Bristol City lack ‛spark’ in defeat by Derby
Bristol City missed the opportunity to close the gap on the Sky Bet Championship play-off places after going down to a 1-0 defeat away to Derby County on Saturday.
Bermuda striker Nahki Wells started up front alongside Famara Diédhiou, but it was the home side who struck the only goal of the game, courtesy of top scorer Colin Kazim-Richards after just four minutes.
The former Turkey forward was perfectly placed at the back post to side-foot home Lee Buchanan's superb left-wing cross into the roof of the net and register his fifth goal of the season.
Max Bird had a chance to double their lead but struck a post from the edge of the box in the fifteenth minute.
Alfie Mawson, who had a header saved before the break, City's only effort on target, also missed a late chance, as did Diédhiou, in an otherwise blunt attacking display from the visiting side. Wells was replaced by Opi Edwards with 11 minutes remaining.
Although Derby failed to find the cushion of a second goal, it still proved enough to secure Wayne Rooney’s side a third successive 1-0 victory.
Meanwhile, a second defeat in six games saw Dean Holden’s City drop to ninth, three points adrift of the play-off places.
Next up for Wells’s City is a trip to third-placed Brentford on Wednesday, who are coming off the back of a 7-2 demolition of bottom club Wycombe Wanderers.
"Nowhere near the level we would expect in our performance,“ Holden said. ”They were the better team, no doubt about that. All over the pitch, our performance levels weren't what they've been in the last couple of games.
"We just didn't seem to have a spark in our performance and that's surprising. We've had performances like that this season, we've struggled at times. If you are going to maintain a promotion push, you've got to look for those consistent levels.
"It's been a bad day for us, no doubt about that. We've got to respond now. We've got a big test on Wednesday night at Brentford; they're a top team and we've got to find a response."
There was also disappointment for Wells’s compatriot Jonté Smith, who started for Woking but could not prevent his side falling to a crushing 4-1 defeat at home to promotion-chasing Stockport County in the Vanarama National League.
The visiting side started well, opening the scoring in the third minute when John Rooney found Connor Jennings with a low ball across the box and he tapped in at the back post.
After a sustained period of Stockport pressure, Rooney then got on the scoresheet himself eight minutes before the break, firing home from the edge of the area.
Macauley Southam-Hales made it 3-0 on the brink of half-time to all but put the result beyond doubt.
Moussa Diarra gave Woking a glimmer of hope, reducing the deficit in the 52nd minute but Stockport restored their three-goal lead through Alex Reid in the 65th minute to seal all three points.
In the same division, Milan Butterfield was not part of the Chesterfield squad that drew 2-2 away to Dagenham & Redbridge, while Justin Donawa’s Solihull Moors had their home match against Wealdstone postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
Elsewhere, Kenni Thompson was introduced as a second-half substitute as Santa Teresa claimed a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw away to Sevilla in the Spanish women’s first division.
Thompson entered the fray in the 50th minute with her side ahead courtesy of Estefania Lima Diaz’s 21st-minute opener. However, the home side levelled in the 62nd minute through Zenatha Coleman.