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Match Report: Awful Championship game has Silva Lining


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City won their fourth straight game away at Stoke - dominating and using the ball more effectively in a low quality tussle between 2 of the Championship's poorer teams. After a similar win on the road up at Blackburn this may be Nigel Pearson's prototype, compact organised, more ambitious with the ball and ultimately deserving Jay DaSilva's winner.

It wasn't much advertisement for football in the Championship - a match short on clear chances, full of unforced errors where both sides gave the ball away, and a forgettable 90 minutes despite the unusually warm feel of summer. City were the more purposeful against an awful Stoke side - and DaSilva's late cross-shot sailed into the top corner.

It was the visitors wing back who looked the best outlet in the early exchanges as City probed down the left, but after 12 a smart touch by Martin sent Semenyo away in the right channel, racing clear with just keeper to beat, only to hammer wildly over and into the stand. It was a wasted opportunity in a match desperately short of goal chances.

Unadventrous Stoke were non existent and easily managed by City's back line so it was not until half an hour that they threatened - Williams beaten by Baker and Allen crossing into the middle where Brown forced Bentley into a diving save. At the other end Williams lobbed a free kick into the box that Martin squared and almost forced an own goal.

On 36 Scott stole the ball to tee up a break, Semenyo slipping clear of a midfielder and releasing Martin down the left channel who forced a reflex save at the near post with Stoke bundling away as Semenyo followed in. On 40 Weimann was flagged offside as he went clear through from halfway as City stole possession and Semenyo threaded in. 

On halftime the mercurial Semenyo ghosted away from 2 defenders on the right before racing clear into the box only to cut the ball back behind teammates and only into the path of grateful defenders. Before the break Jacob Brown and keeper Bentley got into a protracted scuffle, tumbling over advertising hoardings as they wrestled with each other.


After the break the fixture became an even more awful and forgettable example of the Championship - bereft of creativity or clear chances until before the hour mark Martin brought down a direct ball and steered it on into the path of Weimann to break the lines and pass to Semenyo to hold up and lay off for DaSilva in space to cross over everyone.

Stoke introduced two subs and immediately got one of them - Maja - clear into the right channel to run free and square it into where Baker missed a sitter at the far post. By now the ref was keeping a match already short on action very quiet by blowing up for every minor contact, even halting play when the home side were about to race clear on goal.

On 68 Cundy headed over from close range after James recycled a clearance from his own free kick and got clear to the byline to cross from the right - with Stoke defenders stretched. At the other end sub midfielder Sawyers saw a drilled long range shot laser toward the bottom corner after a deflection but Bentley got down well to save and hold. 

Despite making no subs City continued to be the more purposeful and on 78 DaSilva teed up Weimann as the visitors broke but the top scorer gave the ball away and with Cundy racing up to halfway out of position Stoke sprung behind the defence down the left channel to cross and force Klose to turn behind - the hosts suddenly looked a threat.

From the resulting corner Baker edge of the box skipped past Martin's outstretched foot but saw a chance to win a free kick 18 yards out. The whole ground fell silent and Brown fired onto the bar. At the other end Weimann flicked a goalkick perfectly over the last man and then collected on the run to force a brilliant save with the chance of the match.

City had edged a game short on chances - and within a minute they would steal into a late lead. Semenyo fed DaSilva on the left in a seemingly innocuous position but a curled cross sailed over everyone and keeper into the top corner. Amazingly this was right in front of the visitors noisy following who were bathed in sunshine and now celebrating.


Pearson's side have a history this season of throwing away leads but in truth City were comfortable until the end, though sub Nahki Wells gave the ball away cheaply on several opportunities to run down the clock. Before the end a free kick spun to Atkinson, whose left wing cross forced keeper Bonham to claw off the line, Martin's header back cleared.

A poor game of Championship football and Stoke offered arguably the least threat that City have faced all season, but the visitors were the better team and it was no surprise as home fans poured out and a boisterous 700+ travelling fans lauded a surprise win that ended with boss Pearson encouraging DaSilva to soak up the crowds' adulation.


Bentley 7

Klose 7

Atkinson 7

Cundy 7

DaSilva 7

Scott 7

Williams 6

James 6

Weimann 7

Semenyo 6

Martin 7


Wells 4

Massengo 6

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