Alex Scott and Joe Williams support act helps see Bristol City beat Reading

Joe Williams of Bristol City battles for possession with Tom Ince of Reading.Joe Williams of Bristol City battles for possession with Tom Ince of Reading.
Joe Williams of Bristol City battles for possession with Tom Ince of Reading.
It was a nervy last 15 minutes for the side in red at Ashton Gate last night but Nigel Pearson’s side got the job done, as midfielders stepped up to the plate.

Phew. They held on. Bristol City avoided making it a tenth injury time goal conceded this season as they survived a late penalty shout and the peppering of Max O’Leary’s goal in the final stages on Wednesday night. They did enough.

The pattern of the game was familiar, with City having good spells but forced back in the final stages, but at least they kept the opposition out on this occasion.

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It may not mark an about turn in league form, but the confidence gained here may have an accumulative effect for further fixtures.

Only Peterborough have conceded more goals in the final 15 minutes of Championship games than the Robins, so we knew what to expect in the final throes against Reading.

At Ashton Gate you get value for money on the pitch, just not always in terms of the goals going in the right end.

Only at Craven Cottage and the Select Car Leasing Stadium have there been more goals this season in the Championship, while Bristol City’s matches have seen both sides score more often than games involving any other team (71 per cent; next best being QPR and Fulham, 59 per cent of games).

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This defeat of the Royals, the double completed over Veljko Paunovic’s side, could have gone either way but it was the team led here by Curtis Fleming that nicked it.

The stand-in manager, with Nigel Pearson in London, joked afterwards that his hair had fallen out due to the backs-against-the-walls defending late on.

He can keep smiling however, as several of his City side did themselves proud on the night and there were plenty of positives from the West Country outfit’s point of view.

Timm Klose, making his Ashton Gate debut, looked assured and one of City’s best free agent signings of the last years; there have been a fair few (Ashley Williams possibly the best with both centre-backs starting well in their Robins careers).

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Cameron Pring of Bristol City battles for possession with Josh Laurent of Reading.Cameron Pring of Bristol City battles for possession with Josh Laurent of Reading.
Cameron Pring of Bristol City battles for possession with Josh Laurent of Reading.

It was never a penalty given against the tall Swiss defender with 16 minutes to play, who turned his back as Tom Ince charged at him late in the game. But it was perhaps no surprise that referee Oliver Langford gave the decision, such was the overly officious nature of the official on the night.

That spurred on the away side and led to a few late heart palpitations for home supporters, no doubt.

But in midfield, City saw joy too. Jay Dasilva got better as the game went on, cutting onto his left foot from his newfound right wing-back role.

And Joe Williams drove his team on excellently, after replacing the injured Han-Noah Massengo after a quarter of an hour.

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But Alex Scott was the pick of the bunch. No player completed more than his three dribbles during the game, while his five successful tackles also were a match high, with Klose completing four and Williams three, more than any Reading players.

The 18-year-old former Guernsey FC player once again showcased his talents and he thrived in central midfield on this occasion.

If only that dash from midfield through the heart of the Reading defence in the last minutes, lashing at Karl Hein’s goal with his left foot, had resulted in him finding the net. It would have crowned the display, as City edged their way to another Championship three points and safety for the season.

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