Bristol City 2-1 Middlesbrough: Andreas Weimann scores 16th of the season in narrow Robins win


Bristol City 2-1 Middlesbrough: Andreas Weimann scores 16th of the season in narrow Robins win

Bristol City 2-1 Middlesbrough: Andreas Weimann scores 16th of the season in narrow Robins win

Bristol City 2-1 Middlesbrough: Andreas Weimann scores 16th of the season in narrow Robins win

The home side took a seventh-minute lead when Antoine Semenyo muscled a defender off the ball on the right and crossed low for Weimann to fire first-time past Joe Lumley from 12 yards.

Semenyo doubled the advantage with a brilliant strike from outside the box on 68 minutes and the match was into stoppage time when Matt Crooks headed Boro's consolation from a right-wing corner.

It was the day City honoured the 40th anniversary of the eight players who tore up their contracts to save the club from going out of business in February 1982.

Six of the 'Ashton Gate Eight' - Geoff Merrick, Trevor Tainton, Gerry Sweeney, David Rodgers, Julian Marshall and Peter Aitken were introduced onto the pitch before kick-off. Jimmy Mann and Chris Garland were unable to attend.

City boss Nigel Pearson gave a start to youngster Sam Bell on the right flank and had midfielder Joe Williams operating in the middle of a back-three. Boro manager Chris Wilder named an unchanged side.

The visitors started positively before being rocked by Weimann's early goal. Both sides pressed forward promisingly in the opening half-hour without creating clear chances.

One fell to Boro on 34 minutes when Aaron Connolly intercepted a poor back-pass from Han-Noah Massengo, but the striker fired into the side-netting.

Wilder's men stepped up the pressure as the interval approached, Timm Klose doing well to head clear an inswinging Connolly corner and Marcus Tavernier seeing a shot from eight yards deflected over.

Boro continued on the front foot after the break, Tavernier's fierce left-footed drive on 47 minutes bringing a smart save from Dan Bentley.

The City goalkeeper made a better stop five minutes later, advancing to block a Folarin Balogun shot from inside the box.

Connolly headed over before Weimann wasted a decent chance to make it 2-0, mistiming his header from a Bell cross.

When Cameron Pring replaced Bell on 65 minutes, Williams moved into his more accustomed midfield role, with the substitute slotting in at the back.

Semenyo's goal failed to check Boro's momentum and Bentley made his best save yet to keep out Connolly's 25-yard drive.

City's keeper was having a blinder as he parried a powerful shot from substitute Riley McGree. At the other end, Lumley saved from Massengo and Semenyo was just over with a clever flick.

Crooks struck in stoppage time to give Boro a glimmer of hope and the visitors could feel they contributed enough to have deserved a point.

What the managers said...

Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson: "It was an emotional occasion, particularly for those with a long association with our club, and the players have produced a fitting tribute. I met six of the Ashton Gate Eight yesterday and I was playing when they were. What they did will never be forgotten. We weren't at our best, but in terms of effort and application I couldn't have asked for more.

"I question our decision-making at times and we are still making errors when defending a lead, but there is no doubting the commitment of the players. Our home fans are now seeing what they want to see, good honest performances, with their team giving everything. We are making progress as a squad, but we have a long way to go. Today we have beaten a very good team, which is encouraging.

"Last season home games were hard to watch at times. But we have put that behind us. There were some good individual performances. Dan Bentley has had to be patient awaiting his chance to get back into the team and did well."

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder: "There are no excuses. We weren't unlucky and got what we deserved. Games are decided in both boxes. We couldn't keep the ball out of our net and didn't do enough to punish them going forward. The match summed up our weekend after what happened yesterday, but that's football sometimes.

"It was a difficult team performance to summarise, not great at times, but at others good enough to create a lot of chances. We had enough possession of the ball in key areas to score more goals. Perhaps it was a result that was coming. On current form before today it was between us and Sheffield United who were on the best run.

"We fell a bit short today, but the players have been giving everything and we will improve further through hard work and recruitment. It's not a time to be critical of the players. We all want to get into the play-offs now, but my appointment was based on having a medium to long-term effect on the club. We have made great strides and this was a backward step."