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First Team News

A Match To Remember: Bristol City

17 December 2020

First Team News

A Match To Remember: Bristol City

17 December 2020

Back in April 2017 the Lilywhites put on a five-star performance to pick up three points against this Friday's visitors Bristol City.

First Team News

The One And Only Issue Ten

17 December 2020

Former Robin, Callum Robinson, netted twice as North End reignited their Sky Bet Championship Play-Off charge with a 5-0 victory.

PNE hosted the Robins following draws against Blackburn and Nottingham Forest, but led at half-time thanks to Tom Barkhuizen's sixth goal in as many games.

After the break, an Aiden McGeady penalty and a Tom Clarke goal put the game to bed, before Robinson added a quick-fire double to leave the Lilywhites eighth - five points off a Play-Off place.

Early on, striker Jordan Hugill blazed over after being put through by team-mate Ben Pearson, before midfielder Paul Gallagher saw an effort turned wide by City stopper Frank Fielding in a lively first five minutes.

With the visitors matching the home side in the opening period, City winger David Cotterill blasted over after linking up with Tammy Abraham.

But North End should have gone ahead on 12 minutes when McGeady was denied by Fielding at close range after Robinson put it on a plate for the Everton loanee.

The Robins hit back with Cotterill blasting an effort straight down Chris Maxwell's throat in the home goal as the visitors worked to prevent PNE establishing a firm grip on the contest.

But next came Barkhuizen's opener on 24 minutes following excellent interplay between McGeady and Robinson to put the Lilywhites ahead.

With an attractive ebb and flow to the contest Maxwell dived low to his left to deny City centre back and former PNE man Bailey Wright, before McGeady fired wide of Fielding's right-hand post at the other end.

As City began to go a little flat, Robinson's attempt to curl an effort just inside Fielding's left-hand post drifted wide, while Hugill saw a shot blocked in the box after being picked out by the influential McGeady.

With the minutes ticking down to the break Maxwell just held on after almost fumbling Cotterill's routine cross as Abraham looked to pounce in a quiet end to the opening period.

Shortly after the restart, McGeady slotted home his penalty after Robinson was bundled over in the box by City centre half Aden Flint.

With the home side now in cruise control, Gallagher's free-kick from the right was headed home by skipper Clarke to effectively end the contest. But the hosts compounded City's misery with Robinson striking on 63 minutes after being set up by Barkhuizen. And he struck again four minutes later to leave Bristol City just a point outside the relegation zone.

After the game, then boss Simon Grayson said: "It ended up being a good night for us - a very good night. First half we got off to a good start and got the goal. I said at half-time that we just needed to do things quicker with the ball. There were some key moments in the game that do change games. I think Chris Maxwell's save from Bailey Wright was a great save at 1-0.

"We came out in the second half full steam ahead, got the penalty and from then on we played with a real confidence and a bit of swagger about us without being too complacent. We scored some very good goals.

"It was what we wanted - to try and get the first goal because when a team's near the bottom you have to try and take advantage of any vulnerability that they have got. And they've got some good players - the lad [Tammy] Abraham is a talented player, a threat and [Lee] Tomlin just behind him in the wide areas."

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson added: "It's devastating isn't it? It's frustrating - [I'm] angry. I thought in the first half we played some excellent football. I thought we were the better side and were unlucky to come in 1-0 down. But it's just in those moments we need to be tougher - whether it be balls coming into the box, whether it be finishing, whether it be 50/50 tackles.

"That's what we said in [the dressing room] because let's be honest, in that 20-minute spell in the second half we capitulated. Even the subs who came on - [Hordur Bjorgvin] Magnusson came on and spent half the time on the floor. He's got to be tougher. He's got to be stronger. Nobody can really say they've had a good game, particularly in the second half.

"But it's so frustrating because we weren't that bad in the first half. We did have opportunities, we played some good football and players were on their game."

PNE line-up: Maxwell, Clarke, Baptiste, Huntingtin, Cunningham, Barkhuizen (Beckford, 78), Gallagher, Pearson (Johnson, 71), McGeady (Horgan, 71), Robinson. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Browne, Makienok, Boyle.

Bristol City line-up: Fielding, Smith, Flint, Wright, Bryan, Hegeler (Brownhill, 73), Pack (Magnusson, 57), Cotterill, Tomlin, O'Dowda (Wilbraham, 57), Abraham. Subs not used: Taylor, Reid, Paterson, Giefer.

Referee: Mr Andy Madley

Attendance: 10,224

On Friday night we will still have iFollow PNE available for ‘option 1’ season ticket holders and overseas supporters – and Jonathan Breeze and Paul McKenna will be on air from 7.30pm – just click here to check if a match pass is available in your region.

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