'Pride and futures to play for' - Pearson
Posted: Friday, April 9th 2021
Saturday, April 10th 2021
City ended their run of home defeats by earning a point in goalless draw with Nottingham Forest.
The Robins impressed in the second half particularly, but couldn’t find a way through in a game of limited opportunities.
Both sides hit the post in the first half with Henri Lansbury striking the woodwork from a free kick.
Antoine Semenyo later saw his penalty calls turned down, while former Robin Luke Freeman flashed over in stoppage time as the sides, sitting side by side in the table ahead of kick-off, shared the points.
There were four City changes from the Easter Monday defeat, with Manager Nigel Pearson handing Sam Pearson his first start. Elsewhere Tommy Rowe featured at left-back, while Kasey Palmer and Lansbury joined the midfield. Steven Sessegnon, Adrian Mariappa, Ádám Nagy and Famara Diédhiou were all named on the bench.
City produced a hardworking defensive display in a first half where Forest dominated possession. The visitors created the better of the early chances and Alex Mighten went closest to breaking the deadlock but for his shot which rattled off the post.
Forest’s pressure had been building and Bentley was grateful to see a deflected effort from Ryan Yates sail just wide before City began to make more of an impact.
Palmer saw the Robins’ first chance with a shot which deflected over but Lansbury would be denied by the woodwork. Han-Noah Massengo won a free kick in a dangerous area on the edge of the box and Lansbury struck the ball perfectly after a lay-off with Rowe but the ball smacked off the outside of the post.
City looked brighter when they came out for the second half with more energy and control in possession but only a long-range Massengo strike – the teenager seeking his first goal for the club – was their only real chance before the hour-mark.
As such, Manager Pearson looked to his bench in the 72nd minute, with strikers Tommy Conway, making his first appearance at Ashton Gate, and Diédhiou introduced for Wells and Pearson, respectively.
Still City looked a threat and arguably should have had the chance to take the lead from 12 yards when Semenyo looked to have been fouled by Joe Worrall. The City forward won back possession high up the pitch before driving into the penalty area and he tripped under the trailing leg of the Forest defender. Unfortunately for the hosts, referee Stephen Marin was not interested in the appeals.
At the other end, Dan Bentley produced a smart stop at his near post to deny Cyrus Christie, before another change saw the fresh-legged Tyreeq Bakinson replace Lansbury.
Danny Simpson would be replaced by Jack Hunt in the 82nd minute before Freeman volleyed over as City held out to earn their first point in BS3 since January.
But it was an afternoon of positives for the home side, particularly after the break, and all attentions now turn to a trip to Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday.
The scheduled 3pm kick-off will be changed as a mark of respect to avoid a clash with the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. A new kick-off time will be advised.