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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Sep 15 at 16:56 PM

Report: Blues 4 Bristol City 2

Clayton Donaldson opened his 2015/16 goalscoring account with a bang as he fired home a first-half hat-trick in Blues’ 4-2 win against the Robins on Saturday afternoon.

Defender Jonathan Grounds scored a decisive fourth for Blues late on.

The victory maintained Blues’ unbeaten start to the season and at the same time moved them up to fourth spot in the Sky Bet Championship.

Gary Rowett elected to go with same starting XI that did so well in the victory at MK Dons before the international break.

The only change to the matchday 18 was Viv Solomon-Otabor replacing Wes Thomas on the substitutes’ bench following Thomas’ loan move to Swindon Town on deadline day.

There was a lively opening to the game with both teams looking to push forward with pace.

With just ten minutes gone Blues deservedly took the lead courtesy of Donaldson.

The goal stemmed from a tricky bit of wing play from Demarai Gray on the left. Gray took the ball past Liam Moore before lifting a neat cross to the back post. It reached David Cotterill who guided it straight into the six yard box where Donaldson had the simple task of side footing the ball home from close range.

Blues had to wait just ten more minutes for their second and it was that man Donaldson who was once again in the right place at the right time to finish off a great Blues move.

The attack began in Blues’ own half. Donaldson laid the ball off to Jon Toral who burst down the right before checking inside and hitting a low ball into the danger zone, where Donaldson was on hand to power the ball past Frankie Fielding and into the back of the Bristol net.

Not content to sit back on their two-goal advantage, Blues continued to press and were looking dangerous every time they pushed forwards.

The majority of the St. Andrew's crowd could not believe it when Donaldson was grappled and shoved off his stride as he tried to get a shot off at goal by Aden Flint only for no penalty to be given.

Then a Toral somehow headed the wrong side of the post when a deep corner came invitingly to him, at a tight angle but at close range, with Fielding floundering.  

Blues could have been out of sight but very much against the run of play Bristol found themselves back in the contest after 32 minutes as they pulled a goal back through Jonathan Kodjia.

Joe Bryan sent in a decisive low past from the left byline which evaded the Blues defence and found Kodjia who made no mistake in firing it past Tomasz Kuszczak.

But Blues found themselves back with a two goal advantage just before half-time when Donaldson fired his side into a 3-1 lead from the penalty spot.

Aaron Wilbraham impeded Toral as he tried to scoot past him on the right and referee Mark Brown pointed straight to the spot. 

Donaldson stepped up instead of regular spot-kick taker Paul Caddis and calmly sidefooted the ball home after sending Fielding the wrong way.

Half-time: Blues 3 Bristol City 1

The early stages of the second-half lacked the intensity of the first. Blues fashioned their first opening when Cotterill’s cross was met by Donaldson, but he directed his header wide.

Just after the hour mark Bristol went close to a second goal when Marlon Pack fired just inches wide of the bottom corner of Kuszczak’s goal.

But just five minutes later the visitors were right back in it when Kodjia hooked the ball in on the volley, after a ball was played back into the area following a deep free-kick to the far post.

With 72 minutes played Bristol keeper Fielding produced a stunning save to tip Jonathan Grounds’ fierce goal-bound shot behind for a corner.

Blues thought they had scored a fourth goal when Donaldson headed home Demarai Gray’s deflected shot that looped up, but the referee’s assistant raised his flag for offside and the effort was ruled out - wrongly so, as replays showed afterwards. 

However, there was no doubt about Blues’ fourth goal on 77 minutes. Cotterill sent in a deep corner and Grounds rose brilliantly to head home an unstoppable downward header -  4-2 Blues!

With just three minutes of normal time remaining Blues went close to making it number five, but Donaldson’s strong shot was well saved by Fielding and then Stephen Gleeson's drive  from the rebound flew wide.

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