- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, January 16th 2021
- Ashton Gate
|Preston North End||0|
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 2-0 Preston North End
Saturday, January 16th 2021
Academy graduate Zak Vyner scored his first Bristol City goal in a memorable win over Preston North End at Ashton Gate.
Vyner capped his first start as a central midfielder with a second-half goal to help earn City their first win over the Lilywhites in 15 previous attempts.
In fact it was 11 years to the day since City’s last home win over Preston and they were on course to end that run when Famara Diédhiou headed the Robins into an early lead.
Preston were kept at an arm’s length for much of the game but posed more questions after the break, that was until Vyner’s scuffed strike doubled City’s lead with 12 minutes remaining.
It’s a result which ensured back-to-back wins in 2021, after last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup victory, and lifts Dean Holden’s men to ninth in the Sky Bet Championship.
The head coach named three changes as his side returned to Sky Bet Championship action, a week on from their FA Cup progress. Kasey Palmer started on his return from a loan spell at Swansea City, replacing Antoine Semenyo who withdrew on Saturday morning for personal reasons. Jack Hunt and Vyner came back into the starting line-up in place of Tyreeq Bakinson and Adrian Mariappa, respectively.
Palmer added some early sparkle in a positive start from City and the midfielder tried to pick out top right corner but the ball fizzed narrowly off target in City’s first attempt.
It was almost the perfect return to the Ashton Gate pitch for KP45 but City had been good value early doors and got the upper hand as quick as the eighth minute!
Diédhiou grabbed his second goal in as many games after the Robins had threatened with a couple of corners and the striker met Tommy Rowe’s delivery with a header which sent the ball glancing beyond Preston’s new signing Daniel Iversen.
City had been strong, intelligent and their game deserved more but for Palmer – playing like a man in form - striking another effort just over, while Iversen tipped over a shot from Diédhiou, who had turned Fisher inside and out to work an effort on to his right boot.
Preston were nullified to little but half-chances as the first 45 minutes progressed, with Dan Bentley saving comfortably from a Scott Sinclair shot, before the former Manchester City striker blazed over a minute later.
The Robins had opened the scoring through a corner, and the visitors nearly equalised as a result from one of their own. Paul Huntington leapt to head goalwards as North End looked a tougher opponent with their press in the second half, but his header clipped the bar on its way over.
Preston asked a lot more of City in this half with the Robins spending more of the play inside their own half, but Alex Neil’s men struggled to find a way through a resolute defensive shape.
Palmer earned a deserved rest when he was replaced by Han-Noah Massengo in the 70th minute, Holden’s first change of the afternoon after Preston changed shape to try and match the home side.
City had endured the away side’s threat but had Neil’s men back on their toes with Iversen quick to thwart Martin and Massengo.
But with City back in control, the second goal soon came. A corner was headed away only as far as Hunt, whose delivery back into the mix was cushioned into Vyner’s path. He latched on to the loose ball and while his shot was scuffed, he wouldn’t care as the ball spun away from the goalkeeper and into the left corner of the goal.
Diédhiou soon made way for Nahki Wells, followed by a final change when Bakinson replaced Hakeeb Adelakun inside the last few minutes as City worked tirelessly to see out the win.
Up next for the Robins is a trip to Carrow Road where they face Norwich City on Wednesday evening (January 20th, 6pm KO), live on Robins TV. to Season Card holders.
- Diédhiou (8') , Vyner (77')
- Hakeeb Adelakun, Kasey Palmer, Famara Diédhiou
Preston North End
- Darnell Fisher, Tom Barkhuizen, Benjamin Whiteman, Daniel Johnson, Sean Maguire