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Match Reports

Preview: Bristol City (A)

1 February 2015

Bristol City 2-0 Fleetwood Town

Second half goals from Matt Smith and Jay Emmanuel Thomas sealed all three points for Bristol City as Fleetwood Town suffered a 2-0 defeat at Ashton Gate.

Manager Graham Alexander made two alterations from the team that was victorious over Crawley last weekend.

Match winner Antoni Sarcevic missed out through injury meaning youngster Nick Haughton stepped in for his full league debut.

Stephen Crainey was the other absentee for Town, Tyler Forbes deputising for the former Blackpool defender.

Meanwhile, Bristol City named a strong line up which included Kieran Agard, who scored against Town earlier this season and Alexander’s former Burnley team mate Wade Elliott.

Town’s first opportunity on goal came after just four minutes. A Haughton corner from the left channel was cleared only to the edge of the ‘D’. Waiting was number seven Evans, who scuffed a volley which deflected just over Frank Fielding’s cross bar.

The yellows were playing with no fear in front of a packed house at Ashton Gate. Josh Morris, now enjoying his third loan spell with Fleetwood, linked up smartly with Haughton to see a close range shot from the left hand side tipped away by former Derby shot stopper Fielding.

Moments later, Haughton was just a fraction away from marking a memorable first start with a stunning goal.

The popular number 27 weaved his way past three red shirts to see a curling right footed effort creep past the far post.

Haughton was proving to be a nuisance for the opposition defence, and a clever through ball allowed Evans to break through on the right. The winger put a back post cross in and Proctor headed just over the frame.

In the 17th minute, the Robins thought they went in front as they looked to climb back to the summit of League One. Kieran Agard, once of Rotherham, saw his shot take a heavy deflection off a yellow shirt but Maxwell at full stretch knocked the ball onto the cross bar.

Chances were coming thick and fast with Fielding certainly the busier of the goalkeepers. Good work in midfield once more from Town finalised in Proctor searching for the far post, only to be denied by a fine stop from the Robins number one.

Big centre half Aden Flint and Agard both had chances before the interval for City, with Maxwell having his goal covered. Josh Morris was also in the right place at the right time to head the ball off the line from a Matt Smith header.

In the dying seconds of the first half, Flint, yet again, connected with a Bristol corner to fire a header over the cross bar as the first 45 minutes came to a close.

The second half began in the worst possible fashion as Bristol City went ahead in the 52nd minute. Gareth Evans conceding a free-kick on the left hand side. Joe Bryan delivered a low free-kick into the penalty box and Smith was on hand to fire past Maxwell.

The boss responded to going behind by bringing David Ball on for Liam McAlinden with just under 30 minutes to play.

Looking for a way back into the match, the Cod Army won a free-kick in the 65th minute when David Ball was tripped just before entering the penalty area.

Morris stepped up to the plate to take the set piece but his curling strike was punched away with ease by Fielding.

Chances were at a premium for both sides but Smith should have had his second goal of the game with just quarter of an hour to go, the striker directing a free header well over the cross bar.

A snap shot from sub Ball looked to get Fleetwood back into the game but hurried, his strike flew over.

The gaffer’s second change came with six minutes to go, Stephen Dobbie replacing Proctor.

In added time, Bristol City doubled their lead through Jay Emmanuel Thomas, however in the lead up to the goal, a blatant free-kick wasn’t given against Haughton after Luke Freeman fouled the youngster but for some reason, the referee didn’t award the decision in Fleetwood’s favour. 

Town will be next in action on Saturday against Peterborough United.

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