- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, December 26th 2020
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers
Saturday, December 26th 2020
Famara Diédhiou returned from suspension to strike a Boxing Day beauty as City beat Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 at Ashton Gate.
Chris Martin had nodded City into a deserved half-time lead with his third goal of the season in all competitions, before Wycombe fought back through a deflected shot from Garath McCleary.
Dean Holden would have to manage the game with injuries forcing Zak Vyner and Callum O’Dowda off – both having impressive games – but his substitutes in Opi Edwards and Diédhiou linked up for the latter’s thunderbolt of a winner late in the game.
That would be his third late winner of the campaign, following goals against Derby County and Blackburn Rovers, with his impact this time returning City to winning ways as the Robins go one point off the play-offs.
City started the game with the same XI which finished at Deepdale last time out. It was a squad which pushed Preston North End and Holden would have expected the same attacking and energetic second-half display for the Boxing Day fixture against Wycombe Wanderers. Diédhiou was available for selection having served his suspension and the striker was named on the bench.
It took City a while to find their attacking intent, wary of Wycombe’s counter-attacking threat. For the hosts, it was the final ball or touch which was lacking quality in the early exchanges but overall Holden watched his side start brightly.
An injury scare for Jack Hunt paused play but the right-back was able to continue and City soon began to put the visitors on the backfoot.
There had been some promise from the wide areas and it was through O’Dowda that City broke the deadlock. Tyreeq Bakinson’s beautifully-weighted first-time pass found Tommy Rowe, who unlocked O’Dowda down the left-hand side. The Republic of Ireland international chipped his cross towards the backpost and Martin was on hand to guide the ball over the line.
It set the tone as City turned on their attacking style but Antoine Semenyo saw a shot blocked, while Martin blazed over as the home side pursued a second goal.
Holden’s men started the second half on the frontfoot too, and Wells had a great chance to double City’s advantage within the first minute. Semenyo showed his skills to get away from danger and unleash Wells on goal but the striker’s low effort was dragged wide.
O’Dowda then produced a fierce cross which was palmed away by Ryan Allsop into the body of Vyner who couldn’t react quickly enough, before the Chair Boys could clear.
Vyner, who alongside Tomas Kalas had been a rock at the back all afternoon, was forced off through injury, with Adrian Mariappa introduced in his place.
But Wycombe weren’t giving up and forced an equaliser, with Mariappa at the centre of it. The former Watford defender blocked an initial shot from Josh Knight but there was carnage in the box as the visitors knocked at the door. The ball came back to McCleary and as Mariappa went to block the shot, the ball unfortunately deflected off him past the helpless Dan Bentley.
Holden soon looked to his bench again with Diédhiou brought on to replace Wells, before injury to O’Dowda meant he would be replaced by youngster Edwards.
The duo played their role in City’s press for a winner with Diédhiou almost grabbing an assist when he slid in Semenyo who fired wide, but there was no mistake a minute later!
Martin was involved with a clipped cross which Wycombe could only clear as far as Edwards, whose touch just left the ball waiting for the arriving Diédhiou, who powered the ball into the net on the half-volley…Allsop stood no chance!
The Robins had to defend at the death but did so to see out the three points ahead of a trip to Luton Town on Tuesday night (December 29th, 7.45pm KO), live on Robins TV.
- Martin (23') , Diédhiou (87')
- Zak Vyner, Callum O'Dowda, Nahki Wells
- McCleary (68')
- Curtis Thompson, Fred Onyedinma