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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, July 24th 2021

📝 Match report: Bristol City 3-1 MK Dons

City fired their way to a 3-1 pre-season victory over MK Dons at a wet Robins High Performance Centre.

Saikou Janneh did just enough to put City ahead at the break, while second-half goals from Tommy Conway and Nahki Wells added daylight to the score.

Jay Bird would grab a consolation for the visitors in the last minute of the match, but this was an encouraging display from the home team as they grabbed a first pre-season victory.

The background

City were facing their third pre-season fixture, after draws against Celtic and Portsmouth, with this the last to be held at the RHPC.

Dan Bentley would start the match in goal for the Robins, while there were returns for Tomas Kalas and Nahki Wells after their international call-ups for Czech Republic and Bermuda, respectively.

There were former Robins names on the MK Dons teamsheet too, with centre-back Aden Baldwin and striker Mo Eisa lining up for the opposition with James Morton starting on the bench.

What happened

It would be Eisa who saw sight of goal first but his speculative effort hit the stanchion rather than the back of the net, before Tommy Conway wen closer but couldn’t find the target after meeting Saikou Janneh’s cross from the left.

A key message from the bench was to press the backline and City did those effectively with goalkeeper Franco Ravizzoli under pressure on more than one occasion, though the MK Dons defence was proving a tough nut to crack.

However, Janneh found the breakthrough to give City a half-time lead. Zak Vyner’s long ball was cushioned into the path of Sam Pearson, whose cross from the right looked for Janneh at the far post. The ball deflected off a defender, then off the forward before striking Ravizzoli on its way over the line…not that anyone in red would care!

MK Dons would have their moments, notably Bentley produced a strong hand to deny Harry Darling before Kalas cleared off the line but City would double their lead six monutes after the break.

Cameron Pring produced a first-time cross from the left and it was guided home perfectly by Conway, He raced to meet the flight of the cross, tapping the ball past substitute keeper Laurie Walker on the half-volley with ease.

Wells then added the third ten minutes later. Conway dribbled but lost possession on the edge of the area where Wells was quick to pick up possession, dart into the penalty area and calmly place the ball past the goalkeeper.

Young Ayman Benarous came off the bench and nearly scored almost immediately only to see the keeper thwart him from close range, before the opponents pounced with a consolation goal.

It came after Bentley attempted to clear a Danny Simpson backpass but the shotstopper’s kick was intercepted by Bird, who reacted quickly to put the ball into the City net.

Up next

Still, City remain unbeaten in pre-season and go again on Tuesday, where the players will be put to the test with matches against Exeter City (1pm KO) and Plymouth Argyle (6pm KO).

City: Bentley, Vyner (Simpson 46), Kalas (Moore, 46), Nurse, Pring, Pearson (Benarous 75), Nagy, Williams (Scott 46), Janneh, Conway, Wells (Bell, 62)

🎤 POST-MATCH REACTION

Hear from Alex Ball and Joe Williams!

📸 MATCH ACTION

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