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Bristol City 1 – 1 Fulham: FLW reports as Cairney’s late equaliser spoils the party at Ashton Gate



A late Tom Cairney equaliser spoiled the party at Ashton Gate as Bristol City were held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham on the South West club’s 125th anniversary.

With the hosts clad in special anniversary kits, Nahki Wells headed City into the lead in the 70th minute but Cairney’s low strike meant the points were shared.

The Robins winless run has now extended to five games but they move one point closer to the top six ahead of the 3pm kick-offs, while Fulham consolidate their place in the play-offs.

As they did last weekend at the Den, City made a fast start to the game but this time they could only muster half-chances with efforts from both Wells and Andi Weiman easily gathered by Marek Rodak.

However, they were forced into a change after 20 minutes with Filip Benkovic replacing the injured Nathan Baker, which seemed to halt City’s momentum and allowed Fulham to take control of the game.

Parker’s side began to pile the pressure on the hosts’ goal and nearly took the lead in the 26th minute but Bobby Reid squandered a huge chance to punish his former club by directing a free header wide.

Lee Johnson’s men grew into the game once again as the first half wore on and backed by a chorus of “Come on you Reds” they nearly made the breakthrough three minutes before the break but Wells was unable to latch onto Weimann’s low cross from the left flank.

Baker’s injury meant there were three minutes added on and Fulham nearly made the most of it. With City under the cosh, Reid found space for a shot but Niki Maenpaa pulled off a fantastic sprawling save to keep the scores level.

The game continued at a break-neck pace after the half. Inside the first two minutes, Han-Noah Massengo danced through the Fulham midfield and found Wells, whose long-range effort took a wicked deflection and forced a full-length save from Rodak.

The hosts felt they should’ve had a penalty moments later when Callum O’Dowda went to ground after a challenge from Cairney but the referee waved away their appeals.

Up the other end, Reid was denied yet again by Maenpaa, who got down low to block his effort from just outside the six-yard box.

The game continued to ebb and flow, with both sides having periods of possession and control but neither could find that moment of magic to break the deadlock.

The introduction of Famara Diedhiou seemed to galvanise the Ashton Gate crowd and his City teammates, and in the 70th minute, the Robins took the lead through Wells.

O’Dowda’s corner caused carnage in the Fulham box, pinballing around as players grappled to get on the end of it, and eventually floated to the Bermudian striker at the back post, who made no mistake with his short-range header.

Fulham had to throw caution to the wind as the final whistle crept closer, shifting to a back three with Anthony Knockaert on in place of Tim Ream, but Johnson’s side were more than happy to play on the break.

The visitors nearly found an equaliser 11 minutes before the end but Maenpaa pulled off another fantastic save to deny Reid, whose flicked front post header gave the goalkeeper just seconds to react.

They did find one in the 84th minute. The ball ricocheted into the path of Cairney outside the City box and the Scotsman fired his effort into the bottom corner to quiet the party atmosphere at Ashton Gate.

Reid had a golden opportunity to grab a winner in the last minute of the 90 but his hesitancy and a Tomas Kalas block denied him.

Fulham may feel they could’ve had a penalty in the dying moments when Maenpaa flew in at Cairney’s feet to gather the ball but the referee was having none of it.

That proved the last action, meaning honours were left even at Ashton Gate. City robbed of a win on their 125th anniversary but seem to be finding their feet again after their recent wobble.

Fulham may feel they should’ve left BS3 with more than just a point but the result means they carry some momentum into next week’s clash with Brentford.

Full Time: Bristol City 1 – 1 Fulham

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Bristol City 1 – 1 Fulham: FLW reports as Cairney’s late equaliser spoils the party at Ashton Gate

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