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Report: Bath City 0-1 Bristol City

Bristol City eased to a second successive pre-season victory with the aid of another clean sheet in a tale of two penalties at Twerton Park.

City’s, awarded after only 12 minutes, was converted with ruthless efficiency by skipper Aaron Wilbraham.

But Bath’s chance to equalise was not taken by Dave Pratt, as Frank Fielding guessed right to make a fine stop on his first outing of the summer midway through the first half.

Steve Cotterill fielded a strong-looking starting XI, with only youngster Ash Harper at right wing-back lacking substantial first team experience.

But City were nearly caught cold in the summer sun when Aden Flint allowed Pratt to steal in and go to eye to eye with Fielding, only to fluff his lines with a wayward shot as his composure deserted him.

If that was the wake-up call, the visitors took little time to spring into action. Luke Freeman’s delicate chip freed Joe Bryan inside the box, but the Bristolian went for power and only succeeded in drilling a left-footed shot into the side-netting.

All that was inside the first three minutes of a friendly game with a kick to it, despite the long grass of Twerton Park holding the ball up at every opportunity.

City were well in control by the time Wilbraham converted the first of two first-half penalties awarded for similar offences after 12 minutes.

The striker was quick to grab the ball after his own goalbound header struck the raised hand of Danny Ball, paving the way for a sweetly dispatched spot-kick into the top corner as Steve Phillips dived the wrong way in the Bath goal.

By now the home team were struggling to get hold of possession, but did have the chance to square things up midway through the first period from a rare foray into City territory.

This time it was Flint’s guilty hand as the defender was penalised for connecting with Andy Gallinagh’s cross, much to his disbelief.

But Fielding was sharp in adding to Pratt’s woes in front of goal with a diving save low to his right to keep City’s narrow lead intact.

That was the way it stayed into a second period that started with chances at both ends from corners, as Fielding tipped over a looping header from Ball before Flint nodded wide from a typically accurate Freeman delivery.

Harper’s contribution would last for 61 minutes, in which time he thought he had scored for the second time in two pre-season outings, only to be denied by the offside flag in converting Bryan’s low cross at the back post.

Harper’s departure along with Freeman prompted Wes Burns to enter the fray and join Wilbraham up front, with Bryan temporarily switching to the right to accommodate Greg Cunningham on the left.

It was the start of a flurry of second-half changes that left City with a whole new XI by the end of a game in which they were never really threatened.

Bristol City: Fielding (O’Leary 89), Ayling (Murphy 86), Flint (Vyner 88), Williams (Kelly 77), Harper (Burns 61), Smith (Morrell 86), Pack (Dowling 86), Freeman (Cunningham 61), Bryan (El-Abd 72), Reid (Lemonheigh-Evans 88), Wilbraham (Fry 80).

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