- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, December 29th 2018
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 1-0 Rotherham United
Saturday, December 29th 2018
Bristol City ended 2018 on a high with Adam Webster’s late header capping off an attacking display to secure the 1-0 victory against Rotherham United.
The Millers went down to nine men in the second half with two yellow cards for Billy Jones and a straight red for Ritchie Towell, as City sent forward wave after wave of attacks at Ashton Gate.
It could have been a rugby score if the home side had been more clinical on the day but Webster’s late header - his first goal for the club - had enough about it to beat Millers’ keeper Marek Rodak and send City into 2019 on the back of three points.
The win extends their unbeaten run to seven games and lifts the Robins to 11th in the Sky Bet Championship.
Hakeeb Adelakun made his home league debut, one of three changes to Lee Johnson’s side with a reshuffle in defence; both Jay Dasilva and Jack Hunt started ahead of Lloyd Kelly and Saturday’s goalscorer Eros Pisano.
Hunting for goals
And Hunt was in the thick City’s attacks as the home side made their early intentions clear.
It was the right-back whose darting runs were causing concern for the Millers and he stood up a wonderful cross into the penalty area, which only just evaded any player in red and white. He would later make another lung-busting run and connect a sweeping pass with a perfect touch. He eventually flicked the ball into the path of Jamie Paterson, but he couldn’t connect strongly with the ball and it was easily held by Rodak.
The Rotherham keeper did well to push away a deflected Callum O’Dowda corner, while the hosts would have calls for a penalty dismissed when Famara Diédhiou saw a shot blocked from close range. The appeals were for handball but the referee Scott Duncan allowed play to continue.
Jon Taylor rifled a shot into the side netting in one of the Millers’ rare first-half chances, while back at the other end City’s pressure was building. After a quickly taken free kick, Josh Brownhill's rifled effort was palmed away by Rodak but Tomas Kalas kept the attack alive and stood up a cross for Paterson, whose volley was blocked.
Brownhill sent a free kick narrowly over, while Adelakun struck a right-footed shot not far wide of the top corner, before the Millers started to give the hosts something to think about.
Rotherham still in the contest
Again Taylor was in the thick of it, forcing Niki Mäenpää into a low stop, before the keeper palmed away a Will Vaulks cross only as far as the Rotherham striker, who fired the ball just wide.
The Robins were back on the offensive for the second half, though the final creative spark continued to allude them. Matty Taylor would enter the mix 13 minutes after the restart, as Head Coach Johnson looked for the key to unlock Paul Warne’s hard-working Rotherham.
City soon had the man advantage too, when Jones received a second yellow card for cutting across Diédhiou, and it felt as if it could be only a matter of time before City would get their noses in front.
And things would soon turn worse for the visitors when Towell received a straight red card less than 20 minutes from time, after taking down Brownhill not far inside the Millers’ half.
That set up the Ashton Gate roar, as City flew themselves forward once again. Paterson danced into the area and when challenged the referee was far from interested in the penalty appeal, and Brownhill would keep the attack alive when he forced Rodak into a smart save.
On came Niclas Eliasson to give the home side a burst of energy out wide. He was involved in the action straight away as Diédhiou went close to getting himself on the end of the winger’s crosses. The Senegal forward would go close again when he connected with Hunt’s cross moments later, but the striker headed the ball off target from close range.
Weimann would be Johnson’s final substitution ten minutes from the end, as the Robins looked to end the game as attacking as they had started.
And their pressure finally told when Webster popped up with a goal inside the last five minutes of play, to grant City their just deserts when he connected Hunt’s cross with a header which just had too much for Rodak to keep out.
The keeper would deny the Robins from doubling their lead though, first tipping away efforts from Paterson and Brownhill, with Weimann blazing over in stoppage time.
And only the crossbar would prevent Brownhill from making it 2-0 just moments before the full-time whistle.
City return to action on New Year’s Day when they travel to face Stoke City.
- Webster (86')
- Jay Dasilva, Callum O'Dowda, Hakeeb Adelakun
- Ben Wiles, Jon Taylor, Ryan Williams