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Report: Bath City 0-3 Bristol City

City continued their perfect start to pre-season with another comfortable clean sheet win as three goals in ten second-half minutes saw off Bath City at Twerton Park.

Bobby Reid enjoyed the visitors’ clearest sights on goal but was left frustrated until he was brought down by City’s own Max O’Leary, in Bath colours for the night, allowing Jamie Paterson to convert from the penalty spot.

Paterson then returned the favour in turning provider for Reid to score with a rare header, while Joe Bryan completed the goal glut with City’s third just shy of the hour.

Lee Johnson’s only cause for concern on a wet night in Somerset was the first-half injury sustained by Korey Smith in a crunching tackle from former Ashton Gate team-mate Billy Murphy.

GOALLESS FIRST HALF

City started brightly. Reid, providing the closest support to young striker Freddie Hinds, drilled a low shot fractionally wide before displaying fine control and vision to send Hinds on a race he only just lost to goalkeeper O’Leary.

O’Leary is still City’s player but spent time on loan with the Romans last season and took his place in goal against the team-mates he trains with on a daily basis.

There was one early scare for returning defender Hordur Magnusson, making his first appearance of pre-season, as he was dispossessed by Nick McCootie on the byeline only for the powerful frontman to fluff his lines in shooting from a tight angle.

Meanwhile, O’Leary – one of nine City connections in the Bath squad – was again called upon when Hinds struck a curling effort from Reid’s lay-off that needed a smothering save.

City’s two starting wide men were Josh Brownhill and Paterson, who switched flanks on the half-hour.

Paterson, now on the right, thought he had set up the opening goal when he robbed Andy Watkins of possession and fizzed in a low cross that Reid should have converted, but the ball skipped up off a soaking pitch and the midfielder failed to make the right connection from close range.

Johnson had planned to use most of his starters for more than 45 minutes, but Smith was unable to make it to the interval before hobbling off after a crunching tackle from ex-City man Murphy.

On came Callum O’Dowda as Brownhill changed positions again, this time to central midfield.

Irishman O’Dowda soon made his presence felt with a clever pass through the Bath defence for Reid, who rifled a shot with ferocious power that O’Leary was alert to tip over.

THE GOALS BEGIN TO FLOW

Half-time saw just the two City changes: Aden Flint and Diego De Girolamo for Magnusson and Hinds.

A familiar pattern resumed when the visitors immediately created another chance for Reid, as O’Dowda and De Girolamo combined only for the Bristolian to skew his sidefoot volley wide at the far post.

But the goal was coming and duly arrived from the penalty spot. Brownhill’s beautifully disguised pass released Reid, who got a toe to the ball in front of the onrushing O’Leary to win a penalty at the keeper’s expense.

Up stepped Paterson to dispatch the spot-kick high to O’Leary’s right as the youngster dived the other way.

Within 60 seconds the lead was doubled. Scorer turned provider as Paterson, back on the left, stood up a delightful cross headed home by Reid from inside the six-yard box for the goal his efforts deserved.

Korey Smith
Korey Smith limped off with a foot injury

City’s goal glut was completed with a third in the space of ten minutes when Jens Hegeler strode out of defence and found left-back Bryan hurtling into the box to tuck a low shot past O’Leary, who was then substituted.

The hour mark was the cue for a quintet of City changes, as Ivan Lucic replaced the underworked Frank Fielding, while Eros Pisano, Hegeler, Bryan and Paterson were given a rest as Taylor Moore, Zak Vyner, Scott Golbourne and Joe Morrell entered the fray.

The trio of Reid, Brownhill and Marlon Pack were the last to make way as Johnson ended the game with an entirely transformed XI, but the scoring was over despite the best efforts of De Girolamo, O’Dowda and lively substitute Jonny Smith – twice denied by O’Leary’s replacement in the Bath goal.

Bristol City: Fielding (Lucic 60), Pisano (Moore 60), Hegeler (Vyner 60), Magnusson (Flint 46), Bryan (Golbourne 60), Brownhill (J.Smith 71), K.Smith (O'Dowda 39), Pack (Dowling 71), Paterson (Morrell 60), Reid (Andrews 71), Hinds (De Girolamo 46).

Attendance: 963.

EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS