Ten-man Bristol City score late equaliser
Bristol City battled for more than an hour with ten men before an 87th-minute goal by midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson earned them a share of the points in a 1-1 draw away to relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
City will claim that the late equaliser, which denied Wednesday three valuable points, was a just outcome after they had Henri Lansbury sent off in the 20th minute for a handball that video replays showed to be incorrect.
Wednesday, already leading 1-0 after a fourth-minute goal from Julian Borner, were denied from the resulting penalty when goalkeeper Daniel Bentley saved low to his right to deny Barry Bannon.
City then snatched a deserved equaliser three minutes from the end through Bakinson, whose shot from outside the box found the bottom corner.
Nahki Wells started on the bench before coming on for Famara Diedhiou in the 56th minute as City made a triple substitution. Manager Nigel Pearson was pleased with the character the team showed to snatch a point.
"Yes [it was] a tough game," Pearson told Robins TV. "Circumstances were unfortunate because, having seen the penalty back and spoken to Henri himself, it was an uphill struggle for us.
“The players’ response in how they approached it was very encouraging.
"We keep giving away these soft goals and players not dealing with their own marker has been a recurring problem for us. I’ve said in some interviews before that people have questioned our commitment as well.
“That’s never an easy thing to hear or deal with but today the collective answer we gave was a positive one. There were more positives than negatives today and I thought we played pretty well, we managed the ball much better than we have done."
Pearson singled out goalkeeper Bentley for special praise along with youngster Bakinson, whose goal was his third of the season. “He came for crosses and made some really good decisions with some effective punches, and they are key moments in games because the defenders can’t always keep the ball out of the box in the way we would like to,” the manager said.
“He was very good, calm and the key moments were positives in his performance. His distribution was also very good, too."
"Tyreeq is a complex lad," Pearson added. "He’s still learning his trade but today gave you an example of what he is capable of doing.
“We think he can be better still, by adding physicality to his game, running with high intensity and he had to do that today. You can’t not do that with ten men and both he and Han-Nah [Massengo] were very effective out there — that’s the benchmark."
The three substitutions early in the second half gave City a new spark as they chased the equaliser. "We talked at half-time about maybe getting to the hour but it became clear players were running out of energy," Pearson explained.
“Front players had to work very hard for the team defensively, too, so it goes without saying that those changes would be needed. We worked in the week on playing with two full backs either side to give us more attacking flair.
“I thought the substitutes contributed well to the team; they understood the situation and tried to deliver but it was never going to be easy for us."
City return to action on Wednesday when they travel to face Wycombe Wanderers.
• Goalkeeper Nathan Trott watched from the substitutes’ bench as West Ham United lost a five-goal thriller against relegation-threatened Newcastle United at St James Park on Saturday.
Newcastle led 2-0 at the half with West Ham down to ten men after 36 minutes when Craig Dawson was sent off. However, they fought back to 2-2 late in the game before Newcastle scored the winner through Joe Willock in the 82nd minute.
•Jonté Smith came on for Woking Town as an 88th-minute substitute in their 4-0 home loss to Wrexham in the Vanarama National League. Wrexham, fifth in the standings, netted twice in stoppage time to double their lead.