- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, March 3rd 2018
- Ashton Gate
Adam Baker reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 4-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Saturday, March 3rd 2018
Bobby Reid grabbed his first career hat-trick as City slaughtered struggling Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 at Ashton Gate.
The Bristolian took his tally for the season to 18 with a first-half brace, which Josh Brownhill added to before the interval.
Reid completed his treble from the penalty spot in the 64th minute to kill the game as a contest, as City rediscovered their mojo – just as head coach Lee Johnson had requested.
The victory, a first win in six matches, moved City back into the play-off zone, just days after they had dropped out of the top six for the first time since September.
Eros Pisano was a welcome name on City’s teamsheet, making his first start since sustaining a severe hamstring tear at Fulham on October 31st.
The Italian’s return signalled one of three changes, with Marlon Pack – back from suspension – and Jamie Paterson also recalled. Bailey Wright (knee) and Nathan Baker (groin) were enforced absentees, while Loïs Diony dropped to the bench.
In a fast-paced opening Famara Diédhiou helped the ball into Reid’s path and after a touch to control the ball, the Bristolian lashed a left-footed shot over the top.
Diédhiou was the next to take aim, seizing on a clever step-over from Reid, the intended recipient of Korey Smith’s pass. The Senegalese took his shot early, sending a half-volley into the Atyeo Stand.
City had enjoyed much of the early possession and in the 14th minute they cut through the Owls defence like a knife to open the scoring.
A swift, free-flowing move saw Reid play a clever one-two with Brownhill to wriggle clear and his finish was precise inside Joe Wildsmith’s inside post.
Pisano was welcomed back in the game with a crunching block tackle by Frederico Venancio, deemed unfair by the official Tony Harrington, who dished out a yellow card.
Pisano was cautioned himself moments later for tripping Lucas Joao down the channel.
When Aden Flint’s raking pass picked out Diédhiou, the big striker had the opportunity to advance goalwards but opted to shoot early, offering Wildsmith the chance to make a smart diving save to his left.
The large travelling support – a real credit given the snowy conditions – had little to warm their spirits in the opening half hour, failing to trouble Frank Fielding.
When Adam Reach robbed Pisano just outside his own penalty area, an opening presented itself and the Owls skipper cut the ball back to Atdhe Nuhiu 12 yards out. The giant Kosovan striker’s radar was off, however, as he sent an erratic shot high into the South Stand.
To make matters worse, Reid doubled the lead seconds later. In similar fashion to his first, the Bristolian this time traded a one-two with Pack before calmly slotting low under Wildsmith with his left foot.
It was three before the interval as Brownhill chased into the area, following Jamie Paterson’s exquisite backheel. The midfielder was precise with his finish, slotting across the advancing keeper inside the far post.
There was still a warning sign for City in first-half stoppage time as Joao teased a low shot narrowly wide of Fielding’s left-hand post.
With recoveries by Sunderland and Leeds United still fresh in the minds of City supporters, there was to be no lying down in the second period.
Nuhiu threatened a recovery for the visitors with a glancing header that looped over Fielding’s crossbar, while Reach fired wide of the mark from 30 yards out.
But any fear of an Owls fightback was extinguished by Reid’s hat-trick goal in the 64th minute. City had worked hard to win the ball back deep in opposition territory and when Pelupessy clumsily bundled Pack over in the area, referee Harrington had no option but to point to the spot.
Up stepped Reid to calmly send Wildsmith the wrong way to complete his treble – the first scored by a City player since Aden Flint in May 2015.
Johnson opted to introduce Lloyd Kelly for the tiring Pisano, with Bryan switching to right-back. Liam Walsh replaced Diédhiou soon after, but City weren’t settling for four.
Reid helped the ball into Smith’s path and the midfielder saw his low drive was plamed away by Wildsmith.
Substitute George Boyd summed up the visitors’ day near the end with a wayward effort from close range.
- Reid (13') , Reid (35') , Brownhill (43') , Reid (62' pen)
- Eros Pisano, Bobby Reid, Famara Diedhiou
- Daniel Pudil, Sean Clare, Lucas João