- English Football League - Championship
- Tuesday, March 12th 2019
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 1-1 Ipswich Town
Tuesday, March 12th 2019
Adam Webster returned to haunt his former club but a second-half own goal from Lloyd Kelly meant the points would be shared against Ipswich Town.
It was a slow opening 15 minutes at Ashton Gate, with City needing time to settle, almost falling behind after a Stefan Marinovic error on the keeper’s debut.
The Robins survived the scare though, turning the game in their favour when Webster rose to head City into the lead from a Niclas Eliasson cross.
Lee Johnson’s men ended the first half on top but the visitors forced an equaliser fter the break, when Kelly stuck a leg out in an attempted clearance, unfortunately blasting the ball high into the City net instead.
Marinovic stepped in ahead of Max O’Leary between the sticks, being one of five changes from the Leeds defeat: Jack Hunt and Lloyd Kelly were given the nod over Bailey Wright and Jay Dasilva, at full-back, while there were starts for Andreas Weimann and Niclas Eliasson who returned with Callum O’Dowda and Antoine Semenyo placed on the bench.
The Tractor Boys arrived in BS3 fighting for their survival in the Sky Bet Championship and looked to get forward from the off. In fact, Marinovic almost conceded after just 40 seconds when, after receiving a Hunt backpass, he was quickly closed down by Kayden Jackson. Fortunately for the Kiwi shotstopper, Kelly was quickly back to clear the ball away and save the new signing’s blushes.
Town skipper Luke Chambers would be next to go close but without having to trouble Marinovic this time, when he scooped over the bar from an Alan Judge corner. The Republic of Ireland international would have a go at goal himself soon after but Marinovic was well placed to beat the strike away.
It was certainly a nervy start and the visitors looked comfortable on the ball with the hosts needing to find more urgency. And when they did force the ball wide, they won a corner from which Famara Diédhiou steered the ball just over the crossbar.
That seemed to lift the crowd and when City broke forward again, winning a free kick in the process, the ball made its way to Weimann, with only the post denying him a seventh goal of the campaign.
The Austrian forward was almost in again just minutes later as City started to get on the front foot, he cut inside after controlling Eliasson’s cross but his left-footed strike was blocked by Bart Bialkowski.
It wouldn’t take much longer before the Robins were ahead and it was Webster – of all people – whose glancing header broke the deadlock. Eliasson opted for a one-two with Josh Brownhill before shifting the ball on to his left and whipping the ball into the box where the ex-Town man was on hand to nod the ball beyond Bialkowski, just after half an hour of play.
It was nearly two within a matter of minutes when Hunt’s curling cross was acrobatically volleyed over the bar by Diédhiou; Johnson’s side now playing with the creativity juices flowing and confidence oozing through the team as a result.
The Blues were still playing good football as they tried to break forward and they forced Marinovic into another smart but comfortable stop as he held an effort from Gwion Edwards. At the other end, Diédhiou again went close in front of the South Stand with a header which nestled on the roof of the net rather than under it.
But City had been good value thus far, heading into the break with the advantage. However, both sides offered little in the initial stages of the second period, that was until Marinovic pulled off two stops to deny Trevoh Chalobah and Edwards.
City did have calls for a penalty dismissed when Jamie Paterson looked to break past Chambers and Josh Emmanuel but the referee wasn’t interested when the forward fell to the floor.
Town did get themselves level when Kelly inadvertently turned the ball into his own net. The young left-back was in the unfortunate position when Ipswich managed a cross into the box, with the ball deflecting off the England Under-21 international.
With 20 minutes remaining, Johnson looked to Kasey palmer and O’Dowda in a double change for Paterson and Weimann, while it wouldn’t be much longer before the introduction of Matty Taylor.
Like the start of the game, the tempo dropped but City didn’t give up in their push to restore the lead, with Brownhill going close but firing narrowly wide.
And they almost squeezed in a last-gasp goal when Palmer’s low delivery across the box ran through the legs of Taylor but couldn’t be turned home by the stretching Marlon Pack.
The points would be shared in BS3 as City returned to sixth in the Championship heading into the international break.
Photography by JMPUK.
- Webster (32') , Kelly (68' og)
- Jamie Paterson, Niclas Eliasson, Andreas Weimann
- Jon Nolan, Andre Dozzell, Alan Judge