Sport Bristol City See Cardiff to Manager Nigel Pearson a Birthday Gift

Bristol City See Cardiff to Manager Nigel Pearson a Birthday Gift

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Goals from Tommy Conway and Rob Atkinson gave Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson the perfect birthday present as his team beat Cardiff City 2-0 at Ashton Gate.

The home team took the lead in the 41st minute in the North Side Derby, when Nucky Wells shot on goal, and Conway was ahead of his scorer and scored his fourth goal of the season with a diving header.

Central defender Atkinson led 2-0, conceding a free kick from Joe Williams in the 64th minute, and Nigel Pearson’s team held the lead and earned three championship points earned on the day of the 59th anniversary of the former Leicester manager.

”It was a good way to spend my birthday, a match in which there was a lot of controversy,” Pearson said afterwards. “I am pleased with a very good performance and a positive day for us.”

“I don’t think we are a team that can sit back and absorb – we are much better when we provide support. It was a very honest performance,” Pearson added. “The team develops an identity that we can be proud of. I’m very happy with the way we played, [and] it’s great that there are good young players in the squad.””

Cardiff had to make changes in the seventh minute when Joel Bagan suffered a head injury in a collision with Alex Scott and was replaced by Jack Simpson. Bristol City then started the race when Conway burst forward from the left and saw his shot deflected from close range by Cardiff goalkeeper Ryan Alsop.

Han-Noah Massengo got the ball into the visitors’ net five minutes later, but his header to the center from Andreas Weimann was removed for a foul on Alsop. Suddenly, the home team’s defense was vulnerable, as Max Watters threw himself on Malone Romeo’s ball in the 38th minute to shoot above the goal, and only Dan Bentley remained to be beaten.

Seconds later, Cedric Kipre fired close at the end of Cardiff’s penetrating strike before the balance changed again with Conway’s goal. It was almost 2-0 before the break when Weimann’s volley crashed into the crossbar.

Cardiff thought they had equalized in the first half due to injury, but Shai Ojo shot through the center of former Bristol striker Callum O’Dowd from close range, who was denied due to offside. Then the hosts had a good chance to double the advantage at the beginning of the second period when Jay Dasilva shot from the second flank into the center of Weimann.

Williams made a slight effort to deflect off the post and Atkinson fired from close range when Cardiff were under heavy pressure. Manager Steve Morison responded with a double substitution in the 57th minute, sending Mark Harris and Jayden Filogen-Bidas to replace Watters and Oho.

Romain Sawyers from Cardiff and Massengo from Bristol approached with shots that flew nearby. This was followed by Atkinson’s goal and Cardiff’s counter-strike, as a result of which Bentley courageously saved first Harris, and then another substitute Rubin Colville.

Dasilva risked a penalty by bunching up behind Romeo, but referee Thomas Bramall saw nothing wrong with that. Weimann scored from close range in the 78th minute, but found himself offside in Wells’ midfield.

“The result was all that mattered today. We lost the match and everyone is very disappointed with that,” Morison said afterwards. “Nothing else matters. We had opportunities that we should have taken advantage of, but we didn’t and Bristol [City] scored twice.”

“I told our strikers that I was tired of missed opportunities,” he added. “They get there, but they have to score the ball deep into the net. I will try to help them, but we don’t know yet if they have enough quality to score in this league.”

Thanks to the victory, Bristol City equaled Cardiff with seven points, and the goal difference allowed Pearson’s team to take seventh place, and the Bluebirds – 12th.

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