City lead at the break through Emmanuel-Thomas
Bristol City 1
Manager John Ward made just one change to his starting lineup for tonight’s first round Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Ashton Gate.
Matt Harrold, who replaced the injured Ryan Brunt on Saturday, kept his place in the side, but Brunt had recovered and was able to take his place on the bench.
The game began at a frantic pace with City enjoying the lion’s share of possession and they forced the first corner of the game after five minutes.
Steve Mildenhall gathered the ball safely from Bobby Reid’s corner, but City remained on the offensive and opened the scoring on 12 minutes. Reid played in Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who took one step forward and beat Mildenhall from 30 yards with a stunning left foot shot.
Rovers at last managed to get out of their own half and David Clarkson, playing against his former club, rolled the ball wide of the upright.
City went close again when Aden Flint headed just wide from a corner but Rovers hit back and Ollie Norburn tried a snap shot from 25 yards out which drew a routine save from Elliot Parish.
Rovers had a great opportunity to get back on level terms on the half hour mark when O’Toole arrived late in the area to connect with Norburn’s corner, but his powerful effort was directed well wide of the upright.
Two minutes later, though, Mildenhall produced an outstanding save to deny Marlon Harewood whose shot was destined for the back of the net before the keeper dived low to his right to push it away.
Rovers created another opportunity with seven minutes of the half remaining. O’Toole caught Marlon Pack in possession and played the ball into Harrold, but his shot carried little power and was comfortably saved by Parish.
Almost immediately City broke down the right and a curling cross from Reid hit the bar and rebounded to safety, while in their next attack City again hit the woodwork when Harewood’s effort struck the upright and fell behind for a goal kick.
Harrison tried his luck with two minutes remaining but his weak effort trickled through to Parish.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Tom Lockyer, Oliver Norburn, John-Joe O’Toole, David Clarkson, Matt Harrold
Substitutes: Garry Kenneth, Matt Gill, Conor Gough, Ryan Brunt, Alefe Santos
City: Elliot Parish, Brendan Moloney, Aden Flint, James O’Connor, Nicky Shorey, Scott Wagstaff, Bobby Reid, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Marlon Pack
Substitutes: Frank Fielding, Louis Carey, Sam Baldock, Jordan Wynter, Stephen McLaughlin
Referee: Simon Hooper