Bristol City v Scunthorpe United

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Football League Championship

Bristol City2(1)Scunthorpe United0(0)

Clarkson 13, Maynard 49

Bristol City :
James, Fontaine, Carey, Nyatanga, Caulker (Stewart 14), Elliott, Woolford, Cisse, Adomah (Campbell-Ryce 46), Clarkson, Maynard (Keogh 85).
Subs not used:
Gerken, Johnson, Sproule, Pitman.

Scunthorpe United :
Lillis, Gordon, Nelson, Reid (Raynes 27), A.Wright, Togwell, Hughes, J.Wright, Duffy (Ibrahim 59), Miller (Grant 66), Garner.
Subs not used:
Slocombe, Nolan, Collins, Godden.


by Bristol Evening Post at Ashton Gate

Bristol City eased their relegation fears by wrapping up a crucial victory over struggling Scunthorpe at Ashton Gate.

This was City's first home win in five attempts since New Year's Day and their second victory in the space of a week sent them up to 16th place in the npower Championship.

More importantly, Keith Millen's team are now 10 points clear of the drop zone and within sight of safety.

David Clarkson put the Robins on course for victory when opening the scoring after 13 minutes, his intended cross going straight in.

And Nicky Maynard, making only his second start after long-term injury, added a second five minutes into the second half, turning in Martyn Woolford's miss-hit corner.

Both goals had an element of luck about them, but tat will not worry a City side that had not managed a single goal in their last four home games.

But victory came at a cost, defender Steven Caulker and winger Albert Adomah both going off after piscking up injuries.

Seven points spearated these two sides before the sdtart of play and City manager Keith Millen made no attempt to play down the significance of a contest between two sides struggling to escape relegation trouble.

Certainly, City began as though their lives depended upon achieiving back-to-back victories for only the second time this season and they almost forged a lead in the very first minute, David Clarkson narrowly failing to connect with Albert Adomah's teasing cross at the near post.

City almost profited from an identical move moments later, Liam Fontaine finding Adomah with a superb cross-field pass and the winger outstripping Ben Gordon to send over another centre that required Iron defender Paul Reid to intervene ahead of Nicky Maynard to prevent a certain goal.

The home side were momentarily inconvenienced when, in their next attack, centre-back Steven Caulker collided with a post in pursuit of a hanging cross and had to leave the pitch to receive treatment.

Unperturbed, the 10 men continued to force the issue and deservedly went ahead on 13 minutes, courtesy of a bizarre goal.

Attempting to pick out former Scunthorpe winger Martyn Woolford, who had cut inside and made a telling run into the heart of the penalty area, Clarkson seemed as surprised as anyone when his curling cross drifted inside the far post and went straight in, much to the consternation os leaden-footed Iron keeper Josh Lillis, who, fearing Woolford would get a touch, was clearly caught in two minds.

Clarkson's sixth goal of an increasingly productive campaign was arguably his most important to date.

Caulker was unable to continue and was replaced by Damion Stewart on 14 minutes, while the injured Reid made way for Michael Raynes as the visitors made an enforced change in the 27th minute.

Set-up to defend in depth and frustrate the home side, lowly Scunthorpe now had to pusdh for an equaliser. But their attempts to create pressure were disjointed and hampered by poor passing, and City keeper David James was a virtual spectator during a first half which belonged almost entirely to the Robins.

Clarkson so nearly added a second goal five minutes before the break, curling a shot towards the bottom right-hand corner of the goal, only for Lillis to make a scrambling save.

City effectively made sure of victory five minutes into the second half. Once again, the goal had an element of good fortune about it.

Woolford c ompletely miss-hit a corner kick in front of the Atyeo Stand and Scunthorpe, perhaps bemused by the sight of the ball bobbling along the ground, stood back and allowed Maynard the time and space in which to pick his spot from 10 yards out.

The Iron had little or nothing to offer in response and, henceforth it became a matter of how many the hiome side would score.

Clarkson dispossessed Michael Nelson inside the poenalty area, only to finish weakly, while Liam Fontaine met another corner with a glancing header which required Ben Gordon to make a desperate goal-line clearance.