FINALLY: City beat Barnsley at Ashton Gate to end home jinx
Andreas Weimann’s first-half double ended Nigel Pearson’s Ashton Gate nightmare as Bristol City came from behind to beat Barnsley 2-1 in a tense Sky Bet Championship game.
The visitors took a 28th-minute lead when Devante Cole got behind City’s defence on the right and pulled the ball back for Aaron Leya Iseka to shoot home from close range.
Home fans were becoming restless until Weimann broke on to a Nahki Wells through ball on 42 minutes and thumped the equaliser past Brad Collins.
Weimann netted his second with a precise side-footed finish from Chris Martin’s cross after a defence-splitting pass by Han-Noah Massengo in first-half stoppage time.
City lived on their nerves in the second half but held on to record their first home success in 18 games, stretching back to February – 15 of them under Pearson.
For Barnsley, it was a seventh successive defeat, but they could consider themselves unlucky on the balance of play.
Tyreeq Bakinson fired narrowly over for City on 15 minutes before wing-back Jordan Williams, looking a threat on Barnsley’s left, was denied by a Daniel Bentley save.
Leya Iseka’s opening goal gave the Tykes a boost and Bentley did well again to parry a Callum Brittain drive on 38 minutes.
Boos were starting to ring around Ashton Gate from disgruntled City fans, but Weimann’s quick double transformed the atmosphere and Pearson’s men left the pitch to cheers at half-time.
Barnsley boss Markus Schopp made a change at the break, sending on Josh Benson for Claudio Gomes, while Pearson was forced into one early in the second half, Jay Dasilva replacing the injured Cameron Pring.
Williams had a curling effort saved by Bentley as Barnsley looked to level. They came within inches of doing so on 62 minutes when a bout of pinball around City’s six-yard box saw Liam Kitching hit the bar and two goalline clearances.
City could have sealed the points on the break on 67 minutes when Wells shot over after a slick move, but their defence was coming under heavy pressure.
Bentley produced a reaction save to keep out Cauley Woodrow’s 73rd-minute header after more good work by Williams and Cole.
By then Pearson had given a debut to 18-year-old midfielder Ayman Benarous as substitute for Bakinson.
Martin had a shot blocked, but much of the action was at the other end, Barnsley forcing a string of corners. Cole shot over from the edge of the box on 84 minutes and the visitors piled extra men forward.
Cheered on by their long-suffering fans, City held on by the skin of their teeth. At the final whistle Pearson turned with both arms outstretched to the stand behind him, while supporters celebrated as if their team had just won promotion.
Following defeat at Ashton Gate, Barnsley sacked manager Markus Schopp.
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