Out-of-favour Nahki Wells makes best of outing with the kids
Nahki Wells used the Bristol City Under-23 match with Hull City in Professional Development League 2 yesterday to prove to manager to Nigel Pearson he still has something to offer at the Sky Bet Championship club this season.
The seemingly out-of-favour Bermuda captain, who has played only 51 minutes this season for City’s first team, showed his scoring touch with four goals in a 6-2 victory at Ashton Gate despite playing most of it with ten men.
“Some much needed minutes for the legs,” Wells posted on Twitter afterwards.
City had not signed another striker before Tuesday’s transfer deadline day, with Wells taking the opportunity to advance his claims for a starting spot with an outstanding performance.
He netted twice in the first half and added two more in the second half, to go with strikes from Saikou Janneh and Sam Bell, and will give manager Pearson some attacking options for their next match against Preston North End after the international break.
The 31-year-old is yet to start a match in the Championship this season, but his performance and the way he took his chances will be a reminder that he is looking to remain a part of Pearson’s plans as one of three senior strikers in the squad.
Yesterday, Joe Williams, who played for an hour in his return from a thigh injury, set up Wells to complete his hat-trick in the second half before a perfect pass from Josh Owers put Wells clear to score his fourth.
City were reduced to ten men as early as the second minute after last defender Nathaniel Williams was sent off pulling back an opponent who was through on goal. McCauley Snelgrove scored from the resulting penalty.
Despite being a man short, City surged upfield consistently, led by the experienced Wells who equalised in the thirteenth minute when he met a cross at the back post and controlled the ball before rifling home from an angle.
It did not take long for Wells to get his second when he got on the end of Max O’Leary’s long free kick before lobbing the goalkeeper to put City in front.
Late in the first half, City extended their lead when Wells reclaimed possession to start the move with a pass to Kasey Palmer, who picked out Janneh with a through-ball for him to coolly score into the bottom corner.
Wells completed his hat-trick just 30 seconds after the restart when Williams moved forward and laid on the pass for the Bermudian to score.
Hull pulled one back on the hour mark through Henry Curtis, but City made sure of their third straight victory this season when Wells scored the fifth in the 68th minute, slotting home a delightful ball from second-half substitute Josh Owers.
Bell took advantage of a napping Hull defence to tap home Janneh’s cross at the far post to round off a convincing performance.