Report: Bristol City 4-1 Derby County
Saturday, September 16th 2017
A stunning second-half fightback saw City out-gun free-scoring Derby County at Ashton Gate and continue their prosperous start to September.
Matej Vydra had already hit the post for the visitors before he opened the scoring from the penalty spot after a foul by Frank Fielding.
But City’s response after the interval was emphatic; Cauley Woodrow and Bobby Reid – from the penalty spot – both scoring inside a five-minute period.
Jamie Paterson sealed the win with a brilliant free kick before Famara Diedhiou put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.
In their league outing Derby demolished Hull City by five goals to nil. Now they know how the Tigers felt.
FRESH LEGS REQUIRED
As promised, head coach Lee Johnson opted to make three changes to freshen up his side following the exerts of taking four points from a possible six on the road at Reading and Wolves.
For the first time in the league, Diedhiou was left on the bench, with Woodrow handed his first start for the club since joining on loan from Fulham.
Elsewhere, Paterson and Marlon Pack earned recalls, replacing Callum O’Dowda and Josh Brownhill respectively.
It was Paterson’s trickery that led to an early caution for Derby’s Bradley Johnson, who hacked down the former Forest man as he charged forwards.
BIG EARLY CHANCES
Paterson sent a low shot from distance wide of the mark, before a good chance came and went for in-form Bobby Reid with the game still in its infancy.
Richard Keogh, a former Robin turned Rams skipper, sent a loose header back towards his own keeper and Reid pounced, only to send a weak nodded attempt of his own straight into the arms of Scott Carson.
Derby went closer still on 12 minutes, taking advantage of free kick after Nathan Baker had tripped Tom Lawrence on the edge of the box. Vydra took the kick and clipped the outside of Frank Fielding’s right-hand post, seemingly with the City keeper beaten.
WOODROW TAKES AIM
Fulham loanee Woodrow was proving dangerous and went close with two efforts in quick succession as the half wore on.
After being teed up by striker partner Reid, the forward sent an effort curling narrowly over the top of Carson’s crossbar.
Moments later the keeper was scrambling across his goal to keep out a cheeky effort from Woodrow, who was in the right place to deflect Korey Smith’s dragged shot towards the bottom corner.
VYDRA SPOT ON
Midway through the first half Derby had the breakthrough via the penalty spot. Running in behind, Vydra rounded Fielding and was felled by the former Rams stopper. Vydra dusted himself down to take the penalty himself, slamming it into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
City had the perfect chance for an instant response when Woodrow drilled a ball low across the box to connect with the run of Leko. The West Brom loanee found himself ten yards out with only Carson to beat, but he fired it central, straight at the big keeper to gratefully save.
Carson was a busy man as half-time approached, diving away to his left once more to keep out a deft headed attempt from Paterson, getting on the end of Reid’s floated cross.
City’s intentions were clear from the start of second half, with Pack taking aim almost immediately from all of 30 yards and watching his swerving piledriver bend narrowly wide of the upright.
But the hosts, shooting towards the South Stand, were level just five minutes after the restart. Joe Bryan was strong enough to brush off his man on the touchline and swing in a dangerous cross for Woodrow to glance in.
A further five minutes had passed when Leko’s dancing feet caught out Keogh, who dangled a leg and brought him softly to the ground. Referee Martin Atkinson was just yards away and immediately pointed to the spot.
City’s red-hot top scorer Reid fought off competition from Leko and Woodrow to take the resultant spot-kick. Despite jiggling on the line by Carson, Reid confidently stuck the ball low to the keeper’s right to complete a five-minute turnaround.
DERBY ALL AT SEA
Derby looked shell-shocked, especially when David Nugent fired over Marcus Olsson’s cross from close range after the ball had evaded Flint at the near post.
It proved to be Nugent’s final involvement as Rams boss Gary Rowett replaced him and goalscorer Vydra with Chris Martin and Sam Winnall soon after.
Johnson responded; Leko and Woodrow left the pitch to a standing ovation, with Brownhill and Diedhiou entering the fray.
Derby threatened again with Johnson guiding Olsson’s swinging cross just a whisker wide of the upright. A free kick then afforded Lawrence the chance to shoot from 25 yards but his grasscutter under the wall was held by Fielding.
Diedhiou narrowly felled to connect with Pack’s clever ball into the box and then saw Keogh produce a goal-saving block when the Senegalese striker chased Reid’s through ball into the area.
Derby tried to push forwards but found themselves being countered more and more, with City spring forward in droves. Reid dragged a long-range shot wide and Pack curled one over the top as the final ten minutes approached.
CROWNING MOMENTS LATE ON
Any nerves in the home camp were settled by Paterson’s brilliant goal on 83 minutes. Diedhiou had been crudely chopped down by Curtis Davies and the winger ensured he was punished for his misdemeanour by curling the free kick over the wall and in off the crossbar.
Initial confusion reigned as the supporters thought it had crossed the line, only for Derby to clear, but referee Atkinson signalled for the goal after consulting goal-line technology on his wrist watch.
Diedhiou put the cap on the display in stoppage time with a brilliant calm and composed fourth, curled into the far corner.
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