Sky Bet Championship
Ashton Gate - 8 pm

Bristol City 3

  • Bell 52'
  • Dickie 72'
  • Cornick 82'

Southampton 1

  • A Armstrong 90'+5 - (pen)


Adam Armstrong scores Saints consolation penalty deep into injury time (© Dave Morecombe)

Match Report

IBO Reporter: channonite

|Well, I suppose it had to happen sometime, losing, but the limp fashion with which it happened was annoying. It was like the whole team had a gigantic hangover.

The team selection was logical; the back five remained the same in midfield. Charles came in for the injured Downes, and at the front, Adam Armstrong was shuffled into the middle for the injured Adams. Brooks took Adam's wide right slot; the only real surprise was Edozie on the left instead of Fraser. Maybe that last change was done with half an eye on Friday's West Brom away match.

There was no indication of what was to come as Saints made yet another slow start, but still almost produced a moment of magic when Sam Edozie twisted and turned in his languid style, and his shot hit the crossbar.

Saints passes were going astray once again, with the team looking nervy and out of sorts, and one early City attack was almost turned in, but for a last-ditch tackle from Harwood-Bellis.

City's fast and direct counter-attacks were causing all sorts of problems for Saints, and one attack was only saved when Bazunu came rushing miles out of his area to clear the ball.

This was getting concerning; one attack from Saints finished with Adam Armstrong shooting directly at the City keeper, but seconds later, they had taken the ball up the other end of the field but had only managed to hit the side netting.

We arrived at the end of the half with the score still 0-0, having had plenty of warnings about the potency of the Bristol City forwards, and their defence looked pretty solid as well. There was a lot for Martin and the coaches to think about in the break.

The teams came out for the second half, and Stu Armstrong replaced Charles. It was an obvious change, as Charles had looked less than impressive in that frantic first half.

Then City made a rare mistake, and a sloppy pass was intercepted; Adam Armstrong couldn't do anything but pass left to Edozie, whose shot went agonisingly wide of the far post. I remember thinking that was more like it, but it was a false dawn.

I hadn't noticed that Brooks had come steaming in to try and turn the ball in but ended up wrapped around the base of the upright. It looked very painful. After a delay, Brooks decided to try to carry on.

City had been trying to capitalise on the many mistakes that Saints were making, and it seemed only a matter of time before they were successful. Then from a throw-in, Manning, Smallbone, and Edozie made a right Horlicks of defending. Smallbone tried to tackle and only succeeded in pushing the ball into a better position for the City forward, Mehmeti, to pass the ball across the face of the goal for an onrushing Bell to bundle it into the net. 1-0, only just over five minutes after the break and no more than they deserved. Isn't that the sort of move Saints are supposed to make?

Even then, Saints had a glorious chance to equalise, with a move fashioned by Edozie and finished with a crashing volley from Walker-Peters. Unfortunately, it was straight at the keeper, who fell to the ground gratefully, clutching the ball to his chest.

Martin decided it was time for a change. First, the struggling Brooks was replaced by Mara, and Fraser replaced Edozie.

After both sides had chances, City won a corner on the Saints right, and a perfect cross saw the big central defender, Dickie, rising above the defenders and heading the ball beyond Bazunu. 2-0 and a mountain to climb in the twenty minutes remaining.

City broke from defence after a few minutes of Saints trying to give the ball away at every opportunity. A panicking defence was pulled all over the place as the winger charged down the right and crossed from almost the byline into the penalty area, where City's No.9, Cornick, was making a diagonal run. He crashed the ball into the far corner, leaving Bazunu rooted to the spot in the opposite corner. Cornick had been on the pitch for less than ten minutes. So, 3-0 and game over.

There was one final twist: deep in injury time, Walker-Peters was upended in the City area, and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Adam Armstrong sent the keeper the wrong way, and Saints had their consolation goal. 3-1 and the end of the unbeaten run. They had been disjointed, tired and listless for the whole game, and the final score seemed inevitable.

Martin has to press the reset button on the team and get them ready for the next game away at West Brom on Friday to avoid this becoming more than a blip along the way. The Championship is relentless.


Bristol City

  • 1 O'Leary
  • 19 Tanner
  • 26 Vyner - Booked 65'
  • 16 Dickie
  • 24 Roberts (McCrorie 76')
  • 6 James
  • 8 Williams - Booked 90'
  • 11 Mehmeti (Mebude 86')
  • 12 Knight (Gardner-Hickman 64')
  • 20 Bell (Cornick 64')
  • 15 Conway (Wells 76')


  • 2 McCrorie
  • 9 Cornick
  • 10 King
  • 17 Sykes
  • 21 Wells
  • 22 Gardner-Hickman
  • 23 Bajic
  • 27 Knight-Lebel
  • 47 Mebude


  • 31 Bazunu
  • 2 Walker-Peters
  • 21 Harwood-Bellis
  • 35 Bednarek
  • 3 Manning
  • 16 Smallbone
  • 24 Charles (S Armstrong 45')
  • 19 Rothwell (Sulemana 73' - Booked 90')()
  • 36 Brooks (Mara 64')
  • 9 A Armstrong
  • 23 Edozie (Fraser 64' - Booked 90')


  • 5 Stephens
  • 13 Lumley
  • 17 S Armstrong
  • 18 Mara
  • 20 Sulemana
  • 26 Fraser
  • 27 Amo-Ameyaw
  • 29 Meghoma
  • 33 Dibling

Match Stats

  • Bristol City/Southampton
  • Possession: 32%/68%
  • Shots: 14/16
  • Shots on Target: 4/4
  • Corners: 6/5
  • Fouls: 8/13


  • Referee: Matthew Donohue
  • Assistants: Paul Hodskinson, Matthew McGrath
  • Fourth official: Geoff Eltringham
  • Attendance: 24,661


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