BRISTOL CITY 1 (Pack 59), UNITED 0
Bristol City team: Fielding, Little (Moore 52), Flint, Magnusson, Bryan, Freeman, Reid, Pack, Paterson, Tomlin (O'Neil 69), Abraham (Wilbraham 78). Subs: O'Donnell, Golbourne, Brownhill, O'Dowda.
United team: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson (Cooper 45), Taylor, Phillips, O'Kane, Hernandez, Dallas (Roofe 68), Sacko, Wood. Subs: Silvestri, Coyle, Grimes, Mowatt, Antonsson.
Referee: Keith Stroud
Booked: Pack, Tomlin (Bristol City), Jansson, Dallas, Taylor (United)
Att: 19,699 (2,065 United)
United’s four-game winning streak was brought to a halt as Marlon Pack’s second-half strike was enough for Bristol City to claim a 1-0 victory at Ashton Gate on Tuesday night.
Pack tucked away the only goal of the game just before the hour mark, calming finishing beyond Rob Green after being slotted into the area by Lee Tomlin, on a night where United had numerous opportunities to take something from the game.
It took Garry Monk’s 12 minutes to carve out their first opening, Stuart Dallas lashing across the face of goal after exchanging passes with Pablo Hernandez on the edge of the area, but the visitors soon started to look like a side chasing a fifth straight victory as Hernandez saw his long-range effort blocked by Hordur Magnusson.
At the opposite end, the home supporters briefly thought their side had opened the scoring, only to see Lee Tomlin’s effort on the turn brush the side-netting from the edge of the area.
Hadi Sacko then carved a glorious opening, cutting the ball back for the arriving Hernandez to drag a low, first-time wide of the far post, before Sacko himself was denied an opener, forcing City ‘keeper Frank Fielding into a sharp save to beat away his strike after skipping away from his marker inside the hosts’ box.
Hernandez had an effort blocked after escaping a series of challenges, before City passed up two good chances on the stroke of half-time. First, in-form striker Tammy Abraham skied an effort from close-range after being threaded in by Bobby Reid, before Jamie Paterson forced a stunning reflex save from Rob Green after flicking a cross goalwards from close-range.
United defender Pontus Jansson was forced off with a hamstring problem at the break, replaced by Liam Cooper at the heart of defence, before the teams contested a relatively uneventful start to the second period.
That was until the 59th minute when Hernandez was bundled off the ball in midfield, opening things up for the hosts and allowing Tomlin to thread Pack into the area to sweep a composed finish into the United net to break the deadlock.
United looked to mount a quick response and Sacko was again denied by Fielding after being found by Hernandez; this time the City stopper turning his strike behind with the slightest of finger-tip saves.
Sacko raced through again moments later, only to be denied by a superb, last-ditch block from Joe Bryan, before Fielding thwarted Wood from inside the area with another fine save down to his left as United chased an equaliser.
Kyle Bartley headed a corner wide in stoppage time, while Reid came close to adding a second for the hosts, but there proved to be no late drama at either end as City clinched the three points.