Report: Bristol City 2-1 Cardiff City
Saturday, November 4th 2017
City secured their first Severnside derby victory for five years by beating ten man Cardiff City 2-1 at Ashton Gate.
Aden Flint's 66th-minute header secured the home win after Omar Bogle was sent off for Neil Warnock's side.
Callum O’Dowda had earlier given Lee Johnson’s side a 20th-minute lead with his first league goal, before Bogle's close-range equaliser just before half-time.
City have now won their last four games, three in the Sky Bet Championship, closing the gap on Cardiff in the table to just a point.
Johnson made three changes to the side which beat Fulham 2-0 in midweek, with Nathan Baker returned to the starting line-up. Korey Smith started at right-back, with Eros Pisano sidelined for up to four months through injury and Hordur Magnusson stepped in to replace the injured Jamie Paterson.
The match certainly had its derby atmosphere with O’Dowda involved in early challenges. He was first blocked by Lee Peltier, who received a yellow card after just four minutes, before O’Dowda was judged to have tripped an opponent.
This fixture has produced ten goals in its last three outings and so goals were almost guaranteed. But the fans, out in full voice once more at BS3, had to wait 16 minutes for the game’s first shot; that fell to O’Dowda but the Republic of Ireland international dragged the ball wide of Neil Etheridge’s goal.
The hosts went ahead just three minutes later and it was the Irish winger with his first league goal for City, who broke the deadlock. Frank Fielding pumped the ball forward, which Milan Djuric flicked on to Joe Bryan. He squared a pass to O’Dowda, whose left-footed effort curled into the far corner.
Djuric almost doubled the Robins’ advantage minutes later, but his flick in the box was smartly saved by Etheridge. Bryan then forced Etheridge to parry a fierce strike as City piled more pressure on their rivals.
But the Bluebirds carried their own threat and Fielding was forced to save a Bogle effort before conceding. Junior Hoilett won the ball in the City box and danced through tackles at the byline before Bogle struck a fierce shot past Fielding as the sides went into the tunnel all square.
Bogle was sent off for a late challenge on Marlon Pack, ten minutes into the second half, after the striker’s late challenge on the midfielder. And City took advantage of having the extra man, with Aden Flint restoring their lead not long after.
Hordur Magnusson lofted a long throw into the Cardiff penalty area from the right, which Flint connected with a powerful header beyond Etheridge for the defender’s fourth goal of the season.
Cardiff’s Danny Ward responded with a teasing header which glanced wide but City always looked the more comfortable, in possession of the extra man.
Josh Brownhill came within an inch of adding a third, but his right-footed drive was deflected on its way wide, also skimming the foot of the post.
Cardiff City came close to another equaliser in stoppage time, but former Robin Lee Tomlin couldn’t keep his free kick under Fielding’s bar.
The win lifts Bristol City up to third in the Sky Bet Championship and bridges the gap between them and Cardiff City to just one point, heading into the international break.