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Report: Bristol City U23s 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday U23s

City Under-23s kicked-off their 2021/22 Professional Development League season with a 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Ashton Gate.

The first half saw few clear-cut opportunities, with both sides enjoying large spells of possession, but it was the Robins who looked the most threatening.

City’s high pressing from the first whistle allowed Louis Britton to break clear as early as the second minute, but his low-angle drive was straight at Brad Foster in the Wednesday goal.

Britton was again involved midway through the first period as he climbed above his marker from a corner to connect with James Morton’s floated delivery, only for his header to be off-target.

The fixture saw Antoine Semenyo named in the starting XI as he continued his return to full fitness after underdoing knee surgery in the summer.

The pacy forward got some valuable minutes and looked to enjoy being back among the action, producing some powerful runs and taking aim on a couple of opportunities, though unable to get on the scoresheet.

As the clocked ticked to 60 minutes, Semenyo made way for Ayman Benarous, with Sam Bell already switched for Tommy Conway at the break.

Tommy Conway got on the score-sheet
Ryley Towler gets stuck into the Owls

Morton continued to be influential throughout and was unlucky not to grab an assist when his corner was deflected narrowly wide following Britton’s connection.

The development group were arguably given a lifeline when the Owls broke at pace, only for the unmarked Hagan to lift his first-time shot into the Ateyo Stand.

However, this seemed to spark as response and from then it was one-way traffic with much of the game played in the Owls’ half.

Antoine Semenyo got 60 minutes as he returns to full fitness
Josh Owers on the ball

The energetic Benarous caused problems down the left flank with his first solo attack and having weaved his way into the box he squeezed a pass through to Conway, who was unable to trouble Foster with his outstretched shot.

The substitute was in the thick of the action soon after, this time beating three defenders with his quick feet and his curling shot was pushed away by the diving Foster. The keeper was then quick to his feet to claw the ball away from the onrushing Britton, in what would prove the striker’s final action as he was replaced by Dylan Kadji.

With pressure mounting, the breakthrough came in the 74th minute and deservedly so.

First Under-23s home action of the season at Ashton Gate
Tommy Conway celebrates with fellow goal-scorer Sam Pearson

Conway spread the play to Pearson and followed his pass before producing a first-time sweeping effort into the bottom corner, much to the delight of those in attendance at Ashton Gate.

City went close to doubling their advantage soon after and it was Pearson and Benarous linking up once again, as the former’s pull back dropped for the latter, with his shot whistling wide of the post.

The second goal did arrive though, and in some fashion. Benarous launched an attack down the left and crossed for Pearson at the back post, who broke away from his defender, before superbly volleying the ball into the far corner from an acute angle, wrapping up a successful season opener.

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