Report: Bristol City 1-2 Wolves
Saturday, December 30th 2017
Wolves stole the show with the latest of goals at Ashton Gate, despite a dominant City display, in a match where both sides would end up with ten men.
Wolves skipper Danny Batth was sent off early on, before Bobby Reid tucked away his 13th goal of the season.
But Wolves equalised through Barry Douglas' free kick, moments after Frank Fielding was shown his marching orders for bringing down Matt Doherty.
Then Ryan Bennett popped up with a back-post header deep into stoppage time to secure all three points for the runaway Sky Bet Championship leaders.
Jamie Paterson was passed fit and so returned to the starting lineup; Lee Johnson’s only change to the team which kicked-off the Boxing Day win against Reading.
CITY IN CONTROL
City began sprightly and really took the game to the table toppers for much of the opening period.
They dominated the chances too and Wolves had their goalkeeper John Ruddy to thank for keeping the game goalless early on. First, Joe Bryan flicked a Hordur Magnusson cross towards the corner of the goal only for the Wolves keeper to tip the ball wide for a corner.
Next, Ruddy denied Bobby Reid from close range when the striker latched on to another Magnusson cross.
City were enjoying lots of possession, with Wolves knowing their final outing of 2017 would not be as straight forward as they would like.
STRAIGHT RED CARD
And their task was made all the more difficult when referee Peter Bankes showed their skipper Batth a straight red card for a late lunge on City’s Icelandic international.
Moments later though, the away side won a free kick on the edge of the City penalty area from which Barry Douglas stepped up and rattled Fielding’s right-hand post.
Doherty was wasteful with the follow-up strike but it would be no more than a first-half scare for City as they continued to dominate, making the job of ten-man Wolves even harder.
The Robins would have one final chance of note before half-time when Nathan Baker rose highest to connect with a Brownhill corner but he could only guide the header off-target before the sides walked off the pitch.
The second half started much like the first with City settling quickly, dictating the tempo and so it was no surprise when the goal arrived.
Brownhill showed a turn of pace as he combined with Reid, before sliding in Paterson down the right. Pato’s first-time squared pass needed just one touch from City’s leading goalscorer before he fired a low shot under Ruddy.
City were in control but Wolves have not stormed their way at the top of the table for no reason and were back in the game not long after the hour mark.
WOLVES FIGHT BACK
Doherty was played in down the right-wing but brought down by Fielding as the City keeper raced off his line. Bankes produced the second red card of the evening, as Fielding marched off the BS3 pitch, with Luke Steele brought on to replace Paterson.
But the substitute shotstopper’s first task was picking the ball out of his net as Douglas stepped up and bent the free kick through the City wall, out of Steele’s reach.
The goal gave the visitors encouragement and Cavaleiro almost grabbed the second but for his shot fizzing narrowly wide. Saiss then made a darting run behind the City defence and forced a smart save from Steele.
City rode the Wolves waves and Aden Flint went close to restoring the lead with a header before Matty Taylor teased the opposition defenders and fired wide of goal, as the game entered its final stages.
DRAMA AT THE DEATH
But the away side found a winner after Saiss jostled for possession down the far touchline and was awarded a free kick, with Pack adjudged to have hauled him over.
Douglas whipped the ball into the City box where Bennett headed the ball beyond Steele, in front of the 3,400-strong travelling supporters.
The result drop City to third in the Sky Bet Championship.