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Ed Lewis

Ed Lewis writes

Posted Monday, May 14th 2018

Top five moments of 2017/18

The 2017/18 campaign has had a bit of everything for City supporters and we take a look back over the last nine months to select the top five standout moments.

5. FLINT CHANNELS HIS INNER MURRAY

Scott Murray cupping his ear to the Bob Bank at Ninian Park is an image that is instantly recognisable for City supporters.

The Scotsman, now the club’s legendary kit man, netted a brace in South Wales as City secured an impressive 3-1 win on enemy soil. However, it was the cheeky nature
of the celebration that has stood the test of time, going down in Robins history.

That took place in 2001. Fast forward to November 2017 and it was Aden Flint’s turn to become a Severnside derby hero.

Callum O’Dowda had lit the blue touch paper with a fine finish in the first half, only for Omar Bogle to hook in an equaliser before half-time. A late challenge from Bogle
on Marlon Pack saw the Cardiff man dismissed and City were desperate to make their numerical advantage count.

Hordur Magnusson provided the assist with his trademark long throw, with Flint arriving like a runaway steam train into the penalty area to plant an unstoppable header into the top corner.

Off he went, hand cupped to ear to celebrate the match-winning goal, albeit on this occasion it was only the jubilant South Stand supporters in red and white there to greet the big man. 

4. A RECORD AWAY END AT THE ETIHAD

The away end at the Etihad Stadium was a sea of red and white, with 7,680 City supporters filling two tiers for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg tie.

The tickets were like gold dust, with anticipation for the two-legged contest with the Premier League champions at fever pitch.

Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané...the list of big names in the blue camp goes on.

But it was another name, Reid, who shone first on a memorable night in Greater Manchester.

England defender John Stones tripped City’s top scorer in the box and after what seemed like an eternity, Reid stepped up to slot home from 12 yards, beating Claudio Bravo low to his right.

Of course, De Bruyne and Agüero managed to find the net in the second half to give the Manchester giants a first leg advantage that would ultimately see them through to the final.

However, for that moment, as the ball skipped under Bravo’s glove and into the net, City supporters were in dreamland.

The eruption of noise from the away end – the record away following to visit the Etihad – was a sight to behold.

It will surely live with supporters, young and old, for many years to come. 

3. AWARD-WINNING SEPTEMBER

Lee Johnson and Aden Flint earned the Manager and Player of the Month awards for September respectively.

It followed a calendar month that saw City win five times and draw their other two fixtures – with four clean sheets included.

Flint’s fine finish earned City a rare victory away at Reading, before a thrilling encounter with eventual Sky Bet Championship champions Wolves days later.

Leo Bonatini and Diego Jota twice put the hosts in front, cancelled out on each occasion by Aden Flint and Famara Diédhiou’s penalty.

With eight minutes to play Bobby Reid nudged in his sixth goal of the campaign, but almost instantly Wolves responded through their skipper Danny Batth’s pinpoint header to earn a 3-3 draw.

Next up City thrashed Derby County 4-1 on home soil, before dumping Stoke City out of the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from Famara Diédhiou and Matty Taylor.

Following a goalless draw at Norwich City’s Carrow Road, Bolton Wanderers were put to the sword in BS3 as Diédhiou and Flint both scored their second goals of the month.

The month ended at Ipswich Town, where City had not tasted success since 1978; they soon put paid to that.

Josh Brownhill and Diédhiou scored in the first half, but even after a scare from Martyn Waghorn’s driven finish, Reid sealed victory in Suffolk with a deflected shot. 

2. REID'S FIRST PROFESSIONAL HAT-TRICK

Enjoying his first full season as a striker, Bobby Reid produced his best goalscoring touch to send Sheffield Wednesday packing in BS3.

Heading into the Championship contest, Reid had already scored 15 times since being switched from his previous midfield role by head coach Lee Johnson in the summer.

The opener arrived after 14 minutes as Reid exchanged a clever one-two with Josh Brownhill before advancing into the area and finishing smartly at the near post. 

His brace was confirmed before half-time in similar fashion. This time he traded passes with Marlon Pack before finishing under Owls keeper Joe Wildsmith with his left foot.

After Brownhill added a third, the Bristolian was handed the chance to complete a hat-trick when Pack was tripped by Joey Pelupessy in the area.

Unfazed by a pending first career hat-trick, Reid dispatched the resultant spot-kick with aplomb, sending the keeper the wrong way.

It was the first hat-trick scored by a City player since Aden Flint’s treble on the final day of the double-winning 2014/15 campaign.

1. SMITH SENDS UNITED PACKING

For the first time since the redevelopment, Ashton Gate was sold out to capacity for this much-anticipated Carabao Cup quarter-final tie.

The visit of the three-time European champions – managed by José Mourinho – to Ashton Gate had certainly caught the imagination of the Bristol public.

Just days before Christmas, City’s fans were hoping for an early present and the team certainly delivered.

After a tense first half ended goalless, Academy graduate Joe Bryan lit up Ashton Gate by charging on to Marlon Pack’s pass and slamming an unstoppable shot past Sergio Romero and in off the far post.

United responded almost instantly through the inimitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A deflected free kick beat Luke Steele in the home goal and parity had been restored.

With time ticking away, it looked like the fixture was heading into extra-time. Up stepped Korey Smith. In the build-up Lee Johnson had told his players they could become heroes by ousting the Red Devils; now it’s Smith’s name that will forever be remembered in folklore.

Substitute Matty Taylor clipped a delightful ball over the visiting defence and Smith red the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper to secure a famous victory.

Joyous scenes followed the final whistle moments later as City looked ahead to a League Cup semi-final for only the third time in their history