Bristol City player ratings: ‘Sloppy’ 6s and one 8 scored as errors prove costly in Stoke defeat

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The Robins suffered a dramatic defeat - here’s how they fared

Bristol City surrendered a two-goal lead as they were defeated 3-2 at home to Stoke City on Saturday.

Sam Bell netted the opener with just five minutes on the clock after the Potters failed to clear Kal Naismith’s corner before Nahki Wells latched onto Ki-Jana Hoever’s poor pass to run through on goal and slot home for 2-0.

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Alex Neil’s side reacted well and pulled a goal back before the half-hour mark. The ball fell kindly to Mehdi Leris on the edge of the area and the Algerian hammered home a powerful left-footed strike into the top corner of Max O’Leary’s goal.

Stoke came out on the front foot in the second half and equalised two minutes in. Hoever pulled a low cross back to the penalty area where Sean Haksabanovic was on hand to fire low into the corner.

A quadruple substitution from Nigel Pearson got the hosts firmly on the front foot, but they couldn’t find a way back in front, and the Potters’ resistance turned to joy when Nathan Lowe tapped in at the back post to complete the dramatic turnaround in the 89th minute.

Player ratings:

Max O’Leary – 6

Had no chance of stopping Leris’ bullet into the top corner as well as Stoke’s second goal as a slight deflection gave him little time to react. Was taken out of the equation for the winning goal as some sloppy defending cost the Robins.

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Also made a blunder when playing the ball off Daniel Johnson inside the six-yard box in the first half and was fortunate to see the ball spin away from goal. A difficult afternoon for the goalkeeper, who wasn’t helped by his defence at times.

George Tanner – 6

Wasn’t involved in the game much in the first period as the pace of the game died down after Leris’ strike. Looked likely to go off injured midway through the first half but was able to continue after treatment.

Rob Dickie – 6

Had little in the way of defending to do but was slack in possession on occasion. Flicked a header onto his centre-back partner Naismith who was unable to finish.

Kal Naismith – 6

Made an early error when late into the challenge on Wesley but sent in a dangerous corner which led to Bell’s strike minutes later, improved as the game went on but failed to win a header on the halfway line before not tracking Lowe who eventually slotted home the winner.

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Looked composed at the back and his deliveries caused problems all afternoon but squandered a brilliant chance to put his side 3-2 ahead when failing to direct into the goal from a few yards out.

Cam Pring – 6

Made a quick start to the game and went on a couple of positive runs but was second best when losing out to Leris on the edge of the area before the Algerian’s goal. Looked a threat going forward but didn’t inspire much confidence at the back.

Matty James – 8

A typically composed display from the midfielder. Kept the ball moving, looked to play forward and led by example. Was one of the Robins’ better performers on the day.

Joe Williams – 7

Broke up the play well in the middle of the park and made countless challenges to win the ball back.

Jason Knight – 6

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Got through plenty of running and pressed aggressively. Was able to get forward more often in the second period as the hosts started to control proceedings late on.

Mark Sykes – 6

Was dangerous on the right flank and perhaps slightly unlucky not to have been awarded a spot-kick when tripped by Gooch in the area. Perhaps wasn’t utilised as much as he should’ve been.

Nahki Wells – 7

Linked play between Sykes and Bell smartly and didn’t let the visiting defence settle. Was presented with a gift when Hoever’s slack pass was under-hit, and the striker made no mistake as he slotted past Travers.

Sam Bell – 7

Reacted quicker than every Stoke defender to fire home for the opening goal and was a threat on the left flank up against Hoever, but didn’t have as much of the ball as he would’ve liked at times.

Andi Weimann (subbed on for Bell, 54’) – 7

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Injected some much-needed urgency into the match and caused problems in the Stoke box.

Harry Cornick (subbed on for Wells, 54’) – 7

Was a like-for-like change with Wells in terms of what he brought to the game in terms of energy and effort. A positive performance up top.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman (subbed on for Tanner, 54’) – 6

Gave a good account of himself from right back and delivered some dangerous set pieces. Was forced out of position at the back post as Stoke added a third goal.

Ephraim Yeboah (subbed on for Sykes, 54’) – 7

Like Weimann, brought some added edge into City’s attacking play. Looked certain to net his first senior goal when the ball fell to him six yards out but a strong challenge from Ben Pearson denied the chance.

Tommy Conway (subbed on for Williams, 90’) – N/A

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