Bristol City 1-1 Hull - A really gutsy performance
A resolute Bristol City side did their best to knock high flying Hull City off their perch. City showed two changes from the side that thrashed Middlesbrough with Huddlestone replacing the injured Meyler and Akpom given a chance following a decision to rest Hernandez.
City started brightly, passing the ball around with composure and it was a shock when Bristol scored on the half hour following a goalmouth melee. It was the usually reliable Odubajo who missed his kick in the penalty area allowing Agard to lash the ball home.
City should have scored at least twice in the first half following blockbusting shots by Livermore and Maguire which were palmed away by Fielding.
City had four players booked in the game resulting in Dawson and Robertson missing the showdown with Derby next Friday. An over zealous referee seemed to take exception to City's physical approach yet let similar challenges by Bristol players go unpunished. A point which Steve Bruce seemed to emphasise to the referee at half time.
City's tempo seemed to drop in the second half and for long periods it looked as if Bristol would get a second and put the game to bed.
However another inspired piece of substituting by Bruce, replacing the ineffective Akpom with Shaun Maloney yielding an equaliser within 10 minutes. A through pass was flicked on by Diame's outstretched leg and Maloney, anticipating the flick, coolly fired into the roof of the net. Strangely both goals were against the run of play.
City brought on Aluko for the last few minutes, but other than a couple of dribbles and one cross which Maguire got on the end of, he made little difference.
City would have loved three points but in truth a point was a fair result.
They must be hoping now that Burnley and Brighton will draw tomorrow so they stay top of the league.
Maguire had another good game as did Livermore and Clucas. Huddlestone certainly seems to have upped his work rate which he needed to do.
I know Maloney scored but City's lack of depth in striking options is worrying. We are playing an attacking midfield player (Diame) as a striker and without Hernandez we only have Aluko who is ineffective. Let's hope we see Diamande soon!
Tony Atkin 21.11.15