- English Football League - Championship
- Sunday, April 25th 2021
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 2-3 Luton Town
Sunday, April 25th 2021
City conceded their first-half lead as Luton Town battled back to steal a 3-2 win at Ashton Gate.
It would be a game of two halves with City largely the better side in the first 45 minutes, with deserved goals through Nahki Wells and Ádám Nagy.
City were on course to end their winless run but the Hatters were a different side after the break and Nathan Jones’ men were level through James Collins’ near-post header and a clipped finish from Elijah Adebayo, whose equaliser kissed the post.
But things got worse for the Robins soon after a handful of changes as Harry Cornick fired past Dan Bentley from close range. Tommy Conway thought he had pulled City level though he saw his close-range effort ruled out for offside.
Conway made his full Bristol City debut as Nigel Pearson selected the young striker to start against Luton Town at Ashton Gate. He came into the side ahead of Famara Diédhiou (knee injury), who was the only change from Wednesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers. Nathan Baker was named on the bench as he looked for his first minutes of the season.
Luton thought they had scored early into the game via a corner but Ryan Tunnicliffe was judged to have fouled Bentley meaning the goal wouldn’t stand after the ball crossed the line.
City soon grew into the game under the BS3 sunshine and looked bright themselves going forward. Conway was proving himself a menace but City’s first sight of goal came inside the 20th minute when Nahki Wells dragged a shot wide after a good spell for the hosts.
The forward was put through minutes later too, after Steven Sessegnon’s clipped pass over the top. Wells just managed to get on to the ball as he tried to loft the ball over Simon Sluga but the Luton keeper blocked the attempt with his face.
It was an entertaining opening half an hour though and the action soon returned up the other end of the pith, this time Jordan Clark received the ball to feet and managed to turn and shoot across the face of goal, though fortunately Bentley was able to see the ball fizz wide.
But inside the 31st minute City took a deserved lead. All credit will go to Nagy who received the ball just inside the opposition half, turning away from two Luton players before driving forward and finding Wells to his right. The striker needed one touch to set himself before burying the ball left of Sluga.
And by the 38th minute it was 2-0. Lansbury’s free kick was lofted into Kalas who cushioned the ball for Wells but his header was saved. Unfortunately for Luton, the keeper could only palm the ball into Nagy’s path who tucked home the rebound to give City a fairly comfortable half-time lead.
That was a lead almost halved when a Cornick throw picked out the head of Collins but his effort was blocked.
But the Luton striker made no mistake as the game approached the hour as he arrived to meet Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s corner. His movement allowed him to run unmarked at the near-post where he glances the ball past Bentley from a tight angle.
The equaliser soon came after Luton played out from back with City set up in a 4-4-2 shape off the ball but the visitors were going for it. Dewsbury-Hall was again involved, grabbing his second assist when his clipped ball into the box picked out Adebayo who was unmarked to tap the ball in off the post.
The fightback led to a quadruple change from Pearson as he introduced Antoine Semenyo, Alex Scott, Jack Hunt and Baker to replace Wells, Lansbury, Tommy Rowe and Nagy, respectively. It meant another debut for midfielder Scott whose development has continued with the Under-23s and the Under-18s’ FA Youth Cup run this season.
However, the subs had little time to impact the game before Luton took the lead for the first time. From a defensive point of view, questions will be asked again as Cornick was allowed too much freedom. It was Dewsbury-Hall who look to score from range but his shot was turned into Cornick’s path by the boot of Kalas and Luton’s number seven fired the ball past Bentley, despite the keeper’s best efforts.
Saikou Janneh’s introduction for Tyreeq Bakinson would be the final roll of the dice though it was fellow youngster Conway who thought he had pulled City level late on. The Robins forced a corner and Baker’s connection allowed Conway to try to stab the ball over the line, but the offside flag was raised on the far side to cut his celebrations short.
The full-time whistle soon followed to confirm City’s defeat as preparations now turn to Millwall next Saturday (May 1st, 3pm KO).
- Wells (31') , Nagy (38')
- Tommy Rowe, Henri Lansbury, Tyreeq Bakinson, Ádám Nagy, Nahki Wells
- Collins (59') , Adebayo (68') , Cornick (74')
- Jordan Clark, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Kazenga LuaLua, Elijah Adebayo