Nahki Wells and Bristol City’s woes persist as winless run hits 13
Nahki Wells came on a second-half substitute but could not prevent Bristol City going down to a 2-1 defeat away to Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.
Having been held to a disappointing 1-1 draw in their season opener at home to promoted Blackpool, hopes among the City supporters would have been high of kick-starting their campaign at the Riverside Stadium.
However, despite Andy King drawing City level in the 60th minute — after Uche Ikpeazu had broken the deadlock seven minutes before half-time — there was to be no turnaround, as Matt Crooks put the hosts back in front ten minutes later with a simple tap-in from a Paddy McNair free kick.
Wells, who replaced Kasey Palmer two minutes before Crooks’s goal, had little impact on the encounter, with strike partner Andreas Weimann coming closest to finding a equaliser. But his header dropped narrowly over Joe Lumley’s bar late into stoppage time.
The latest result leaves City without a win in 13 matches, going back to last season. Wells and his team-mates have the opportunity to make amends in a league match away to Reading today.
There was joy, however, for compatriot Dale Eve as the Bermuda goalkeeper helped Spennymoor Town get their Vanarama National League North campaign off to the perfect start with a 2-1 victory away to highly fancied Boston United.
Despite watching on as his team dominated much of the opening 45 minutes, Eve had to be alert with ten minutes of the first half remaining, smartly turning away Fraser Preston’s stinging shot to keep the game goalless at the interval.
The visitors were gifted a golden opportunity to break deadlock just shy of the hour mark when Brad Abbott was brought down in the area. Glen Taylor took responsibility and made no mistake, converting confidently from 12 yards.
Just as Spennymoor looked to be on the way to securing a deserved opening-day victory, a tangle of legs and bodies in the penalty area resulted in the referee awarding the home side a penalty of their own with just five minutes remaining. Danny Elliott stepped up and smashed his effort just beyond the reach of Eve and into the bottom left corner.
However, with only a minute remaining, the visitors broke up the field with a searching through-ball that released full back Scott McLean, who calmly slotted the ball home to become the unlikely hero and snatch all three points.
Fellow goalkeeper Nathan Trott endured another frustrating outing as his Nancy side slipped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Valenciennes in the French second division.
The visitors broke the deadlock eight minutes into the second half as, Trott — on loan from Premier League outfit West Ham United — was beaten by Gaeten Robail.
Nancy’s hopes of finding a way back into the encounter suffered a major setback 20 minutes later when midfielder Giovanni Haag was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
The defeat maintains Nancy’s winless start to the campaign, having taken a single point from their opening four matches to sit second from bottom.
Luke Robinson was handed his competitive Horsham debut as a second-half substitute, but could not prevent his new side kicking off the Isthmian League Premier Division season with defeat after going down 2-0 at home to Hornchurch.
A first-half brace from Liam Nash proved enough to send one of the pre-season title favourites back to Essex with all three points.
Reggie Lambe helped Stowmarket Town get off to a promising start to life in Isthmian League North by grabbing a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at home to Canvey Island.
Playing in their first match at step 4 of the English football pyramid, Stowmarket twice came from behind in each half, with Josh Mayhew and Evan Collard cancelling out goals from Evans Kouassi and Matthew Price.