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Match Report: Injury hit City's pitiful promotion chase continues going backwards

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30 minutes ago, AshtonGreat said:


The length of Bentley’s passing from a tough away game earlier this season compared to last night.  Team mates brave to come short and play v Brum.  Not last night though!  Not Bentley’s fault, but we have gone longer and longer of late from the back.

Edited by Davefevs
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7 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

The length of Bentley’s passing from a tough away game earlier this season compared to last night.  Team mates brave to come short and play v Brum.  Not last night though!  Not Bentley’s fault, but we have gone longer and longer of late from the back.

I rthink it was on purpose because I imagine LJ felt we could catch them out going direct, which we mainly did all night!

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10 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

The length of Bentley’s passing from a tough away game earlier this season compared to last night.  Team mates brave to come short and play v Brum.  Not last night though!  Not Bentley’s fault, but we have gone longer and longer of late from the back.

Oh i see yeah. Thanks

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12 hours ago, Olé said:

The curious case of promotion chasing Bristol City and their injury hit descent into rank average Championship also rans lurched on to a third consecutive - and perhaps worst - weekend failure, this time blowing a 2-0 lead at lively but ultimately very limited bottom club Barnsley, the latest of 2-2 Oakwell draws in many ways a far more embarrassing result than the recent 3-0 capitulation at Luton Town as Lee Johnson's men wrote off their promotion chances on live TV.

Since the international break - often an achilles heel for City - the quiet assault on promotion has resembled more of a punch drunk retreat, stumbling through supposedly easier fixtures with little sense of superiority or strategy, swinging wildly but aimlessly at far better drilled opponents. Indeed inside a fortnight this was the second time facing a promoted side, the second strugglers bereft of form, and for a second consecutive week a blown shot at the automatic places.

And City's pitiful recent return when given such an opportunity to confirm their promotion credentials - something they're only too happy to allow the media to embellish - tells the real, depressing story. In truth, despite Lee Johnson's men bundling their way into a two goal lead, the disjointed away side were always second best to a sharper but often misfiring Barnsley, yet it was still no surprise when the divisions worst side rallied and leveled the game with the final kick.

Nestled at the bottom of a hill and built like a proper old ground, Oakwell is a forbidding if ultimately rather tame place to go, and under the lights in swirling drizzle and darkness, City set about their opponents. With banned Johnson in the stands, and three surprise changes in the team - record signing Kalas back in defence and forgotten man Marley Watkins tested up front - if was the away side who showed first, hitting diagonals to the wing, attacking the final third.

Already all over their struggling opponents, just inside the quarter hour another sweeping move saw captain Brownhill win the second ball in midfield and drill a perfectly weighted first time pass out to Weimann whose quick inside ball freed O'Dowda who raced toward the box and slammed a low shot in at goal that the keeper held. City had come out firing and by the midway point in the half they'd sprung the marauding Pereira repeatedly on the right to win a series of corners.

However a feature of City's rise has been a failure to create or finish chances to capitalize on their busy endeavour and when Brownhill dropped to the floor for a second time in succumbing to a first half knock which saw him exit the game against his old side, it already appeared that the visitors, now short on passers, had run out of ideas. Eliasson entered as City doubled their attacking intentions but the hosts were already exploiting a now shapeless and aimless away side.

On 27 Barnsley broke convincingly at City's backline and the now familiar sight of opponents roaming in front of our retreating defenders saw the ball fed right to youngster Wilks who ran at his man before curling an inch perfect early shot to the far top corner which Bentley did brilliantly to spring away to his right and tip over. Minutes later Wilks had a free header from an unchallenged right wing cross that he headed just wide. Captain Brownhill's exit was now inevitable.

After the change it only got worse as the struggling hosts worked the ball well in front of City's goal to find Mowatt in some space on the edge of the box and from the left channel he slammed an unerring low shot past Bentley and just beyond the far post. The visitors new keeper has kept Lee Johnson's men in games this season and having denied Wilks earlier, he confirmed his Player of the Season credentials minutes later with a world class save - his best yet.

With just over ten minutes remaining in the half the hosts broke quickly down the left and from Brown's early cross Conor Chaplin found himself in space at the near post to apply the finish, flashing a shot into the bottom corner which Bentley somehow reacted fast enough to tip desperately onto post and bar, the ball spinning loose in the six yard box and Eliasson hacking away. What must Johnson have been making of this deteriorating performance up in the stand.

