Bristol City 2-0 Bolton: Sorry Trotters beaten again
By Press Association
Last Updated: 26/09/17 11:12pm
A goal in each half from Famara Diedhiou and Aden Flint kept Bristol City on the heels of the Championship leaders with a 2-0 win over 10-man Bolton at Ashton Gate.
It was a seventh successive defeat without scoring for the Trotters, who fought hard playing the whole of the second half a man down. Diedhiou put City in front six minutes before the interval, throwing himself in at the far post to bundle a Jamie Paterson cross over the line from inside the six-yard box.
In stoppage time before the break Bolton's Felipe Morais, already booked for a foul on Korey Smith, picked up a second yellow card for a late challenge on Callum O'Dowda on City's left flank.
The result was put beyond doubt in the 77th minute when centre-back Flint let fly from outside the box and saw his shot take a wicked deflection to wrong-foot Wanderers' excellent goalkeeper Mark Howard.
Bolton competed well in the first half and City found it hard to get their passing game together against committed opponents. Bailey Wright volleyed narrowly wide for the hosts early on after Marlon Pack had picked up his fifth booking of the season. The City midfielder will be suspended for Saturday's trip to Ipswich.
Darren Pratley shot inches wide for Wanderers in the 20th minute, but the visitors were finding it hard to create chances against a well-drilled home back-line.
After Diedhiou had broken the deadlock, Howard did well to prevent his side falling further behind before the break. He bravely advanced to beat away a Bobby Reid shot and just before the half time whistle stuck out a hand to keep out Paterson's close range effort.
Bolton's 10 men started the second half with Gary Madine operating as a lone striker. Soon it was City on the attack and another fine save from Howard denied Paterson after a clever flick from Reid. Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson sent on Sammy Ameobi for Craig Noone on 55 minutes, asking the replacement to operate on the right of midfield.
City made their first change in the 67th minute as Niclas Eliasson replaced Paterson shortly after Flint had cleared a Madine header off the line. Howard then kept Bolton in the game again by palming out a deflected shot from O'Dowda, with Reid firing the rebound into the side-netting.
Madine was still looking a threat and Frank Fielding had to parry his stinging drive from distance. Then came Flint's deflected goal, which was rough justice on Howard, in particular. The Bolton keeper made the best of his many saves in injury time, flying to his left to palm away Eliasson's goal-bound shot.
Assistant manager Dean Holden: "We're happy for the fans to be talking play-offs because it means we are at the right end of the table and playing well. It is within the club and the dressing room that we need to keep feet firmly on the ground and that is happening. The players are stressing to each other that no one should get carried away. We have turned in a very professional performance and will come in tomorrow to start preparing just as thoroughly for Ipswich.
"Bolton were never going to come here and lie down. It wasn't our most fluent display, but we were very solid. Famara Diedhiou is still getting used to Championship football and will be an even better player after Christmas."
Phil Parkinson: "We restored some pride tonight and I am much happier with the performance than I was at the weekend. The sending-off was unbelievably harsh because Felipe's first caution was barely a foul. Yes, he has gone to ground for the second one, which might be regarded as reckless, but I've seen the challenge again and it was so hard on him to send him off.
"I am facing one of the biggest challenges of my career. But there was a massive one at Bradford City when I went there and we pulled together and turned things around. Now I am determined to do that again. To play in the Championship with the restrictions we have been under is so tough. But tonight I saw a team ready to give everything. I was really low at the weekend and looked at my own performance as well as that of the players, but now I see some hope."