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Match Report: Bristol City 1-1 Derby County (City Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 1st April 2012
A sublime equaliser from substitute Brett Pitman was not enough to prevent Bristol City falling into the relegation places following a 1-1 draw with Derby County at Ashton Gate.

Pitman, who was dropped from the 16-man squad which travelled to Middlesbrough last weekend, scored within two minutes of coming off the bench in a match which had very few chances.

Pitman's return to the bench was just one of two changes for City, as Cole Skuse returned from a six week lay-off with a broken toe to replace the suspended Ryan McGivern.

In a match which saw very few chances it was City which carved out an opening first, Albert Adomah cut in from the right wing to fire a weak effort straight at Derby keeper Frank Fielding.

It took Derby 19 minutes to register their first chance, striker Theo Robinson broke clear of the City backline but he too fired a tame effort at goal, which was easily saved by Dean Gerken.

However, Derby found the back of the net with their very next attack. A square ball across the box from Jeff Hendrick fell to the onrushing Craig Bryson who poked the ball home form 6 yards. It was the midfielder's first goal since the reverse fixture at Pride Park in December, and it was a goal which City felt was against the run of play.

Soon after City felt aggrieved that they weren't awarded a penalty for handball. Jon Stead's volley from Hogan Ephraim's cross struck the raised hand of Derby defender Jake Buxton, but the referee waved play on. It was Derby who were next to feel unhappy with the officials after Steve Davies' header was ruled out for offside. The linesman saved the blushes of Gerken after the header squirmed through his legs into the goal.

City were the brighter of the teams after the interval and could have taken the lead just two minutes in. Adomah's looping header from Skuse's first time cross landed on the top of the net with Fielding rooted to the spot.

City were lucky not to fall further behind as Steve Davies' shot on the turn flashed across goal and hit the far post and bounced to safety. This was the cue for  City manager Derek McInnes to make his changes. The Scot brought off winger Ephraim and brought on Pitman as he reverted to 4-4-2.

Within minutes of the change City were level. After a neat passing move between Pitman and Adomah down the right,  Pitman unleashed a stunning curling effort across the face of goal and into the far corner to lift the Ashton Gate crowd. It was a goal that City deserved for their effort and what a goal it was.

This spurred on the crowd and the players as City went in search of a winner. The officials were again the centre of attention as City were denied a penalty with just five minutes left, with Pitman believing he was pushed in the back by Jake Buxton as he attempted to head Neil Kilkenny's cross.

City's miserable day with the officials was confounded in the last minute of injury time as confusion between the referee and his assistant prevented City from taking a quick free-kick to produce one more attack. Instead the referee decided to blow for full time much to the players' and fans' annoyance.

The point was not enough for City who now slip into the final relegation place with just six games to go this season.
Thomas Langridge

Total articles: 7

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