Video: Cotterill Perplexed By Burnley Defeat
Posted: Saturday, August 29th 2015
Saturday, August 29th 2015
Bristol City were undone by two headers from corners taken in the space of seven first-half minutes against Burnley at Ashton Gate.
Despite dominating much of the first half, the hosts fell behind when Ben Mee converted David Jones’ left-wing delivery after 34 minutes.
Michael Keane doubled the visitors’ advantage in similar circumstances before the interval, while Jonathan Kodjia's stoppage-time consolation proved too late to make a difference.
Steve Cotterill named an unchanged starting line-up following City’s first win of the season at Middlesbrough last time out.
The only alteration saw just six substitutes named on the bench, with Cotterill announcing before kick-off that summer recruit Ryan Fredericks would be returning to a London club on a permanent basis due to personal reasons.
Funnily enough it was the non-arrival of Burnley striker Andre Gray that served to stoke the fire, with the former City target very much public enemy number one inside Ashton Gate.
With the mere presence of the Clarets number seven raising the decibels, City set about giving their supporters even more to get excited about against a side relegated from the Premier League last season.
Bobby Reid’s sharp one-two with Aaron Wilbraham created an early shooting chance from which Michael Duff threw his body on the line to make a crucial block, before Aden Flint headed over from a Marlon Pack corner.
Reid was a bright spark, filling the void vacated by Luke Freeman, serving the last of his three-match ban following his red card against Brentford a fortnight ago.
It was the Bristolian who got a timely toe to the ball to prod it through to Kodjia on 21 minutes.
With the Frenchman bearing down on goal, his first touch took him slightly wide before he checked inside and saw a left-footed shot blocked by covering defender Michael Keane with Wilbraham well placed in support.
Cotterill’s men were becoming more and more dominant with each passing minute. Reid was involved again in crossing twice for Flint to head straight at Tom Heaton either side of a skidding drive from 25 yards pushed around the post by the former City number one.
Heaton was called upon to make a similar save again from Kodjia, whose strike along the turf was fierce, but by that time City had already been caught by a sucker punch.
Set-piece specialist David Jones delivered the first of two wicked first-half corners on to the head of defender Mee, who to his credit guided it superbly beyond the despairing dive of Ben Hamer from ten yards.
Six minutes later Jones was at it from the other side, this time curling the ball in towards Hamer with his left foot for prolific defender Keane to nod home his third goal in five games already this term.
It was harsh on the hosts, who had bossed the match in open play, but another reminder of the cut-throat nature of Championship football.
The lively Kodjia jinked into the box on the stroke of half-time only to run into a sprawling Heaton, who dived bravely at the striker’s feet to preserve his team’s two-goal lead at the interval.
It would prove City’s last opportunity to halve the deficit until after the hour mark, with Burnley suddenly a much tougher unit to breakdown.
There was a sight of goal for Wilbraham when he evaded two defenders on the edge of the box before his eventual shot had the sting taken out of it by Mee.
City needed a spark from somewhere and Derrick Williams was inches away from providing it on 69 minutes.
Joe Bryan’s lay-off tempted the defender to try his luck from 30 yards with a stunning strike that rattled Heaton’s left-hand post and deserved better.
But it was an isolated opening of a frustrating second half in which Burnley were effective in stifling City’s attempts to raise the tempo.
Flint sent two more headers goalwards in the closing stages but saw Heaton in fine form diving to his left before a more difficult chance eluded the target.
There was still time for Kodjia to bundle home Korey Smith's cross, but by that point the four added minutes were already up.
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