- English Football League - Championship
- Wednesday, July 8th 2020
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 2-1 Hull City
Wednesday, July 8th 2020
Dean Holden guided the Robins to their first win in ten games with Jamie Paterson’s showpiece free kick helping them to a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Hull City.
The midfielder set up the opener in style, with his cushioned pass having the perfect amount of weight to find Famara Diédhiou, who set himself before firing City into the lead from close range.
Paterson’s free kick shortly into the second half was exquisite, with George Long helpless to prevent the ball from crossing the line after it crashed off the bar.
But the Tigers, who are battling to avoid the drop to League One with few games remaining, had fight in them and halved the deficit through skipper Jordy de Wijs’ header on the hour mark.
Bar a couple of Dan Bentley saves, Hull offered little threat as City did enough to see out the result and get back to winning ways; this their first points recorded since the season's resumption.
City made three changes as Holden opted for a tactical shift in his first match in charge. Jack Hunt, Filip Benković and Paterson all started against the Tigers, with Zak Vyner, Ádám Nagy and Callum O’Dowda all named on the bench. Armed with his 13 assists in all competitions so far, Niclas Eliasson returned to the matchday squad as one of the nine substitutes, having returned from injury.
However, it was a stop-start opening exchange as injuries impacted the rhythm of the match. It wouldn’t be long before Vyner was on the field with City forced into a very early change and it was Baker who was the man to walk gingerly off the field as a result of a clash of heads with Mallik Wilks. That was inside the first minute and Vyner was introduced to slot into the right side of a back three.
Tigers captain de Wijs was the next to need medical assistance when he fell to ground in the mix of a Paterson corner. The game stopped for another few minutes but the defender was soon back on his feet and allowed to continue.
It was a first half of limited opportunities, but Hull threatened the most. Jon Toral’s sliding pass opened a chance but Tomas Kalas got his head in to block James Scott’s shot which appeared goal bound, before more Tigers pressure resulted in another wasted effort from Scott.
City would make them pay though when Andreas Weimann spotted Jack Hunt overlapping down the right. His cross into the box was only headed as far as Paterson who volleyed a pass expertly into the path of Diédhiou, and the striker calmly slotted the ball beyond George Long.
That was City top scorer Diédhiou’s 13th goal of the season and the team’s second since the restart.
It gave Holden’s side a much-needed boost and appeared to have the Tigers back in their cage. The hosts came forward at the start of the second half and Wells was denied doubling their lead when Long stood firm to save.
But the Hull keeper could do nothing to pick out Paterson’s free kick moments later when Diédhiou was fouled 25 yards from goal. Paterson, who set up the opener, stood over the set piece and unleashed his effort beyond Long via the underside of the crossbar…the keeper really had no chance of keeping that one out!
But like the Robins, Grant McCann’s men have something to play for as well and they fought back shortly after to reduce the scoreline. Reece Burke would head over but it was his centre-back partner De Wijs whose header from close range moments later had the beating of Bentley, as he guided the ball on its way from a George Honeyman free kick.
It was a reminder that this wouldn’t be a runaway victory for Holden’s outfit and Hull threatened again when Mallik Wilks received the ball from Tom Eaves’ knockdown, but Bentley made the diving save.
A double change soon followed with Nahki Wells and Weimann replaced by the fresh legs of Benik Afobe and Nagy. Afobe’s last goals for the club came in the 3-1 win at the KCOM earlier in the season.
He wouldn’t be able to find the net tonight, though Josh Bowler nearly did at the other end but for smart reflexes from Bentley.
Marley Watkins came off the bench in added time with Diédhiou, a sure contender for Man of the Match, allowed an early rest and City held on to hear the full-time whistle ring out and confirm the three points.
The result leaves City 12th in the Sky Bet Championship standings, with a trip to Middlesbrough next up on Saturday (July 11th, 3pm KO).
- Diédhiou (41') , Paterson (53')
- Nathan Baker, Andreas Weimann, Nahki Wells, Famara Diédhiou
- de Wijs (60')
- James Scott, Jon Toral, Josh Magennis