Bristol City 0-1 Fulham: player ratings, MOTM, heroes & villains as Robins knocked out of FA Cup

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
No Cup upset at Ashton Gate as Bristol City are dumped at the first stage of the FA Cup by Fulham

Bristol City were knocked out of the FA Cup as they suffered a 1-0 defeat in extra time to Championship rivals Fulham at a lowly-attended Ashton Gate

Harry Wilson, introduced at the start of extra-time, scored in the 105th minute to send the side from capital into the next round of the competition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Whilst other teams hope for a tie against one of the Premier League sides in early February, the Robins will be reverting their attention to the league against Blackpool, who were knocked out by Hartlepool United.

Tale of the match

Keen to take the chance given to him, Nahki Wells brought the game’s first meaningful chance. His centrally-placed free-kick dipped just over the bar.

Fulham, who were content with being the team in possession, carved their own chance. Former academy duo and best friends Joe Byran crossed into Bobby De Cordova-Reid who headed but he headed over.

City’s best chances came from dead ball situations. Han-Noah Massengo was pulled

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

back by Fabio Carvalho who was cautioned for the foul. Closer to the goal Chris Martin drove his free-kick straight at Paulo Gazzaniga.

They were the team doing the most pressing and there were half chances for Alex Scott who made Gazzaniga tip away his corner whilst Massengo set himself up for a volley that went narrowly wide.

The game began to fizzle out a bit but towards the end of the first half, both teams went near to scoring. Nathaniel Chalobah smacked a shot from distance which was close whilst Martin was denied in a one-on-one by Gazzaniga in the last meaningful attacks of the half.

Fulham’s backline then went through a sloppy spell in the second-half and allowed City to attack more but they failed to take most of them, only making half chances.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A real opportunity then presented itself to Callum O’Dowda but the Ireland international curled his shot over the bar from an unmarked position. Jay Dasilva then made Gazzaniga block his narrow-angled shot.

The teams could not be separated in the 90 allotted minutes and it moved to extra-time and City had a gilt-edged chance to score but after rounding the goalkeeper, Tommy Conway shot onto the side netting.

After all their chances, City were made to rue their prolificacy as Fulham took the lead at the end of the first period of extra time. Former Cardiff loanee Harry Wilson’s cross on the edge of the box evaded everyone and beat O’Leary.

The game was with Fulham as they sought an insurance goal but O’Leary stretched his arm out well to deny Tom Cairney, before repeating his heroics in a one-on-one with Neeskens Kebano. No response came from City after that and they had to bravely bow out of the competition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Cameron Pring was Bristol City’s best performing player today. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Cameron Pring was Bristol City’s best performing player today. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Cameron Pring was Bristol City’s best performing player today. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The heroes

Cameron Pring: What a week for the Robins’ defender. A new contract and then a performance he can be proud of. Tasked with Bobby Reid, Pring coped well with his pace and did well to nullify his threat.

Playing as a left-sided centre-back along with Rob Atkinson and Tomas Kalas, he also showed some promise going forward, given his former exploits as a winger.

Before Wilson’s opener, Pring made a superb goal line clearance to deny Aleksandr Mitrovic who had put himself in a good position to score. The 23-year-old also made a well-timed challenge on Harry Wilson in the box, barely putting a foot wrong.

Max O’Leary: Unfortunate with the goal that he conceded to Harry Wilson as it was one that caught him off guard, this was a good showing from the City goalkeeper.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Most recently he’s been favoured over Daniel Bentley, who is of course the first-team captain. The 25-year-old has bided his time well and today made a string of good saves.

After falling behind, O’Leary made two fantastic saves from both Tom Cairney and Neeskens Kebano with the latter being a one-on-one in which the keeper came out on top.

The Groundsmen: Big credit has to go to the groundsmen who made the pitch immaculate for today’s game.

You could say it’s their job but it was a case of it being double duty for them as last night Bristol Bears played Sale in the Gallagher Premiership, a match which went late into the night.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Add to that an early kick-off for the football and the early start to keep the pitch in good condition, they will have worked hard to get the playing surface right.

Their contribution did not go amiss as Gavin Marshall, CEO of multiple Bristol Sports teams put praise on them.

He tweeted: “Fair play to our groundsmen. 14 hour turnaround. Dreadful weather. January. Pitch looks great. No rest for the wicked. The team behind the team.”

The home fans booed Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Joe Byran on their return to Ashton Gate. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)The home fans booed Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Joe Byran on their return to Ashton Gate. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
The home fans booed Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Joe Byran on their return to Ashton Gate. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The villains

Ticket prices and an early-kick off: There was an incentive for kids to attend for £1 which attracted a youthful audience at Ashton Gate, giving some fans the chance to attend a match for the first time.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The crowd though was not a patch on what we saw just under a week ago against Millwall with the official crowd being 7304 with 715 of those coming from Fulham.

A price of £23 was set for adult fans who opted to save their money, perhaps for the trip to West London next week.

This match was also played at mid-day with the reasoning being that it would be moved for television coverage… for those outside the United Kingdom. It’s hard to get any magic when there are factors against getting a good crowd.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Joe Byran: Despite coming through the academy of Bristol City, this was not a welcome return to his home city and former club for De Cordova-Reid. Each time he got on to the ball it was met with a chorus of boos, as well as sarcastic cheers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After his most successful season in which he got into the Team of the Year, Reid left the club for Severnside rivals Cardiff City who at the time were in the Premier League.

There was a lesser amount of boos for Joe Byran who left directly for Fulham back in 2018 after seven years of service.

Both players didn’t get the greatest of receptions, but admittedly this wasn’t a full crowd. Both have already played here before so it would have been interesting how they would have been received to get more of a consensus on how they are viewed by the fan base.

Player ratings

Bristol City (3-4-1-2): Max O’Leary 7, Rob Atkinson 7, Chris Martin 7 (Antoine Semenyo, 88), Andy King 6 (Jay Dasilva, 70), Callum O’Dowda 6, Cameron Pring 7,  Nahki Wells 6, (Tommy Conway, 90;6), Tomas Kalas 6, Alex Scott 6 (Andreas Weimann, 105;6), Ayman Benarous 7 (Kasey Palmer,79;6), Han-Noah Massengo 6.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Paulo Gazzaniga 7, Michael Hector 6, Denis Odoi 6, Nathaniel Chalobah 6, (Harry Wilson, 90;7), Bobby Decordova-Reid 7, Tosin Adarabioyo 7, Rodrigo Muniz 6 (Aleksandr Mitrovic,69;6), Domingos Quina 6 (Neeskens Kebano, 69;6), Joe Byran 6, Fabio Carvalho 6 (Tom Cairney, 85;6), Tyrese Francois 7, (Harrison Reed, 69;6).

Man of the Match

Cameron Pring. Unfortunate to be on the losing side today.

What’s next?

These two teams do it all over again next week as they meet at Craven Cottage in the EFL Championship next Saturday.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.