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Report: Bristol City 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday

City stopped the rot to halt a club record losing streak in torrential rain at Ashton Gate.

Twice coming from behind, Lee Johnson’s men showed no shortage of self-belief to salvage a point from a game they might even have won against last season’s Sky Bet Championship play-off finalists.

Goals from Fernando Forestieri and Ross Wallace twice had the Owls in charge, but equalisers in each half through Lee Tomlin’s penalty and Tammy Abraham ensured City’s run of successive league defeats would go no further than eight.

Johnson made three changes to his side who exited the Emirates FA Cup at the hands of Burnley on Saturday, including a first league start of 2017 for Tomlin.

Elsewhere, Abraham was predictably recalled up front at the expense of Milan Djuric, while Mark Little returned from injury to reclaim the right-back berth.

Starting the game on the right flank, Tomlin was keen to make an impression early on.

There was clearly nothing wrong with his confidence, spotting goalkeeper Keiren Westwood off his line and attempting an audacious chip from 40 yards that sailed past the post.

Moments later he was popping up on the left, cleverly disguising a lofted ball in behind the defence that was flicked on by Josh Brownhill to Abraham.

When the striker’s shot was blocked the ball ran loose to Brownhill, whose left-footed effort from eight yards somehow struck the inside of the post and stayed out. Alas, the offside flag was up in any case.

At the other end, home debutant Fabian Giefer remained untested until having to pick the ball out of his net after 17 minutes.

Midfield schemer Barry Bannan spotted the run of Adam Reach, who sneaked in behind the City backline and had time to help the bouncing ball across goal for Forestieri, who stabbed home just in front of Giefer as the German keeper took a painful blow for his troubles.

There was further cause for concern when more crosses followed, as Wednesday began to find space in wide areas.

City skipper Bailey Wright got an important head to one delivery with Wallace waiting to pounce behind him, before the Australian again found himself in the right place to block David Jones’ goalbound volley.

City needed a spark and Tomlin provided it. Fed by a clever pass from Scott Golbourne, the maverick number ten turned sharply to free himself in the box and sidestepped Tom Lees only to be tripped by the defender.

When referee Oliver Langford pointed to the spot, there was no doubt who would be stepping up.

Tomlin, who crucially struck the post in the reverse fixture at Hillsborough, duly rifled the penalty into the roof of the net to level the scores.

Suddenly City were playing with confidence. When Abraham was brought down by Glenn Loovens, the Dutchman went into the book and Tomlin lifted the resulting free kick over the crossbar.

Abraham was in the wars again when Lees caught him in the chest with his studs – unintentional but certainly dangerous, and the Wednesday man was lucky to escape with a yellow card.

City’s leading scorer found himself in prime position to move on to 19 goals for the season at the start of the second half.

Receiving the ball from Callum O’Dowda with his back to goal on the edge of the box, Abraham expertly turned his man to go eye to eye with Westwood, only to blaze his shot over the top.

A matter of seconds later, City were behind again. Jens Hegeler’s square pass was picked off by Bannan, who slipped the ball to his left for Wallace to run through and score with a well-placed finish. All too easy.

City still carried a goal threat and Hegeler immediately set about making amends when he danced around Westwood only to see his shot miraculously blocked on the line by covering defender Morgan Fox.

Johnson looked to his bench for the first time with 20 minutes left, as Djuric replaced O’Dowda and City switched to a front two.

His team had just been awarded a corner and understandably the head coach wanted the towering Bosnian on before it was taken.

When Brownhill’s ensuing delivery was aimed towards Djuric, the ball was glanced on by Aden Flint and retrieved on the far side by centre-back partner Wright.

Playing as an emergency winger, Wright’s cross dropped to Bryan 20 yards from goal, who had a go on his right foot and saw his shot deflect in off Abraham, who wheeled away to claim it.

Tomlin’s influenced had waned since the interval and he departed to a hero’s ovation with nine minutes left to be replaced by Gary O’Neil.

Neither team looked particularly content to share the spoils, but for once there was to be no late drama at Ashton Gate and City at last claimed their 28th point of the season

 

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