And yet somehow City stole into a scarcely deserved lead a few minutes before the half, Eliasson fed Watkins down the left flank and he out ran his marker and turned for goal before being chopped down after cutting in to the edge of the area. From the resultant short free kick that man Eliasson lifted a perfect ball to the far post where Ashley Williams rose highest to power a header down under the keeper and over the goalline - his first City goal putting the visitors ahead.

After half time, and on a heavy pitch drenched in now persistent rain, the match descended into a scrappy, forgettable affair that must surely have been terrible viewing on Sky TV for all but the most dedicated fans. Barnsley were routinely  passing the ball better into the final third before firing wild long range shots info the stand, whereas City now punted early balls over the top in the hope someone would run onto them and make us look like anything other than a long ball side.

Ten minutes after the restart a brief moment of quality out on City's left in front of their travelling fans saw Eliasson and O'Dowda exchange passes to carve a path through the defence, and from a resultant corner the Swedish winger saw his cross to the near post almost glanced quickly inside the keeper by the lively Watkins. The surprise 'striker' was anonymous at times when bereft of service, but against his old club was among our better players if given an opportunity. 

Midway through the second half tussle a City break saw a two handed shove on O'Dowda go unpenalised, yet from the clearance a similar clash on halfway saw Barnsley awarded a free kick by referee Jarred Gillett, on work experience from Australia. Such rapid inconsistency had City's bench protesting loudly and the match was stopped as the official - oddly lenient with his decision making until Barnsley needed it in the later stages - lectured the visitors coaching staff.

Around the 70 minute mark City rallied and should have put the match out of reach. In chaotic scenes Weimann stole inside the disorganised home defence from the right, drawing the keeper before drilling a point blank near post shot that the stopper beat away, rebounding off a defender for a corner. Again that man Eliasson lifted a ball into the box from the right wing flag kick and again it was the visitors - this time Weimann - rising highest to nod into the far corner.

With City now "in second" on the live tables that should have been it, and with the goal coming right in front of their bank of loyal fans, the away support was in good voice and if anything, those singing for various members of the visiting coaching staff to "bounce around" would quickly learn how ridiculous - if not at least naive - that always is, given that on the pitch, Barnsley were hard done by and for all their lack of quality, were still out passing and out thinking City.

We had by now oddly shuffled our defence to replace Moore with Baker - when the threat was more mobile than aerial - and sure enough with just quarter of an our remaining and with the hosts routinely firing pot shots at City's goal, the pressure told as Kalas blocked Woodrow's shot and from the left wing corner another young Tyke Aapo Halme (me either) headed in. It was unforgivable to concede from a set piece after the defensive change but frankly unsurprising.

Semenyo was on now for Watkins and unlike recent anonymity made a decent go of running at home defenders when asked to, but like Watkins before him it was utterly aimless stuff as City failed to put a foot on the ball and continually hit early long balls to the front that offered little service and simply surrendered possession time and again. Yet with 5 left O'Dowda went on a stunning weaving run through Barnsley's defence, riding several challenges before slipping in the box.

With rain still falling and the floodlights straining for superiority in a dark and miserable Yorkshire night, every long suffering City fan knows exactly what was in store on this Halloween night and with Barnsley continuing to create chances and corners - Woodrow and Diaby going close and Bentley claiming one cross well - the inevitable happened as deep in injury time and with the final kick of the game, Woodrow turned in at close range from substitute Schmidt.

Nervous expectation in the away terrace at what was coming gave way to shell shocked, stupified exit - City had really managed to blow it - as the ref blew for full time immediately after and fans drifted out in utterly stunned silence. The visitors scarcely deserved their two goal lead but to throw it away so cheaply was unforgivable and wasting the second consecutive chance to get into the automatic promotion places and put down a marker spoke volumes.

With manager Johnson up in the stand and captain Brownhill's early departure clearly affecting City fluency, it would be easy to say the side lacked leadership to compound their injury-hit selection problems, but to do so would be making cheap excuses for a more than capable squad. City have invested in strength in depth, the players have the quality, but the last few weeks suggest it is the quality of plan to beat some of the divisions poorest teams that is pitifully lacking.


