Nahki Wells fails to grab Bristol City chance as Alex Scott shows again why Premier League clubs like him

Alex Scott, left, and Nahki Wells, rightAlex Scott, left, and Nahki Wells, right
Alex Scott, left, and Nahki Wells, right
Two key Robins players assessed as the West Country outfit drew 1-1 on Saturday with bottom-of-the table Peterborough United.

Bristol City are not in the greatest form, just one win in their last eight games and none in the previous four at Ashton Gate, and the Ashton Gate outfit are limping over the finish line to Championship safety in 2021/22.

On Saturday they made hard work of it against the side propping up the English second tier. Even with an extra player on the pitch, following Joe Ward’s 59th minute red card during the 1-1 draw against Peterborough.

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Manager Nigel Pearson had made just the one change for the game: Joe Williams returning from injury and replacing full-back Cameron Pring.

Alex Scott played down the right in the first half but again showed his talents, in an unconventional wing-back role as he has played four times already this season (according to WhoScored.com).

Early on he was outnumbered by opposite numbers Harrison Burrows and Ricky-Jade Jones but the visitors were stopped from creating any clear-cut chances by his tenacious work-rate.

Meanwhile, Nahki Wells was given another chance to impress in attack with Antoine Semenyo returning from injury but only on the bench.

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The Bermudian forward pressed hard from the front closing down Josh Knight early on as the defender tried to clear the ball by his own corner flag, City boxing in Posh in the early stages. It showed commitment and effort, but the home side lacked fluidity.

On nine minutes Scott won a free-kick by the corner flag tricking Burrows into a late challenge. A minute later he was scampering back to win a loose ball as Section 82 serenaded him, “he’s as fast as lightning, it’s frightening”.

Nahki Wells wants to play in the Premier League and says he is happy at Bristol City. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)Nahki Wells wants to play in the Premier League and says he is happy at Bristol City. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
Nahki Wells wants to play in the Premier League and says he is happy at Bristol City. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

But on 12 minutes the level of that endeavour was not matched by quality play. Somehow Wells missed a sitter as he couldn’t connect properly with Dasilva’s volleyed cross from the left, just a few yards out from goal. He had to score, but perhaps his rusty finish betrayed a player with just seven starts in the league this season.

Minutes later Scott again nipped in to stop Jones attacking down City’s right, showing a good turn of pace.

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And on 16 minutes a long Scott pass just failed to pick out the run from Wells, who had peeled off Peterborough’s three-man defence to almost get in on goal.

Scott helped clear the ball, though unconvincingly a few minutes later as Posh threatened through Kwame Poku and by now the pattern of the game game was changing. Grant McCann’s side were in the ascendency.

On 26 minutes Wells played Scott down the right flank to win a corner, which eventually ended with Joe Williams swiping thin air. After Peterborough hit the post, Scott played in James to cross too, but it was successfully defended by former City old boy Sammie Szmodics.

Highly rated 19-year-old Peterborough United centre-back Ronnie Edwards was too cute for Wells, meanwhile, as the striker failed to get on to a Scott pass down the line before the Guernsey Grealish won a free-kick by backing into Jonson Clarke-Harris, quite literally.

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On 42 minutes a lovely set-piece routine was not capitalised upon when Jay Dasilva crossed low and Wells ran around the back of the defence to shoot low at goal but to see the effort blocked.

With boos ringing around Ashton Gate during a leaden-footed first-half display, changes came at the break.

But not before City had opened the scoring. Zak Vyner replaced Robbie Cundy at half-time, and Scott was now moved centrally: immediately a free-kick was conceded in the middle by him allowing Clarke-Harris to whack into the South Stand.

Wells combined with James in the centre of the pitch leading to another shot blocked for the Bermudian on 50 minutes (he only got two all game; neither forcing a save).

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And with Scott now stationed on front of the back four in a 4-3-3 ,with Vyner down the right flank, the 18-year-old was more involved in the game.

A crunching tackle in the middle before the hour mark was evidence, to stop Posh attacking. But despite City dominating the territory, McCann’s side equalised through a set-piece.

The Robins were making few inroads in the final half an hour, despite the extra man, and needing fresh impetus Wells was subbed off for Semenyo on 71 minutes.

In the final minutes, Scott lost possession on the touchline by the Dolman Stand, though the Posh counter came to nothing. The Bristol City gem made up for it, winning the ball from Jack Taylor seconds after and gaining yet another free-kick (no player was fouled more than Scott’s three in the game) as City looked to break forward on the counter in the final seconds.

Two different performances, from two players at either end of their careers. Whether both are still in BS3 next season will be one to keep an eye on.

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