack’s initial driven effort was curling towards the corner flag but for the well-positioned O’Dowda. The Republic of Ireland international then whipped the ball across the face of goal with Diédhiou a matter of inches from making contact with the ball.
Still, Bolton couldn’t get the ball out of their own half with City in control on home soil; everything bar scoring had gone to plan thus far.
Then came the suckerpunch as Phil Parkinson’s side broke the deadlock. Lloyd Kelly tried to out muscle his marker for too long before Craig Noone won the ball back deep inside City’s half. Ameobi picked up possession, firing a cross-shot into the City box and Buckley reacted quickest by nodding the ball beyond Mäenpää.
However, their lead wouldn’t last long, just six minutes in fact. At 1-0 down, Johnson opted to make all three changes at once on the hour-mark and what decision-making that turned out to be as Palmer, Taylor and Jay Dasilva all entered the field of play.
Within minutes City would equalise to chants of ‘Matty Taylor is a Red’. The striker was initially tackled before he could get a shot away but he regained possession, and from an acute angle, the substitute managed to squeeze the ball through the gap between the post and the Bolton keeper.
Just two minutes later City took the lead with Palmer the right man in the right place to force the ball over the line. Webster’s downward header from a corner caused panic on the Bolton box and Taylor kept the pressure alive by flicking the ball into the path of Palmer. The loanee from Chelsea’s header lacked power and looked to have been hooked off the line but the referee Stephen Martin quickly indicated a goal, much to the cheer of the home supporters.
Again, Diédhiou came millimetres from tucking home City’s third with debutant Palmer denied by the fingertips of Alnwick, but it would not matter as City saw out the victory regardless.
City hit the road for their next Championship encounter at Nottingham Forest next Saturday (January 19th, 3pm KO), where they are looking to continue their perfect start to 2019.
- Taylor (64') , Palmer (66')
- Lloyd Kelly, Andreas Weimann, Jamie Paterson
- Buckley (58')
- Jonathan Grounds, William Buckley, Luke Murphy