Report: Bristol City 5-5 Hull City
Saturday, April 21st 2018
It was goals galore at Ashton Gate as Bristol City and Hull City played out a ten-goal thriller.
Harry Wilson fired Hull ahead but a Famara Diédhiou brace and a Marlon Pack strike from distance gave City a small cushion.
Fikayo Tomori squeezed home to make it 3-2 while at the other end, Bobby Reid showed quick reactions to soon restore the Robins' two-goal advantage.
However, the Tigers roared themselves back into the fixture through Wilson’s free kick and an Abel Hernández strike, before Nigel Adkins’ side stunned BS3 when Frazier Campbell tapped in Hull’s fifth.
But the determined home side continued to push on and Joe Bryan’s drive clinched a last-gasp equaliser to end the score at 5-5.
City made three changes from the team which lined up against Middlesbrough a week earlier: Jamie Paterson, Callum O’Dowda and Eros Pisano were restored to the starting XI, while Josh Brownhill, Milan Djuric and Lloyd Kelly were named among the substitutes, as was Bailey Wright who is recovering from a thigh strain.
City looked a threat with only two minutes on the clock as a slick passing move involving Joe Bryan, Bobby Reid and Paterson ended up with O’Dowda forcing McGregor into a save.
The Robins were looking good on the ball in the spring sunshine, encouraged by a BS3 crowd in good spirits, who know their support could make all the difference.
TIGERS CAUSING TROUBLE
However, Hull weren’t without threats of their own and manager Adkins was calling for his side to press higher up the pitch. Their first chance arrived soon after but Jackson Irvine blasted wide of goal, leaving Frank Fielding with no problems.
But the travelling Tigers did pounce with a goal out of nothing. Lee Johnson’s City had played the better football but it’s the scoreline which counts and Wilson made it 1-0 after combining passes with Irvine before hitting a left-footed shot from the edge of the area.
CITY COME FROM BEHIND
The goal sparked a resilient fightback from the home side and it could have been 1-1 but for McGregor’s quick reactions to tip the ball over his own crossbar and deny an own goal.
The Tigers keeper was then quick off his line to beat Reid to the ball after a chipped through pass from Korey Smith, while Paterson went on to be denied by the post.
But City finally made their pressure pay with two quick goals before half time; the first from Marlon Pack who picked out the bottom corner with a well-executed low strike from 30 yards, for only the midfielder’s fourth goal of the campaign.
And they ensured a half-time lead when O’Dowda knocked the ball on to Diédhiou. The Senegalese striker battled to keep hold of possession before firing a left-footed effort beyond McGregor.
The goals wouldn’t end there, as Diédhiou grabbed his second of the day - City’s third - with a guided header beyond the stretching Hull keeper, to add daylight between the two sides.
Hull, still fighting for their Championship survival, hit back almost immediately through Tomori’s back-post header. The right-back, on as a substitute in the first period, ghosted round the back of the City line and met Angus MacDonald’s sweeping pass with a powerful header into the net from a tight angle, despite Fielding’s best efforts.
Diédhiou then turned provider as Reid got himself on the scoresheet for league goal number 19 - his 21st in all competitions this season. Tigers captain Michael Dawson looked to have done enough to block Diédhiou’s pass but the ball fell kindly to Reid who poked the ball beyond McGregor.
HULL HIT BACK
City were looking exciting every time they through themselves forward and Josh Brownhill fired over as he looked to get in on the action.
But the away side cut the deficit again through Wilson’s long-range free kick, which picked out the top corner as Fielding tried his hardest to beat the strike away.
It was 4-4 with ten minutes on the clock when Hernández diverted Kamil Grosicki's deflected cross into the back of the net and with the 90th minute approaching, Sebastian Larsson beat Pisano to a cross-field pass before squaring the ball to Campbell who struck to make it 5-4 in front of the travelling fans.
The board went up to indicate six minutes of added time, perhaps a lifeline for the Robins but they certainly took it. After a spell of intense pressure, Bryan drifted in from the left flank and curled a low effort into the far corner from the edge of the area.
The result leaves City tenth in the Sky Bet Championship with two games remaining, starting with their trip to Nottingham Forest next Saturday (3pm kick-off).