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Bristol City vs Rotherham United. Sky Bet Championship.

Ashton Gate.

Bristol City 0

    Rotherham United 2

    • M Smith (44th minute)
    • R Wood (74th minute)

    Bristol City 0-2 Rotherham: Michael Smith and Richard Wood score to boost Millers' survival hopes

    Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Bristol City and Rotherham at Ashton Gate as goals from Michael Smith and Richard Wood in each half boosted the Millers' survival hopes

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    Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Rotherham

    A goal in each half from Michael Smith and Richard Wood saw Rotherham ease their Sky Bet Championship relegation fears with a 2-0 win at Bristol City.

    The visitors took the lead just before the break when City goalkeeper Dan Bentley unwisely left his line to meet a Wes Harding cross from the right and was beaten to the ball by Smith, who headed home.

    Skipper Wood doubled Rotherham's advantage with a close-range header from Dan Barlaser's 74th-minute corner as City slumped to a sixth successive home defeat.

    Three of those have come since Nigel Pearson's arrival as manager and he cut a frustrated figure in the dugout as his side were outbattled.

    Image: Rotherham won 2-0 at Bristol City

    Pearson made three changes from the goalless midweek draw at Blackburn, bringing in fit-again goalkeeper Bentley and midfielders Callum O'Dowda and Liam Walsh, both sidelined until recently with long-term injuries.

    With manager Paul Warne, still in self-isolation, Rotherham reacted to the 4-1 home defeat by Watford with four changes, goalkeeper Viktor Johansson coming in alongside Lewis Wing, Wes Harding and Ryan Giles.

    Already on a club-record run of home defeats, City began brightly and Walsh's early volley from just outside the box was too high.

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    The Millers threatened on 13 minutes when Michael Ihiekwe's low ball into the box was turned towards goal by Smith but the effort was weak and did not trouble Bentley.

    Nahki Wells was wide with a free-kick for the home side midway through the first half as, with Walsh showing up well, they pushed forward with menace.

    But there was a major blow for City five minutes later when skipper Tomas Kalas went down with what appeared a hip injury and was replaced by Zak Vyner.

    Neither goalkeeper had been called upon for a serious save when Smith broke the deadlock on 44 minutes, leaving Pearson shaking his head in the dugout.

    Rotherham had a chance to increase their lead early in the second half, but Freddie Ladapo's cushioned volley was too close to Bentley.

    By the 59th minute, Pearson had seen enough. He sent on Antoine Semenyo and Henri Lansbury for Famara Diedhiou and Kasey Palmer.

    Three minutes later, Wells had a volley from a narrow angle tipped wide by Johansson.

    Bentley looked to have kept City in the game with a flying save from Ihiekwe's 73rd-minute header but it was the resulting corner that led to Wood making it 2-0.

    Pearson introduced youngsters Sam Bell and Sam Pearson in the closing stages, but although Johansson made a couple of late saves, Rotherham had a firm grip on the points.

    What the managers said...

    Bristol City's Nigel Pearson: "Rotherham are good at what they do and at the moment we are not responding well to setbacks in home games. Until they scored, we were comfortable. But there is no accounting for individual mistakes like the one that cost us the first goal just before half-time.

    "Only when we went behind did anxiety creep in. We knew it was going to be an ugly game and fair play to Rotherham, who are an honest, hard-working side."

    Rotherham's assistant manager Richie Barker: "I've told the players after the game that a lot of the other clubs battling to stay up will look at our result today and wonder how it happened. They will be surprised. Only time will tell whether having so many games in hand will prove positive for us, but there is so much still to play for.

    "Our training ground is going to be a happy place next week because it was a fully deserved win. I am proud of all the players. It seems unbelievable that we don't play until Easter, with so many fixtures still to fit in, but that's the situation and we need to use the break well and build on this result."

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