Nahki Wells steers Bristol City into FA Cup fifth round
Nahki Wells expressed his delight after putting an end to a goal drought and helping Bristol City to advance to the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.
Making his first start in three outings, the Bermuda striker had a goal and an assist as City eased past Sky Bet Championship rivals Millwall 3-0 at the Den.
“Good to be back on the scoresheet after a going a long period of time without a goal,” Wells told The Royal Gazette.
“It always takes a bit of that pressure off your shoulders, which us strikers carry when we’re going through a little rough spell.”
Millwall had the better of the opening half-hour, with Mason Bennett testing Max O'Leary with a low drive that City goalkeeper did well to push behind.
But it was the visiting side who broke the deadlock when Famara Diédhiou, racing on to Zak Vyner's through-ball, was felled by former City goalkeeper Frank Fielding and picked himself up to tuck away the resulting spot-kick.
Diédhiou, who was sent off in City's recent league defeat by Millwall, almost immediately doubled his side's lead, heading Adrian Mariappa's cross wide as City broke after Tommy Rowe's goalline clearance had denied Tom Bradshaw an equaliser.
City looked lively after the interval, with Antoine Semenyo firing a good opportunity into the side netting before Wells's deflected free kick from 20 yards made it 2-0 and ended a personal run of 11 games without a goal.
“A bit of fortune in the goal, of course, but I think I totally deserved it,” Wells said of the strike that left Fielding hopelessly wrong-footed.
Millwall's hopes of a comeback were finally snuffed out when Wells picked out Semenyo, who beat two defenders and tucked his low finish beyond Fielding to set up a last-16 trip to Bramall Lane to face Premier League outfit Sheffield United.
“I think I punched well above my weight and played my part in our third goal as well in getting the assist, so in all very happy with my performance,” Wells added.
“I led the line well, linked the play well, worked hard off the ball and got stuck in. Millwall was a very tough place to go and a tough team to always play against physically.”
Into the fifth round for only the second time in 20 years, City will face familiar opposition.
“A Premier League side and a lot of players that we’re all familiar with from the Championship and my Premier League days,” Wells said of the Sheffield United tie.
“We’ll be looking forward to that one, of course, and that’s away at Bramall Lane, so a really good stadium to be playing at.”
In the meantime, Wells hopes to kick on from his impressive display at the weekend when City host former club Huddersfield Town in the Championship at Ashton Gate tomorrow.
“We got the win over them up in Yorkshire a few months back and we’re looking to try to do the double over them this time,” he said.
“I am looking forward to it and will have my fingers crossed and head down to try and go on a bit of run; get the goalscoring streak going again and, more importantly, get some more points on the board after our last disappointing league fixture.”
• Jonté Smith made his Woking debut as his new club played at a goalless draw at home to Maidenhead in the Vanarama National League.
The Bermuda striker, who signed a deal last week to stay at Kingfield Stadium until the end of the season, replaced Slavi Spasov in the 64th minute but could not help the hosts find a breakthrough.
It was Spasov who had best opportunity of the opening 20 minutes when he cut inside from the left wing but dragged his effort narrowly wide.
Ben Dempsey then should have broken the deadlock for Woking 15 minutes into the second half when he dispossessed Manny Parry at the back but could only fire his effort straight at goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond.
In the same division, Justin Donawa was not part of the Solihull Moors squad that secured a 2-0 victory away to bottom side Dover Athletic.