Bristol City 2 - West Bromwich Albion 2

Date: Saturday 19th March 2022 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Bristol C:
Bentley, Cundy, Klose, Atkinson, Dasilva, James, Massengo, Pring, Weimann, Martin, Semenyo (Wells, 6)
Unused subs: O'Leary, Vyner, Bell, Conway, Benarous, Owers
(3-5-2) Johnstone 5.4, Ajayi 6.1, Bartley 4.5 (Reach, 90 5.0), Clarke 6.1, Furlong 5.1, Gardner-Hickman 6.4, Livermore 5.1, Mowatt 4.0, Townsend 6.5 (Diangana, 83 4.6), Robinson 5.5, Grant 6.5
Unused subs: Button, O'Shea, Molumby, Kipré, Fellows
Manager: Steve Bruce 5.3
Scorers: Wells (29), Weimann (85); Grant (68 pen), Reach (93)
Referee: Leigh Doughty 5.3
Attendance: 20,586   Home Fans 5.0   Away Fans 6.3
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 8

Brendan Clegg:

A frustrating one. Probably typical of the Championship and would’ve been a decent point had we not had such a dire season.

No complaints with the starting 11 but the bench was a worry - no Carroll, Dike, Phillips and in their absence no potential goal scorer like Tulloch or Cleary, so the pressure was on plan A.

It was a nothing first half. Scrappy and awkward. We couldn’t get a pass going. I didn’t think our energy was too bad but it was the quality on the ball. That said, I didn’t think we were under pressure but Bristol scored from nothing - I thought it was poor positioning from a throw and when Bartley came steaming out and didn’t get it we had a problem, too many players caught too high. And then for the rest of the half Bristol were then on top and might’ve scored another.

Knowing that we needed to win I’d have been tempted to get Grady on at half time - either for Bartley or Mowatt who I felt were both bobbins on the ball. Mowatt would’ve allowed TGH to play deeper and more centrally.

But Bruce is a cautious manager and there were no changes… we just pressed higher, Ajayi sprinted forward to overlap at every opportunity and Livermore quite obviously too it upon himself to stop us going long, holding onto the ball for far longer than normal but doing the job. It stretched the game and Bristol certainly also had break away chances.

We were better and there were some nearly moments before Bartley won a penalty and Grant tucked it away.

We looked like we might go on to win it but Bruce made a bizarre sub in bringing on Diagana for Townsend. Honestly we needed to lose a CB or Mowatt at that point and it left Grady too deep and not in an area where he has any strength. I think we got punished when a set play went unchallenged in the air by Bartley and the flick went to our left back position where Townsend would probably have covered for Weimann to smash home.

Bruce then got Reach on for Bartley and somehow we plundered an unlikely equaliser but I couldn’t tell you what formation or system we were playing by then. Although the playoffs are too big an ask, showing resilience and keeping a run going will help for next season.

  • SJ - 6 A bit better than the last few weeks.
  • Ajayi - 7 Looking back to his best, covered a lot and got forward.
  • Bartley- 5 Poor for both goals and not good enough on the ball.
  • Clarke - 6 Mostly did well.
  • Furlong - 7 I thought he covered a lot of ground and got the ball over.
  • TGH - 6 Quietest game for us. We couldn’t find him and when we did he was off the boil a bit.
  • Livermore - 6 Another booking and was a bit too desperate when we were behind but did show leadership and passed it better than most.
  • Mowatt - 5 Got through his duties but quality is a problem. The best example was a dangerous free kick won by a marauding Clarke after we’d equalised. His cross was dreadful and sailed out of play, sucking the life out of us.
  • Townsend - 6 Showed grit and got forward.
  • Robinson - 5 Not great but poor supply. Kept showing.
  • Grant - 6 Did okay back to goal and win a few flicks but got too caught in dropping deep instead of just playing on the shoulder.

Subs were what they were.

I thought Bruce’s assessment after the game was pretty reasonable and we did miss Carroll’s impact.