Bristol City 1-1 Fulham: All square at Ashton Gate
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 21/02/18 11:10pm
Bobby Reid's 16th goal of the season earned Bristol City a 1-1 draw from a superb Championship clash against Fulham at Ashton Gate.
Aleksandar Mitrovic fired the visitors in front after 14 minutes, reacting quicker than City defenders to a cleverly-angled ball towards the six-yard box from Cyrus Christie and planting a shot past Frank Fielding from close range.
But Lee Johnson's men levelled after 35 minutes as Reid played a neat one-two with Josh Brownhill inside the area, creating space to beat Marcus Bettinelli with a left-footed finish from a narrow angle.
Two of the Championship's most skillful sides went toe to toe from the start, both prepared to play out from the back and create openings with quick, accurate passing.
A pulsating first half saw Mitrovic force the first save of the game from Fielding with a fifth-minute strike from the edge of the area. But the on-loan Newcastle striker got the better of the keeper soon after to claim his first Fulham goal.
The strike provoked an immediate response from the hosts, with Hordur Magnusson heading just wide from a Jamie Paterson free-kick. The Icelandic defender will probably feel he should have scored.
Magnusson's long throws caused havoc in the Fulham area at times, but the Londoners protected Bettinelli with some committed defending. They were undone, though, by neat interplay between Brownhill and Reid, whose finish was unerring.
After the equaliser Famara Diedhiou had a shot blocked when he might have taken more care with placing his shot. At the other end Ryan Sessegnon's clever touch put Tom Cairney away only for him to blaze high over the crossbar.
The second half began with Mitrovic forcing a fine save from Fielding before Reid was just wide from a Diedhiou knock-down.
A crowd of over 21,000 turned up the volume as both teams committed fully to attack again. City's Ryan Kent was booked for halting a dangerous Fulham break with a cynical trip.
A mistake by City skipper Bailey Wright let in Sessegnon on 69 minutes and a low cross just evaded the stretching Mitrovic.
Back came the hosts, with Kent sending a fierce drive over the crossbar after 72 minutes and Paterson volleying narrowly wide five minutes later.
Bristol City assistant Dean Holden: "At times the ball just wouldn't drop for us. We created some great situations, but just didn't get the break where it mattered. Fulham are a top side and it required a fantastic physical effort from our lads to stay with them. There have been suggestions that our cup exertions this season have taken a toll. But I was watching carefully and I couldn't see any sign of players flagging.
"We are right in there challenging and it's a fantastic position to be in. Now we take on Cardiff City in what is always an exciting contest and I only wish I were playing myself. There is a tremendous spirit in the camp, which will keep us going. It promises to be a memorable end to the season."
Slavisa Jokanovic: "Mitrovic needs time on the pitch, but I am very pleased with what I have seen of him so far. He offers us something different and will contribute even more in time. I am happy with all my players because they gave everything. Sometimes you cannot play the football you want to in matches and that was the case tonight.
"When that happens you have to show something else. The whole team displayed the right attitude and I don't want to single out anyone because it would not be fair. We are in a good place at the moment and can look ahead with confidence."