Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Rob Dickie on target as Bristol City end four-match losing run

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Mar 2024

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Centre-back Rob Dickie headed his fifth Championship goal of the season to give Bristol City a precious 1-0 victory over Swansea at Ashton Gate.

The tall defender glanced home Joe Williams’ chip into a crowded penalty area on 73 minutes to give the Robins bragging rights over the Swans in a forgettable game of few chances.

Swansea dominated possession for long periods without forcing a save from home goalkeeper Max O’Leary and could have no complaints.

The result left them just five points above the Championship relegation zone, while Bristol City now have a nine-point cushion to the bottom three.

Head coach Liam Manning made one change from the Robins side who suffered a fourth successive defeat at Ipswich in midweek, preferring Tommy Conway to Nahki Wells up front, while Swansea’s starting line-up included former Ashton Gate midfielder Jamie Paterson.

The vast number of empty seats spoke volumes for the damage done to fan morale by that recent run and the first half saw Manning’s men fail register a single attempt on goal.

They were booed off at the interval, having lacked any conviction in their attacking play and been largely outplayed by a Swansea team who went into the game a point behind them in the table.

The visitors themselves failed to get an effort on target but looked the more threatening side.

Paterson had a seventh-minute shot blocked for a corner by Zak Vyner while Liam Cullen was wide with a 29th-minute header and fired over from distance 10 minutes later.

All the while, the massed ranks of Swans supporters behind one goal made the atmosphere more like a home game for their team, who attacked with promise without finding a killer final ball.

The start of the second half was delayed because one of the water sprinklers remained on in the Swansea half. It brought a moment of light relief amid a grim battle.

By the 55th minute Manning had seen enough and sent on winger Mark Sykes for Harry Cornick. Still it was Swansea who looked the more likely scorers and Przemyslaw Placheta wasted a glorious chance on 57 minutes, shooting wildly wide when unmarked from a right-wing cross.

Dickie sent an effort wide from a free-kick into the box as the hosts at last put an effort in on goal on 64 minutes. They had a much better chance five minutes later but Ross McCrorie fired wide of the near post, with Conway waiting in the middle for a cross.

Dickie’s goal rewarded the first real spell of pressure from Manning’s side, who improved for Sykes taking over on the right flank.

It should have been 2-0 on 79 minutes when Jason Knight headed wide from a Conway cross, but one goal proved sufficient.

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