Banner image

Report: Middlesbrough 0-1 Bristol City

City upset the bookmakers with a gutsy performance on Teesside to register their first win of the new season against one of the Sky Bet Championship title favourites.

Last season’s play-off finalists were unable to cancel out Joe Bryan’s brilliant ninth minute goal as Ben Hamer produced a stunning display of goalkeeping to keep a hard-earned clean sheet.

Steve Cotterill’s team selection saw Mark Little make his first competitive appearance since April, having endured a difficult summer recovering from a dislocated shoulder.

Elsewhere, Bobby Reid was rewarded for his cameo role off the bench against Leeds United in midweek with a first start of the season in place of Callum Robinson, who joined fellow new recruit Ryan Fredericks among the substitutes.

Middlesbrough, unbeaten at home since February, were understandably confident and started quickly.

Former England international Stewart Downing threatened to score his first goal since returning to his boyhood club with a low shot dragged harmlessly wide from 25 yards.

But instead it was City who went in front with a well-worked opener superbly finished by Bryan.

Reid’s low cross into the feet of Aaron Wilbraham was laid off neatly for the wing-back to dispatch with an inch-perfect first-time shot on his right foot that left Dimi Konstantopoulos helpless in the Middlesbrough goal.

The Boro response was not slow in coming, as central defender Daniel Ayala strode forward and let fly with a fierce drive deflected behind.

The hosts had the ball in the net from the resulting corner after Hamer lost it in the air, but a high foot on Marlon Pack ensured the celebrations were cut short.

Hamer soon had to stoop to his left to smother Yanic Wildschut’s tame effort, before Reid spurned a golden chance to make it 2-0.

The lively Jonathan Kodjia escaped down the right flank and pulled the ball square for Wilbraham, who should have scored himself in being denied by Konstantopoulos before Reid sent the rebound into orbit with a wild swipe from four yards when perhaps Bryan was better placed to score.

Boro would continue to press but City looked every bit as threatening as a counter-attacking force, utilising Kodjia’s pace to good effect.

There were further chances for the visitors inside the first half hour as the Frenchman burst through and shot with power only to force a fine save from Konstantopoulos, before Aden Flint headed Marlon Pack’s corner just wide.

The home side were desperate to draw level before the interval, with Downing biding his time and checking on to his right foot before pulling another low shot past the post.

Then Hamer had to be on his toes to deal with Emilio Nsue’s intended cross that needed an acrobatic tip over from the City keeper.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka wasted no time in introducing Diego Fabbrini at half-time, while former City favourite Albert Adomah continued to watch on from the bench.

Slowly but surely the hosts would start to turn the screw. The increasingly busy Hamer was brave in preventing another Nsue cross from running across the six-yard box before making a hat-trick of miraculous stops in quick succession.

By now a more influential figure having switched wings, Downing delivered across goal for what looked a certain equaliser only for the on-loan Leicester City stopper to make a point-blank save he could not have known much about.

But that was only the start of Hamer’s heroics. An outstanding left-handed save kept Ayala’s downward header at bay before skipper Grant Leadbitter was denied by the same fingertips when his low shot was destined for the bottom corner.

A more routine save prevented David Nugent’s drive creeping inside the near post as the game entered its final 15 minutes.

City forays forward were becoming understandably rare but Bryan kept Konstantopoulos involved with a daisy-cutter from 20 yards.

At the other end, having survived a brief onslaught midway through the second half, Hamer was not called upon again as Ayala headed wide from Boro’s best chance of a nervy finale.

Report by Mark Perrow

Latest News

📝 Match report: Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Bristol City

📝 Match report: Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Bristol City

Posted: Tuesday, July 27th 2021

📝 Match report: Exeter City 0-4 Bristol City

📝 Match report: Exeter City 0-4 Bristol City

Posted: Tuesday, July 27th 2021

✍️  Powell arrives in the West Country

✍️ Powell arrives in the West Country

Posted: Tuesday, July 27th 2021

MansionBet Match Preview: Exeter City (A)

MansionBet Match Preview: Exeter City (A)

Posted: Monday, July 26th 2021

Also from Bristol Sport

Farewell to departing players
Rugby icon

Farewell to departing players

Bristol Bears Women can confirm the departure of seven players this summer.

Posted: Tuesday, July 27th 2021 • Rugby

Sinckler set for second Springboks Test
Rugby icon

Sinckler set for second Springboks Test

Kyle Sinckler has retained his place in the British & Irish Lions squad for the second Test in Cape Town on Saturday.

Posted: Tuesday, July 27th 2021 • Rugby

 Bristol Sport Appoints Ben Latty As Group Commercial Director
Football icon

Bristol Sport Appoints Ben Latty As Group Commercial Director

Bristol Sport is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Latty as Group Commercial Director.

Posted: Tuesday, July 27th 2021 • Football

Gallery: pool recovery at The Downs School
Rugby icon

Gallery: pool recovery at The Downs School

Bristol Bears continued their pre-season campaign with a pool recovery session at The Downs School, Wraxall.

Posted: Monday, July 26th 2021 • Rugby

Sinckler's Lions storm to first Test victory
Rugby icon

Sinckler's Lions storm to first Test victory

Luke Cowan-Dickie’s try and Dan Biggar’s boot helped The British & Irish Lions stage a stunning second-half comeback to beat the Springboks in the first Test.

Posted: Monday, July 26th 2021 • Rugby