ANOTHER HOME WIN: Bristol City edge past Stoke City
Credit: PA David Davies
Tyreeq Bakinson’s first-half goal gave Bristol City a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship win over Stoke at Ashton Gate.
It came on 38 minutes when Chris Martin headed on a Tomas Kalas long throw and midfielder Bakinson volleyed in from close range.
Stoke missed a catalogue of chances to extend a three-match winning streak and the injury-time sending off of Joe Allen for a second yellow card completed a frustrating night.
It was only Bristol City’s second home win since January, earned with a tenacious display against the odds.
Both managers named unchanged sides, Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson giving a second start to teenage midfielder Ayman Benarous.
In-form Stoke looked a yard quicker than their opponents in the opening exchanges and might have been two up inside five minutes.
With only 53 seconds on the clock, Steven Fletcher headed against a post from Mario Vrancic’s chip into the box.
The Robins looked wide open again on four minutes when a mistake by Joe Williams put Jacob Brown in on goal and his shot was parried by goalkeeper Dan Bentley.
The home side were being outplayed, but appealed strongly for a penalty on 21 minutes when they felt a Callum O’Dowda cross struck the arm of Leo Ostigard.
When Bristol City finally created an opening on 32 minutes, Bakinson’s weak header from Zak Vyner’s driven cross was comfortably held by Adam Davies.
Fletcher was then denied by the woodwork for a second time, his powerful header from Josh Tymon’s cross thudding against the crossbar.
Stoke must have started to think it was not their night when Bakinson netted against the run of play to break the deadlock.
Allen was booked for a cynical trip on O’Dowda as the hosts looked to build on their advantage.
Bristol City began the second half on the front foot and another Kalas long throw found the head of Martin, whose flick on was volleyed over by Bakinson.
Fletcher fired straight at Bentley from outside the box before Bristol City were forced into a substitution, Han-Noah Massengo replacing Williams just before the hour mark.
James Chester headed wide for Stoke from a Vrancic corner before Michael O’Neill made a double change, sending on Alfie Doughty and Tyreece Campbell for Vrancic and Brown.
Martin just failed to connect with a superb O’Dowda cross as Pearson’s side stepped up on their first-half display.
Stoke had a great chance to equalise on 82 minutes however when Doughty went through on goal, but he delayed his shot and Bentley made a smothering save.
A similar opportunity fell to Campbell, but he fired into the side-netting before Allen was dismissed for tripping Benarous.
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