Bristol City player ratings: Several 6/10s in Preston win but one 8/10 stands out

Bristol City’s season begins with a draw as the Robins fail to hold on to Sam Bell’s opener.
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Bristol City had to settle for a point as they drew 1-1 with Preston North End in their season opener at Ashton Gate.

Sam Bell opened the scoring early in the second-half for the Robins after a fairly quiet first 45-minutes, but the hosts could not hold on. Will Keane netted an equaliser four minutes from stoppage-time to ensure the Lilywhites wouldn’t go home to Deepdale empty handed.

Early on, City had a penalty appeal turned down, as Harry Cornick played in Nahki Wells, who tussled with Liam Lindsay and went down, but the referee was adamant it was a fair challenge.

The game started at a slow pace, and it never got going for Andi Weimann, who had to be subbed off because of an injury. He was replaced by Joe Williams, which allowed Jason Knight to go further forward. Weimann’s withdrawal from the game didn’t change the first half-hour though with both teams failing to get going.

It wasn’t until the 37th minute that a shot on target was registered, and it went to City, with Wells bursting down the line, and playing it across to Sam Bell, but Freddie Woodman blocked well with his body.

The hosts went in front in their first notable attack of the second period. Cornick’s long-throw came in and after Wells hit the post with a swiped effort, Bell rolled into an empty net on the rebound.

Bell’s goal got Preston into gear, and they had a good chance from outside the box, but Mads Frokjaer’s low-driven effort was saved well by Max O’Leary. Frokjaer was intent on making an impact, and set up Alan Browne from the edge of the box, and he drove his effort just over the bar. The visitors then sent another warning sign with Kian Best’s cross finding Browne, and his vollley cannoned off of the post.

Bristol City had been denied a penalty in the first-half, and Preston had their own appeals, but the referee adjudged Zak Vyner to have blocked Will Keane’s with his chest rather than his arm. Preston continued to pressure and Brad Potts’ dragged his effort just past the post.

As stoppage time neared, Bristol City couldn’t hold on for much longer, and Preston equalised. A ball into the box wasn’t cleared and Will Keane was able to turn home and shoot inside a crowded penalty box. City couldn’t restore their lead, and had to settle for a point with a scattering of boos from the home faithful.

Max O’Leary - 6

Made some routine saves, but set-pieces troubled him.

George Tanner - 6

Put under a lot of pressure by Kian Best, and at times looked uncomfortable.

Zak Vyner - 7

Put his body on the line when defending City’s one-goal lead. He led well, but unfortunately couldn’t on to the lead.

Rob Dickie - 6

Preston’s pressure eventually told, and

Cam Pring - 6

Preston had a bit of joy down the flanks with the full-backs not getting close to them when getting their shots away.

Matty James - 6

Loose in possession a few times in the first-half.

Jason Knight (subbed off, 86) - 6

Scott’s absence made for quite a subdued first-half, and Weimann’s absence meant they struggled to find a spark.

Andi Weimann (subbed off, 22) - N/A

Not what you want when given a starting opportunity… The absence of Scott gave the skipper a chance, but he was hooked off after 20 minutes.

Harry Cornick (subbed off, 68) - 7

He’s got a good long throw in his artillery, and that’s without being able to use a towel in wet and windy conditions. His throw played a part in City’s opener.

Nahki Wells (subbed off, 68) - 7

Had a penalty appeal turned down, set Bell up for an opportunity and hit the post. He got himself involved, and whilst he didn’t get on the score sheet, he at least put himself about.

Sam Bell (subbed off, 86) - 8

At the right place at the right time. He had City’s best chance of the first-half, and only needed one chance at it in the second to open the scoring.

Joe Williams (subbed on, 22) - 6

Not a pretty game by any means for the midfield, who were overrun by Preston.

Tommy Conway (subbed on, 68) - 6

Couldn’t make the desired impact.

Mark Sykes (subbed on, 68) - 6

Came on to stop the Preston threat and get the team forward, but Preston continued to dominate.

Anis Mehmeti (subbed on, 86) - N/A

Andy King (subbed on, 86) - N/A

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