Bentley 8 It really is incredible how much he keeps us in games, we are at risk of being a very poor side if not for him

Kalas 5 Not sure he was 100%, not sure he was attacking the first ball in the way he would fully fit

Williams 6 Great goal and always looks composed and safety first, little bit exposed for pace when Barnsley move the ball quickly

Moore 6 In a team bereft of passing our only ball playing defender was the natural choice to take off when you want to put your foot on the ball and hold onto a lead

Pereira 5 We pushed both wing backs up early and I thought Pereira was a real threat in behind them early on as we hit quick balls to the right, unfortunately - and this is becoming a thing with him - the longer the game goes on, the more mistakes he is prone to make, giving the ball away in dangerous areas

Rowe 5 Both wing backs were poor defensively, can't really remember much Rowe did, we certainly never moved the ball forward with any quality

Brownhill 6 Probably the only vision came for the 25 odd minutes he was on the pitch, I don't know if the growing Nagy rumours and innuendo are true but it comes to something when Brownhill is your only player able to pass the ball

Massengo 5 Still tigerish and sometimes the only player who looks like he wants it, but chasing down and over-commiting to the challenge is now getting predictable, if the player avoids the tackle we are outnumbered in midfield

O'Dowda 6 Couple of great runs but that is literally all he offers, not his fault but a waste in a midfield three, we are sorely lacking ball players

Weimann 6 Usual energetic self working with scraps

Watkins 6 Perhaps I am being charitable given how desperate we are up front but I thought he was a nuisance when properly fed, which he wasn't often


Eliasson 6 Several good set pieces but fairly anonymous otherwise, all down to the formation, lots of wingers and yet no real wing play with midfield playing from inside, rarely got to the byline or delivered crosses from open play 

Baker 5 We bring on a ball winning aerial threat at the back for 15 minutes at 2-0 up and concede two goals, good work all round 

Semenyo 6 By his own recent poor standards I thought he at least got stuck in, the service was shocking, literally run onto long balls or bust

Harsh on Weimann, Kalas and Massengo imo. Weimann was joint man of the match with Bentley for me, Massengo looked a lot better worked his socks off in the middle and Kalas considering it’s his first game looked ok. Semenyo is generous for me, saying that he shouldn’t have been brought on.

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On 02/11/2019 at 10:47, City oz said:

Just expressing my point of view on a post that seemed so long winded. Surely you agree we can express our comments and i might be far away but i have supported city for over 50 years. I’m not ctrisiising at all.  It just looked like someone wrote down a recording of a news paper reporter that got out the wrong side of the bed.

That "Someone" as you call him,  has been writing in depth analytical match reports of away games for quite sometime.  For myself and a number of forum members, he is the 'go to'  default setting for honest in depth reports of away games. with none of the pandering and brownosing that often occurs in the regular media.  To say that he wrote down a recording of a newspaper report is insulting and wildly inaccurate. I suggest you do your research in future, because i find your point of view disrespectful and ill informed.

Edited by maxjak
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On 02/11/2019 at 13:04, Davefevs said:

Spot the difference!


I would guess a lot of that was down to Nagy playing against Birmingham. He was constantly dropping in to receive the ball at the back. He almost wouldn’t allow it to not go to him. 

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On ‎02‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 08:15, City oz said:

Go and have a cup of coffee and a bacon and egg sandwich. You could of cooked bacon and egg sandwiches for 20 people the time it must of took you to type that negativity or are you copying the Saturday edition of the sun newspaper.

As they say the truth hurts, he just said it as countless others of us saw for ourselves. Go on tell me you didn't expect us to concede in the last minute because I know I did and would bet my house I wasn't the only one, sorry to say it but your reaction against the write up suggests you didn't watch the game or you are hopelessly optimistic.

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I did watch it live around 3.00am my time. I think the problem is I did not read the original post correctly or take it on its merit. I did not intend any malice, I’m just as disappointed as most of us on the result and no in the past few minutes it had to be 2-1 win. Going forward if some one takes the time to write a report I will then respond on its merits.

I’m also fairly new back to OTIB and I probably need to think in the future before I type for a while.

Each and everyone of us that post are Bristol City supporters and my comment was  a quick off the cuff response and was more along a joke type comment rather than something that appeared to most as bad. I have been hit hard over the past few days on this subject and will leave it alone for a while.

It will always be COYR for me and I have apologised to OLE.

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