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Match Report: Bristol City 2-0 Barnsley (Bristol City Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 22nd April 2012
Bristol City produced a dominant performance in their final home game of the season to see off Barnsley and confirm their status as a Championship Club for next season.

Goals early in each half from Cole Skuse and a penalty from Jon Stead, who was crowned player of the year before the match, were enough for the Robins and sparked a party atmosphere at the final whistle as City fans descended on the Ashton Gate pitch to show their delight at staying up.

City boss Derek McInnes made two changes from the team that drew with West Ham with Albert Adomah and Martyn Woolford returning to either wing in place of the injured Kalifa Cisse and Yannick Bolasie who dropped to the bench.

It was actually the visitors Barnsley that started the brighter, their manager Keith Hill sticking to his mid-week claim that he would respect the Championship and continue to play a full strength squad despite being safe from relegation. With Stephen Dawson firing just wide from 25 yards and Kallum Higginbotham snap shot nearly catching out Dean Gerken at his near post.

It took City 11 minutes to register their first shot at goal, and with it came the lead. Neat one touch passing in the Robins midfield involving Skuse, Pearson and Jon Stead, who laid the ball off to Chris Wood and his first time through ball fed Skuse who broke from the midfield and with one touch he confidently stroked the ball under the goal keeper and into the far corner to send the crowd into chants of “we are staying up”

That goal seemed to settle any nerves that City had shown in the first ten minutes, but Barnsley were still looking dangerous and created a number of chances from set pieces, albeit long range efforts.

Albert Adomah had come under some crowd criticism of late after a few half-hearted performances but his mazy run just before half time lifted the crowd and lead to city corner. Adomah beat two players on the near touchline before beating one more to get into a perfect crossing position, his cross however didn't match the run and his scuffed pass was cleared for a corner by the stooping Foster.

Five minutes into the second half City had their chance to extend their lead but in controversial circumstances. Martyn Woolford's whipped in free kick evaded everybody but referee Darren Deadman pointed to the spot after Jim McNulty was adjudged to have pulled down Ryan McGivern.

Player of the year, Stead coolly stepped up confidently powered his penalty into the corner.

This was the moment fans and players knew that this was the moment they were safe with results also going in their favour. With the pressure off, confidence was surging through the team and Adomah went on another mazy run. He beat three players between the half way line and the box but the finish didn't match the run and he poked his shot wide of David Button's post.

Stead forced a wonderful save from Button moments later, Adomah again weaving his way through the Tykes defence, his pull back found Stead on the edge of the box. His first touch was enough to beat McNulty but his powerful volley from six yards was brilliantly tipped over by Button.

With the match entering the final 20 minutes, all momentum and effort seemed to fizzle out and both teams were happy to just knock the ball about with no real desire to go for more goals. Stead went the closest as his willingness and work rate lead to a mistake in the Barnsley defence but he hesitated when he had a chance to shoot and this allowed the Barnsley defenders to clear the danger.

When the final whistle arrived, cue the scenes of emotion and relief as the City fans invaded the pitch and celebrated with the staff and players as City's unbeaten run reached seven games and their stay in the Championship extended to a sixth straight season.
Thomas Langridge

Total articles: 7

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