Bristol City 2-3 Cardiff: Anthony Pikington strikes late winner
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 14/01/17 7:04pm
Anthony Pilkington struck a superb 25-yard winner as Cardiff City twice came from behind to beat Bristol City 3-2 in the noon Sky Bet Championship kick-off at Ashton Gate.
Pilkington's goal, his second of the match, came five minutes from the end as improving Cardiff made it back-to-back wins in the Championship while leaving their opponents in further trouble.
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Lee Johnson's side have now lost 10 of their last 11 league matches, with their most recent victory coming against Ipswich at the start of December, to see them tumble down the standings.
All the action came in the second half. Bristol City went ahead in the 51st minute when Joe Bryan's volley from just outside the box hit the crossbar and then struck the back of diving Cardiff goalkeeper Brian Murphy, who conceded an unfortunate own goal.
The home side looked comfortable until the 74th minute when Mark Little conceded a totally unnecessary penalty by tripping Joe Ralls with the ball heading away from goal. Pilkington drove the spot-kick down the middle to equalise.
Tammy Abraham's 18th goal of the season, an overhead kick from a Milan Djuric knock-down, put the Robins back in front in the 78th minute.
But visiting substitute Kadeem Harris got the better of Bryan at the far post to head a second Cardiff equaliser eight minutes from time before Pilkington found the top corner with a right-footed screamer three minutes later to earn the visitors all three points.
Despite a heated atmosphere for the noon kick-off, the first half was low key. Cardiff registered the first goal attempt after eight minutes when Peter Whittingham's fierce shot from distance was deflected over.
Bryan had a shot blocked by Sol Bamba as the hosts began to press and in the 25th minute Bryan forced a diving save from Murphy with a low 25-yard drive.
Bristol City boss Lee Johnson:
"Angry, frustrated and vexed are words that come to mind. We have to see that out, but there was a fear to our play and we have lost to a fantastic strike.
"Cardiff did not have to work that hard to win. I haven't seen the penalty incident back, but I had no complaints at the time. We have had some excellent individual performances, but as a team we panicked in the closing stages and that is not acceptable."
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock:
"At 2-1 down I was stood there thinking 'why am I still doing this job at 68?' At 3-2 up I remembered exactly why I am doing it!
"It's always special beating Bristol City for me because you have to work hard for anything you get at Ashton Gate. The winning goal was a fantastic strike and I haven't run so fast in ages. I'm delighted for our fans, who contributed to a brilliant atmosphere."