1. ITV Report

Sub Stead's late strike secures City win

Bristol City's Jon Stead celebrates his winning goal over Ipswich at Ashton Gate. Photo: PA Wire

CHAMPIONSHIP

  • BRISTOL CITY 2 - 1 IPSWICH TOWN

Jon Stead's last-gasp winner earned Sean O'Driscoll a victory in his first home game in charge of the Robins.

The former Ipswich striker won the match with 60 seconds remaining to give the side rock-bottom of the Championship a huge three points in their battle against relegation.

The visitors led at half-time thanks to the recalled Daryl Murphy but just two minutes after the break substitute Steven Davies levelled with a fine finish.

And it looked like the sides would draw 1-1 for the second time this season until Stead's late intervention.

Bristol City came into this match without a goal since New Year's Day but their chances of ending that barren spell were boosted by the return of top scorer Sam Baldock to the starting line-up alongside Ryan Taylor.

While Baldock had been passed fit after injury Taylor had to be withdrawn after just 15 minutes with an arm problem and was replaced by Davies.

That early change of strike partner did not seem to phase Baldock who had the first real chance of a quiet opening to the match with an 21st minute volley from inside the box that was deflected just inches wide of Scott Loach's goal by Tommy Smith.

At the other end the visitors had their first chance of the match three minutes later, David McGoldrick controlling the ball on his chest before firing wide.

And the former Nottingham Forest man played a part in the game's opening goal on the half-hour mark. McGoldrick flicked the ball to the recalled Murphy who drew Tom Heaton in before coolly firing home his sixth of the season.

City, who have conceded more goals on home soil than any other team in the division, then came very close to letting in the 35th of the campaign eight minutes before the break when Lee Martin somehow missed the target from six yards after being found by McGoldrick's cross.

There were missed opportunities before the break for Davies, with a free-kick held at the second attempt, and Liam Kelly as they looked to score the first Robins goal for 342 minutes.

Steven Davies equalises for City in the 47th minute. Credit: PA Wire

And just two minutes after Sean O'Driscoll's first half-time team talk at Ashton Gate they did just that. Louis Carey's raking ball found Paul Anderson and the former Liverpool winger's reverse pass found Davies who finished from a tight angle to draw the home side level.

Ipswich were stung into action by that 47th minute equaliser and Murphy could have scored his second of the afternoon three minutes later but he nodded over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

Anderson thought he should have had a penalty with 12 minutes to go when he felt former City man Bradley Orr handled inside the box, but his protests were waved away.

At the other end Heaton made a big double save with six minutes to go to deny Aaron Cresswell and then Martin as he looked certain to score.

And just when it looked like the sides would have to settle for a point, debutant Brendan Moloney stood up a cross which Davies knocked down into the path of Stead and the striker kept his cool to earn a vital win.

Jon Stead strikes the winner in the 90th minute. Credit: PA Wire

We had to weather a storm, but I thought the players showed tremendous character to stay in the game.

It was so important to get a home win on the board after the lads had been beaten 4-0 by Leicester last time they played here.

I missed the equalising goal because I was shouting at my midfield players to take up better positions following a tactical change at half time.

It's one step in the right direction, but we know we have to do even better to survive in the Championship.

– Sean O'Driscoll, Head Coach, Bristol City

I'm angry, livid and totally devastated.

One long ball has taken out three of our defenders for the winner and that simply shouldn't happen. It was a dreadful goal to concede.

We had a great chance to go 2-0 up in the first half and opportunities to win the game near the end. I should be happy because we played well for long periods.

But that means nothing. We should not have lost and my weekend will have a black cloud hanging over it.

– Mick McCarthy, Manager, Ipswich Town

LEAGUE TWO

  • ROTHERHAM UNITED 1 - 3 BRISTOL ROVERS
Joe Anyinsah scored Rovers' third goal at Rotherham. Credit: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Bristol Rovers climbed off the bottom of the Football League after an impressive win at high-flying Rotherham.

The match sparked into life just before half-time. Rotherham debutant Claude Davis brought down new Rovers striker Ryan Brunt in the area, and Lee Brown scored from the spot.

Davis, who had been booked earlier in the half, was dismissed after receiving a second yellow in stoppage time for a foul on Eliot Richards.

The Pirates made the numerical advantage count early in the second half. Substitute Ellis Harrison ran half the length of the pitch - beating three defenders - before firing past Andy Warrington in the Rotherham goal.

Just after the hour mark Rovers increased their lead through Joe Anyinsah. The striker exchanged passes with Michael Smith and hit a low shot past Warrington from 12 yards.

Former Bristol City midfielder David Noble scored a late consolation for the home side, but Rovers never looked like conceding a second.

John Ward's men have now scored six goals in two away fixtures. The win moves them up one place to 23rd - level on points with Plymouth Argyle - with two games in hand.

  • CHELTENHAM TOWN 0 - 0 ROCHDALE
Keith Lowe had Cheltenham's best chances in the second half. Credit: EMPICS Sport

On Friday night Cheltenham were held to their third straight draw.

The game was played out in difficult conditions. Steve Elliott headed wide in a first half of few openings.

Rochdale's best chance fell to Ashley Grimes, but he could only curl his right footed effort past Scott Brown's post.

Keith Lowe had opportunities to break the deadlock in the second half. The defender forced a good save from Rochdale goalkeeper Josh Lillis, and also saw a shot from the edge of the area deflected wide.

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