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Report: Bristol City U23s 1-0 Charlton Athletic U23s

Sam Pearson’s brilliant strike was enough as City Under-23s claimed their first win of 2019, as they beat Charlton Athletic 1-0 on Friday (January 11th) night.

On the back of being named on the bench for City’s FA Cup win against Huddersfield last Saturday, the 17-year-old scored the game’s only goal in the second half.

Under the lights at Weston-super-Mare’s Woodspring Stadium, City had a few chances to improve the scoreline, but were unable to find a way past the Charlton goalkeeper for a second goal.

The away side would end the game with only ten men, with Toby Stevenson receiving a second yellow card late on.

After last Monday’s defeat to Ipswich, Luke Williams' side were looking for their first victory of the new year. They started off the brighter side too, as Pearson stretched the Charlton backline with a couple of bursting runs.

The first sight of goal would fall to the away side, however as Wilberforce Ocran met Jamie Mascoll’s cross, but the shot didn’t trouble Aaron Sainsbury.

That chance seemed to spark City into life, as they would have the ball in the back of the net moments later. Ricardo Rees put the ball beyond the goalkeeper, but the linesman had adjudged him to have been offside.

Pearson again looked to stretch the Charlton defence. He beat a number of defenders with a great piece of skill, before breaking into the area but he couldn’t find a way beyond the crowd of defenders as his shot was blocked.

The away side would then come within inches of an opener. Seemingly unmarked in the area, Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu headed the ball beyond Sainsbury in the City goal, but saw his effort come back off the post.

As the first half continued, City would have a couple of half-chances before the break. Rees’ free kick forced the goalkeeper into a smart save, before Jamie Taylor went narrowly close with an ambitious long-range volley.

City started the second half on the front foot and took the lead within five minutes of the game’s restart. From a throw-in, Pearson found Rees, who gave the ball back to Pearson. The youngster took a touch to set himself, then fired emphatically across goal, giving the Charlton goalkeeper no chance with his effort.

Zac Smith almost made it 2-0 in as many minutes but his shot on goal curled just wide of the post.

The game’s second half didn’t see many chances for either side but Sarpong-Wiredu thought he had given Charlton a late equaliser, as he headed in from a corner. The goal was not given, however, as the ball had gone out of play, before coming back in.

And with the game virtually over, Charlton were reduced to ten men. After receiving first yellow card in the first half, Stevenson saw red in the aftermath of a couple of challenges from both sides.

City Under-23s return to action on Friday (January 18th), as they host their Aston Villa counterparts in the Premier League Cup.

City Under-23s v Charlton Athletic U23s: Sainsbury, Turner-Williams, C.Pearson, Owers (Benarous), Low, Ali, S.Pearson, Jamie Taylor, Rees, Z.Smith (Bell), Harper. Unused subs: L.Smith, James Taylor.

Words: Ryan Payne

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