Nahki Wells named as captain as Bristol City suffer cup defeat
Nahki Wells wore the captain’s armband as he made his first appearance of the new English season on Tuesday night in Bristol City’s 6-5 defeat on penalty kicks to Forest Green Rovers in the Carabao Cup in Gloucester.
Wells, who was an unused substitute in City 1-1 season-opening league draw with Blackpool on Saturday, watched in frustration as his team conceded a stoppage-time equaliser for the second time in three days.
On Saturday, City were leading on Chris Martin’s header just before half-time before substitute Shayne Lavery’s equaliser stunned the 18,739 crowd at Ashton Gate as fans returned to football grounds.
Tuesday’s cup upset also produced a night of anguish for City who were held to a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes with Wells leading the team as captain. City play two levels above Forest Green, of Sky Bet League Two.
Saikou Janneh scored his first City goals as he helped them fight from behind after Jamille Matt’s opener.
However, Rovers battled back to deny City victory with an equaliser in the final minute of second-half added time when Regan Hendry netted to send the match to a penalty shoot-out.
City’s Cameron Pring, born in Gloucestershire, saw his spot-kick saved as Forest Green secured the cup win. Pring was making his City debut in the heart of the defence alongside Tomas Kalas.
Forest Green drew first blood with the opener after just 11 minutes when captain Matt met Jack Aitchison’s cross to score and complete a good move from the home team which began with Ebou Adam’s reverse pass to Kane Wilson.
Wells almost set up an equaliser when his cross caused problems for the Forest Green defence as they struggled to clear.
City were forced into a substitution in the 37th minute when midfielder Joe Williams suffered a knock and was replaced by Tyreeq Bakinson. Moments later Wells was a threat again, this time his cross from the opposite flank picking out the unmarked Janneh.
An injury to Joe Williams forced the midfielder to be replaced by Tyreeq Bakinson in the 37th minute, though City were back in the game moments later. Wells was causing the danger again, this time his cross from the opposite flanks as his cross picked out the unmarked Janneh who scored from a deflection.
Kasey Palmer had an assist in the second half in providing Janneh with his second goal on the night to put City ahead.
O’Leary, the City goalkeeper, saved the first penalty, diving low to his right, but Palmer saw his effort from 12 yards also kept out. The next 11 penalties were all converted, leaving Pring with the pressure of needing to score. However the left back’s spot-kick was saved by Thomas as Forest Green sealed the win.
"It is frustrating because it's a game we should have won and we continue to make silly errors in terms of running the clock down,“ said Nigel Pearson, the City manager, referring to the late equalisers.
“It's frustrating because after the two games so far we could be looking at two wins. It's a draw and a defeat.
"The players had an opportunity to show what they're about and we didn't really do the job we should've done. It would have been good to send our fans home with a win, so yes [it is] frustration.“
Pearson added: "It was about decision-making. At the weekend we made some poor contact on the ball, some poor decisions where we showed our opponents and tonight we could have managed it better.
"There were one or too really good performances, some promising performances and for Han-Noah Massengo to complete 90 minutes was good. It's just frustrating we were in a winning position and we end up losing on penalties."
The City manager is expected to make changes again to the team for Saturday’s match away to Middlesbrough.