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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, July 20th 2021

📝 Match report: Bristol City 3-3 Portsmouth

Andreas Weimann, Kasey Palmer and Chris Martin all hit the target in an extended six-goal encounter against Portsmouth.

Nigel Pearson’s side had to come from two goals behind at the end of 45 minutes, before Weimann’s low drive and Palmer’s pick of the bunch drew the hosts level at the Robins High Performance Centre.

Martin was awarded a penalty, of which he dispatched himself, to put City ahead by the end of 90 minutes but an extra half an hour was to be played as planned, in which Portsmouth pounced to earn the draw.

City’s young forward Marlee Francois was allowed to play for Portsmouth in the extra 30 minutes with Pompey lacking in numbers, and in a turn of events he ended up being the player to poach the equaliser.

The background

City were back at the HPC a day after returning from their Loughborough University training camp.

It was intense five days but a pivotal part of pre-season, with City returning to Bristol for the Portsmouth fixture – their second game of pre-season.

What happened

The League One outfit looked bright in possession and opened the scoring after just seven minutes. Max O’Leary had made a stop with his face moments before but when the ball came back into the box, a Pompey trialist was granted a free header and found the back of the net.

In response, City went close without troubling the opposition goalkeeper as Martin headed over before he backheeled a ball into the path of Weimann who couldn’t hit the target.

It would be 2-0 when a trialist was brought down by George Nurse in the penalty area. The referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot and the same trialist sent Max O’Leary the wrong way.

It would have been 3-0 but for O’Leary denying Ronan Curtis, before the Robins comeback was on, starting with Weimann’s low drive.

Matty James battled down the right and fought well to produce a deep cross which Jay Dasilva - starting at left-midfield - flicked into the path of Weimann and the Austrian found the bottom right corner with a first-time, left-footed strike.

City were eventually level, again off the back a good team move. The Robins built from the back, with Rob Atkinson playing the ball forward to Martin but the number nine was aware of Palmer ahead of him and his deft touch allowed his forward partner to latch on to the ball. Palmer was through on goal and kept his cool with a placed finish as he curled the ball into the bottom right corner.

Palmer could have been on the scoresheet again but for a good save from Alex Bass, however City’s pressure paid dividends as Martin finally put them ahead from 12 yards. He received a side pass from Weimann but was bundled to the floor in the penalty area before taking the resulting penalty himself. It was another cool finish, as he buried the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.

The 90-minute mark rang the bell for further changes and one of those would be Francois. He was granted permission to play for the visitors, with Danny Cowley’s men lacking in numbers.

And so it would be that the Australian Under-23 international would end up on the scoresheet. He ended up starting the attack with Cameron Pring dispossessed high in Pompey’s half. A trialist broke away at pace and Francois stayed with him, receiving the cutback once into the City penalty area and he struck low under Dan Bentley.

Up next

City face MK Dons for their third pre-season fixture. The game will be streamed live on Robins TV.

City: O’Leary (Bentley 90), Vyner (Simpson 90), Baker (Moore 46), Atkinson (Low 90), Nurse (King 62), Weimann (Pearson 90), James (Benarous 90), Bakinson (Janneh 62), Dasilva (Pring 90), Palmer (Nagy 90), Martin (Conway 90).

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🎤 POST-MATCH REACTION

Hear from Manager Nigel Pearson and goalscorer Kasey Palmer.

📸 MATCH ACTION

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