Bristol City striker gives Nigel Pearson food for thought as Plymouth Argyle beaten

Robins sharp-shooter makes the difference in the third pre-season friendly of the summer.

Bristol City kept a third clean sheet in three games on Saturday afternoon as the Robins beat Plymouth Argyle 0-1 at Home Park.

Although the result was against lower league opposition and was not a competitive match, Robins supporters can take heart given how porous the West Country outfit were last season, conceding the third most goals in the Championship.

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At the other end of the pitch, Nahki Wells gave a reminder to all that the senior striker should not be written off in BS3.

The 32-year-old Bermudian hotshot netted the only goal on 82 minutes for City to match their visit to Devon last year when Andi Weimann grabbed the only goal in another 0-1 win over Ryan Lowe’s side in 2021/22 pre-season.

Wells has been linked to Preston North End this summer, although Lowe’s new side may not follow up an initial enquiry on the former QPR man, who also attracted interest from Championship sides last January too.

Although Wells may only start matches when regular front trident players Andi Weimann, Antoine Semenyo, and Chris Martin are not available - the WSM attack as deemed by fans - him scoring goals to decide fine contests like this can only push Wells forward in the manager’s thinking.

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Young striker Sam Bell helped to win the ball high up the pitch in the final 10 minutes of the game against League One Argyle, before the 20-year-old slipped the ball across to Wells, who switched onto his left foot and finished low into the net.

“I feel good. It was obviously tough out there today. The conditions made it tough and credit to Plymouth - they are a very good side and they made it tough,” Wells told the official club channels after the match.

“They tested us in different ways. For us, it’s pre-season and about getting what we need out of it.

“We can look back at the negatives and take the positives as we move forward to Tuesday,” said the 21 cap international, with 15 goals at national level.

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Wells came off the bench after Weimann, Martin and 19-year-old Tommy Conway had begun the game for Bristol City.

Conway is highly regarded at Ashton Gate, along with Bell.

Following the game, City coach Jason Euell explained that the club has not yet decided whether to let Conway leave on loan for the coming season. The Taunton-born attacker may wish for first-team involvement given his talent, rather than mostly U23s games.

“If we’re being a little bit picky, we’re probably more disappointed that we didn’t score more than the one goal that we did to win the game,” said Euell.

The Robins should not have problems at the front end of the pitch next year though: only six teams scored more goals than City in the Championship in 2020/21 and three of them have since been promoted.

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With Wells, Conway and Bell, pushing Semenyo, Wells and Martin, there is good competition to lead the line, and more goals should flow.

Bristol City face Forest Green Rovers and Exeter City in two home games on Tuesday, at 2pm and 4.30pm respectively.

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