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Report: Hengrove Athletic 0-7 Bristol City

A record Community Match crowd witnessed Lee Tomlin’s brace of wonder-goals as City ran out 7-0 victors over Hengrove Athletic at Norton Lane.

Tomlin, fresh from signing permanently at Ashton Gate on a three-year contract, took just eight minutes to wow the 1,693 crowd with two superb goals.

City already led 4-0 at the break thanks to strikes from Marlon Pack, Aden Flint, Josh Brownhill and Kieran Agard. Jonny Smith, a summer recruit from Wrexham, completed the rout five minutes from the end.

Most importantly the annual pre-season fixture – now in its fourth term - was attended by supporters young and old, and helped to raise thousands of pounds for hosts Hengrove and City’s own Community Trust.

Lee Johnson named two trialists in his team; one a goalkeeper and the other in attack. He also started with 2014/15 top scorer Aaron Wilbraham in central defence – albeit just to give others a chance up front.

Hengrove could have scored after just four minutes when Matt Durbin glanced a headed effort wide from a free kick, but in truth it proved their only real opportunity of the game.

From the moment Pack struck the opener, on 15 minutes, City never looked back. The midfielder gave goalkeeper Tom Kington no chance with a delicious outside-of-the-foot finish from 18 yards.

Freeman had teed up Pack for the deadlock-breaker and it was also his cross that Flint rose to powerfully head home ten minutes later.

Summer signing Brownhill added a third with a relatively simple side-foot finish after a superb jinking run and pass from that man Freeman again, as the latter racked up a hat-trick of assists.

And the former Stevenage man wasn’t finished, lofting the ball over the top of the defence on the stroke of half-time to allow Agard to slot in from an acute angle.

Johnson opted to field a completely different XI after the break, introducing Tomlin, Jonathan Kodjia and Arnold Garita to the attack.

Just four minutes of the second period had passed when Tomlin was tripped outside the box, and he stepped up to curl a brilliant free kick into the top corner for the visitors' fifth.

If that got the crowd’s attention, his second and City’s sixth soon after proved the pick of the bunch. From 30 yards Tomlin this time curled an audacious shot towards the far top corner and watched as the ball found its target.

The last goal wasn’t bad either. Smith, fresh off the bench for the final nine minutes, dropped his shoulder and whipped the ball in with aplomb from 18 yards.

At the final whistle fans ran on to the pitch to gather photos and autographs with their City heroes. For Hengrove, the game and the funds raised from it will aid their profile and their future plans for years to come.

City: Trialist (O'Donnell 46), Little (Ayling 46), Flint (Vyner 46), Wilbraham (Williams 46), Bryan (Kelly 36 (Golbourne 46)), Burns (O'Neil 46 (Dowling 86)), Pack (Reid 46), Brownhill (De Girolamo 46), Freeman (Tomlin 46), Agard (Kodjia 46 (Smith 81)), Trialist (Garita 46).

Attendance: 1,693.

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