Bristol City player ratings: ‘Brilliant, vital’ - Two key men score 8/10 vs Hull City

Nahki Wells’ spot kick saw Bristol City edge out Hull at Ashton Gate - here’s how the Robins fared
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Bristol City edged past Hull City 1-0 at Ashton Gate courtesy of their second penalty in two matches, as their unbeaten run stretched to 12 matches.

Sam Bell came closest to opening the scoring in a first half that was short on quality, but Karl Darlow reacted well to save.

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Nahki Wells converted the all-important goal with 70 minutes on the clock after Anis Mehmeti’s cross was handled by Cyrus Christie.

Benjamin Tetteh almost earned his side a point when his header crashed back off the post, but Nigel Pearson’s side held out for the victory.

The win sees the Robins move up two places into 13th in the Championship, while Liam Rosenior’s men drop three places to 16th.

The penalty was City’s second in as many matches, after previously going 469 days without a spot kick. New man Mehmeti continued to show what he can do with the ball as his feet and remains an exciting prospect for the future.

Story of the match:

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The hosts made their intentions clear from the off in their new look vertical striped kit, as Mark Sykes’ deflected cross forced Darlow into action within 30 seconds.

Following a brief spell of Hull possession, the Robins pressed forward again, and Darlow had to get down once more to deny Sam Bell.

Oscar Estupinan’s pot-shot 25 minutes in was the visitor’s first effort on goal of note, but it fizzed past Max O’Leary’s left-hand post.

The Robins were dealt a scare before halftime when star man Alex Scott fell to the ground clutching his ribs, but the midfielder was able to carry on after brief treatment.

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Despite the early zip about the match, the scores were level at the break after a toothless first-half display from both teams.

The hosts came out strongly in the second period, and 15 minutes in, Sykes looked set to give his side the advantage when the ball broke kindly to the winger.

Sykes took a touch and fired at goal, but a last-ditch sliding block from Sean McLoughlin sent the ball behind for a corner.

With 20 minutes to play, the Robins got the breakthrough they’d been looking for, courtesy of a Well’s penalty.

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Mehmeti cut in from the left and crossed towards the back post, but before the ball could reach its destination, the ball made contact with Christie’s arm and Sam Barrott pointed to the spot.

The London buses saying sprung to mind, as following a 469 day wait for a penalty, the Robins were granted two in two matches. Wells stepped up and blasted the ball down the middle of Darlow’s goal and in.

The Tigers were down, but not out, and minutes later were unfortunate not to equalise. A lofted in-swinging corner caught O’Leary in no man’s land, and Tettey’s header crashed back into play off the upright.

Despite Hull’s search for an equaliser, they offered little up top, and the hosts were able to see out the match comfortably.

Player ratings:

Max O’Leary – 6

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Didn’t have a save to make in the first half, generally showed good distribution but was caught out of position when Hull struck the post. Made a couple of key saves in the second period.

George Tanner – 6

Struggled at times early on against Malcolm Ebiowei who got the better of him, but improved second half and made some good runs forward.

Zak Vyner – 7

Was untroubled in the first period but was decisive in the challenge. Showed good experience to shrug aside Estupinan when Hull threatened to score.

Tomas Kalas – 7

Showed no signs of rustiness on his first start of the season, defended with aggression and was steady in possession.

Cam Pring – 7

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Linked up well with Mehmeti on the left flank and was eager to get forward, made an excellent block from Greg Docherty’s effort at 1-0.

Matty James – 8

Dictated the tempo of the match well in midfield, reliable as ever on the ball and a vital cog in the Robins machine.

Joe Williams – 7

Made some important tackles and was composed on the ball, sloppy at times in possession but always battled to win the ball back and was an important figure.

Alex Scott – 7

Popped up in a few dangerous areas but lacked end product at times, was a threat when given space to turn and run and made a few clever one-twos.

Mark Sykes – 7

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Had Jacob Greaves on strings on the right wing early on and got behind the full-back time after time but couldn’t make the final ball count. Played some well-weighted through balls to Scott and Tanner down the right and had a few half chances.

Sam Bell – 6

Had an early chance on his left foot that Darlow reacted to well, couldn’t hold the ball up against McLoughlin and Jones and had to feed off scraps for most of the match.

Anis Mehmeti – 8

Showed aggression when running at defenders, fooled Cyrus Christie with a brilliant bit of footwork early on and was a threat when he had the ball at his feet. Made the cross that led to the penalty, and worked hard off the ball.

Nahki Wells (subbed on for Bell, 63’) – 7

Made an impact when he came on and began to hold the ball up for his side. Converted the penalty coolly for two in two from the spot and his general play was excellent.

Harry Cornick (subbed on for Tanner, 71’) – 6

Was unlucky not to score with a well-measured header and put himself about upfront.

Andi Weimann (subbed on for Scott, 80’) – N/A

Jay Dasilva (subbed on for Mehmeti, 80’) – N/A

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