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Robins rewind: 2014/15 season review part eight

In the penultimate part of the memorable 2014/15 campaign retold, City continue their push towards promotion and a trip to Wembley.

The month of March started with three away games in a row in which City recorded the maximum nine points.

The first came away to Leyton Orient in a 3-1 score thanks to goals from Luke Freeman, Aden Flint and Aaron Wilbraham all after Chris Dagnall had put the hosts into an early lead.

Next up were Crawley Town and just as he was in the reverse fixture at Ashton Gate back in December, Luke Ayling was the hero with a dramatic goal in the closing stages to finally see off the relegation-threatened Red Devils.

Aden Flint’s fourth goal in his last six games set City on their way early in the second half after a first period best described as a difficult watch.

But Anthony Wordsworth dispatched a fine equaliser on the half-volley totally against the run of play to haul a physical home team level 12 minutes later.

 

A trip to Yeovil Town followed where the Robins were unchanged in their pursuit for a third straight victory on the road.

And they did just that in an evening which saw City move 13 points clear at the top of Sky Bet League One.

Kieran Agard and Freeman struck in quick succession at the start of the second half before George Saville added gloss to the scoreline with a well-taken third goal four minutes from time.

 

City returned to Ashton Gate in a goalless draw with Gillingham, in the fifth meeting between these two teams in all competitions this season.

But it was a different story when a dominant Bristol City display was rewarded with a comfortable return to winning ways against Crewe Alexandra at Ashton Gate.

The Sky Bet League One leaders were never tested from start to finish, scoring twice in the space of 11 first-half minutes to pave the way for a 45-minute precession after the break.

Wilbraham and Flint did the damage before Jay Emmanuel-Thomas sauntered through a sea of bodies to score a quite brilliant solo goal six minutes from time.

 

THE JPT FINAL

Forty-thousand Bristolians witnessed City create history by becoming the first club to lift the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for a third time.

Defenders Aden Flint and Mark Little scored either side of half-time to ensure City’s name was on the trophy for a third time under three different competition names.

A first win at the new Wembley followed success at the old stadium in the Freight Rover Trophy in 1986 and the LDV Vans Trophy triumph of 2003 in Cardiff.

City looked the brighter team from kick-off and played with energy. Little and Joe Bryan typically clocked up the miles down the flanks and Agard stretched the Walsall back four at every opportunity.

Freeman has been the division’s most potent provider and was keen to put goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell under pressure from the start with a couple of corners swinging in just under the crossbar.

When one was helped on its way for another set-piece on the opposite side, it was Marlon Pack who delivered on to the head of room-mate Flint, who powered a downward header into the bottom corner from six yards with O’Donnell helpless.

The underdogs responded well to the early setback. Jordan Cook headed over when Andy Taylor’s cross arrived just fractionally behind him before City had a succession of corners to defend but the Robins were do
ing a good job of keeping the Sadders at arm’s length, with the Midlands club not lacking motivation themselves on their first ever Wembley appearance.

City were controlling possession too and finally added some breathing space with the second goal. 
Freeman was patient, biding his time down by the corner flag and shaping to cross on more than one occasion before finally delivering with his right foot towards the back post and the onrushing Little.

The defender’s initial header was saved at point-blank range by O’Donnell before Little’s right knee nudged the ball into the net in front of a sea of red and white behind the Walsall goal.
The Robins survived a huge let off later but in truth they didn't look like crumbling under the pressure. Part one of the Double was complete.

After all the excitement of the day out at Wembley and another trophy added to the cabinet, City returned to league action where they were held to a 2-2 draw with Lee Johnson's Barnsley.

Marlon Pack’s 13th minute penalty looked to have set City on their way for a comfortable day’s work, but Jabo Ibehre struck a timely equaliser just before the interval to give the Tykes a foothold in the contest.

Josh Scowen silenced Ashton Gate by putting the visitors in front eight minutes into the second period, but late City pressure was rewarded when Bryan’s low shot crept just inside the far post to ensure a share of the spoils and a second 2-2 draw with the South Yorkshire outfit this season.

Now only seven fixtures remained until the end of the season...