Panenka penalty goes wrong for Nahki Wells in Bristol City defeat
Nahki Wells missed a second-half penalty as Bristol City slumped to a second successive defeat, 3-1 at home to Norwich City, in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.
City were already two goals down when Wells, who scored from 12 yards against Swansea City a week earlier, stepped up to the spot with 15 minutes left after Tomas Kalas had been fouled by Jacob Lungi Sorensen — but the Bermuda striker put a fraction too much on his attempted Panenka kick and it sailed well over.
Wells, starting for the first time since the 1-0 home defeat by Middlesbrough on October 20, was replaced soon after by Famara Diédhiou to give City a more physical presence up front as they chased the game.
In the midst of a four-match winless run, Dean Holden’s men had little excuse for starting as cold as they did, with a slick Norwich dominating the early exchanges.
Unable to cope, City were two down within 14 minutes, as striker Teemu Pukki got on the end of two precise passes out of midfield and finished expertly each time.
The home side, awoken out of their slumber by that second goal, immediately got back into the match. Wells played his part, slipping in Jamie Paterson, whose shot was saved before Jack Hunt followed up to smash home the rebound.
City continued to struggle to get to grips with Norwich midfielders Marco Stiepermann and Emiliano Buendía, while the runs of Pukki were a constant menace for the home defence.
Just when it appeared City would get to the half only one down, as both Wells and strike partner Chris Martin came to life by going close, Buendía got on the end of a long ball with a brilliant first touch before slotting the ball beyond Daniel Bentley in the home goal.
The result dropped City, who began the season with four straight wins, to tenth place and manager Holden has already promised a positive approach for tomorrow’s visit to Huddersfield Town.
“We did get back into the game at 2-1 and I thought we got a real foothold in the game,” he told the Bristol City website. “To concede as we did on half-time was a sucker punch.
“We defended poorly first half and we need to get back to being hard to beat and get back to basics. We were far too open as a unit. They [Norwich] have good players but we’re disappointed with the goals we conceded.”
Wells’s penalty miss was a definite turning point in the match, but the manager was not pointing fingers. “He scored his last one against Swansea,” Holden said. “He practises them every day in training and I fancied him to put it away today. He didn’t and we had to respond to that.
“We win and lose together; we will pull together now and go to Huddersfield on Tuesday and have a real go at them.”
Donawa makes Solihull Moors debut
In the Vanarama National League, the fifth tier of the English football pyramid, Justin Donawa made his debut with Solihull Moors as a second-half substitute in a 3-1 defeat away to Maidenhead United.
Donawa, who recently secured a move away from Darlington one tier down for an undisclosed fee, played the final 13 minutes. Solihull drop two places to seventh.
First Chesterfield start for Milan Butterfield
Farther down the table, Milan Butterfield made his first start for Chesterfield in a 1-0 win away to Yeovil Town that lifted his club out of the relegation place into seventeenth out of 24 clubs.
Substitute Tom Denton scored the winner in the 69th minute.
The two Bermudians could come face-to-face in back-to-back league meetings during the Christmas holidays, starting on Boxing Day.
Five levels down in the Northern League second division, D’Andre Wainwright’s Billingham Synthonia beat Tow Law Town 1-0 on Saturday to move up three places in the 20-team league into fourth.
Wainwright, who has been a scoring sensation since joining Synthonia from Durham City, went close but it was Kurtis Howes who netted the only goal late in the first half. Synthonia also missed a penalty.