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Report: Bristol City U23s 1-1 Barnsley U23s

City Under-23s profited from a late own goal to earn a share of the spoils against their Barnsley counterparts at Stoke Gifford Stadium.

Jamie McAllister’s youngsters fell behind just after the hour to a powerful header from substitute Robbie McDaid, but finished the game strongly and deservedly levelled when Lloyd Kelly’s teasing cross was turned into his own net by Julio Rodriguez.

Neither keeper would have to make a notable save in the early stages, though Jake Andrews eyed up the top corner from the edge of the box with a curling shot that had Jack Walton beaten but just sailed wide.

Barnsley were indebted to their stopper when he pulled off a stunning save to deny James Difford after 28 minutes.

Joe Morrell’s burst from midfield created the opening, slipping the ball through for Difford to bear down on goal and shoot high, but Walton stretched out a fingertip to send the chance behind for a corner.

City created the better chances throughout and were only a crossbar’s width away from a half-time lead, as Joe McNulty’s low corner straight off the training ground was hammered against the bar by Andrews from 15 yards.

The Tykes did provide a scare soon after the interval when Jared Bird’s 25-yard drive bounced awkwardly in front of Jojo Wollacott, who did well to push the ball to safety.

The visitors cashed in on their best spell with the opening goal on 62 minutes, as McDaid connected sweetly with a cross from the right to bury a downward header past Wollacott.

Substitutes Cameron Pring and Opi Edwards did their bit to wrestle the momentum back in City’s favour, with Edwards’ pace a particular threat to the Barnsley defence.

Connor Lemonheigh-Evans tried his luck with a left-footed shot that veered wide, before Kelly’s delivery that curled towards goal required emergency action from Rodriguez, who contrived to beat Walton with a diving header that left his keeper no chance.

From that moment Barnsley were hanging on. Edwards crossed to Morrell, whose glancing header bounced only inches wide, before Lemonheigh-Evans forced another save from Walton with a vicious shot from distance.

Bristol City Under-23s: Wollacott, Harris, Lyons-Foster, Challis, Kelly, Andrews, Morrell, McNulty, Lemonheigh-Evans, Omofe (Pring 59), Difford (Edwards 68). Subs not used: Easterbrook, Baldwin, Moss.

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