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FOOTBALL: Crazy game ensures City’s survival
Bristol City 5 – 5 Hull City (Saturday April 21)
The Tigers were involved in a ten-goal thriller as they drew 5-5 with Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Saturday afternoon. Nigel Adkins’ side took an early lead through Harry Wilson before finding themselves 3-1 down early in the second half.
It was then that a crazy, crazy half-hour began as the goals flew in. Fikayo Tomori reduced the deficit before Bobby Reid looked to have put the game beyond the visitors when making it 4-2.
However, the Tigers came roaring back as a stunning free kick from Wilson and goals from Abel Hernandez and Fraizer Campbell saw them lead 5-4 going into added time.
Unfortunately, there was one final twist as Joe Bryan hit a deflected equaliser for the home side, although the point was enough to ensure any lingering doubts about Championship status were banished.
Michael Dawson, Jarrod Bowen and Jackson Irvine were amongst those back in the starting eleven as Nigel Adkins made five changes to the side that began last weekend’s defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.
Campbell and Stephen Kingsley also came in as Michael Hector, Kamil Grosicki, Max Clark, Jon Toral and Hernandez made way.
Allan McGregor made the game’s first save with less than two minutes played as the goalkeeper got down well to keep out Callum O’Dowda’s close-range volley, before Irvine’s driving run ended with a shot that went just over the bar at the other end.
It was a fairly even opening, but the Tigers would take the lead in the 16th minute with a goal from the Welsh wizard. Wilson exchanged passes with Irvine before finding the corner of the net with an exquisite finish from just outside the box.
Wilson’s efforts were causing plenty of frustration in home defence and Eros Pisano took it too far when chopping the winger down moments after the goal, earning himself a yellow card.
Bowen saw a low shot saved by Frank Fielding as the visitors continued to impress going forward but they were almost caught out at the back when Kingsley diverted a Bristol City towards his own net, forcing McGregor into a fine save as he tipped the ball over the bar.
The home side went even closer to a leveller on 32 minutes when Jamie Paterson saw a shot deflected onto the woodwork.
Bristol City had certainly woken up and an equaliser came five minutes later when Marlon Pack fired low into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
And the home side were in front five minutes before the break as they punished some sloppy midfield play, Famara Diedhiou eventually shrugging off the attention of Dawson inside the box before giving McGregor no chance with a powerful finish.
The Tigers made a change ahead of the interval as Fikayo Tomori replaced Ola Aina at right back, while Wilson spurned an opportunity in added time as he fired over from the edge of the box.
Campbell had a half-chance early in the second half after controlling Tomori’s long diagonal ball forward but from a tight angle a tame effort was saved by Fielding.
And Bristol City soon pulled two goals clear as Diedhiou was left all alone inside the box to head home his second of the game to make it 3-1 in the 53rd minute.
The Tigers were back in the game three minutes later, though, as a lovely ball from MacDonald was met by Tomori at the far post and his header found the net via a combination of post and Fielding.
A double change soon followed as Grosicki and Hernandez replaced Bowen and Irvine.
They barely had time to settle in before Bristol City added a fourth goal. Reid was played into the box and he got lucky as a fortunate bounce allowed him to poke a shot past McGregor.
The Tigers hit back again to move to within a goal as Wilson’s clever free kick from 25 yards caught Fielding out as it flew in at the near post and Kingsley very nearly brought his side level with a drilled shot that flew wide of the far post.
Josh Brownhill fired over as the host looked to put the game to bed once and for all, but incredibly the Tigers made it 4-4 ten minutes from time when Grosicki’s deflected cross fell nicely for Hernandez to find the back of the net with a left-footed drive.
Three minutes from time the Tigers went 5-4 up. Hernandez fired a superb ball out wide to Grosicki who got in behind Pisano and then squared for Campbell to net his first goal since December in front of an elated away following.
Six minutes of time were added and Bristol City threw everybody forward and found a leveller in the 95th minute as Bryan’s low shot was deflected past McGregor.
There was still time for Hernandez to pass up a great chance to win it as he fired straight at Fielding before the full time whistle brought an end to a bizarre afternoon.
Hull City: Allan McGregor, Ola Aina (Fikayo Tomori 44), Michael Dawson, Angus MacDonald, Stephen Kingsley, Sebastian Larsson, Markus Henriksen, Jarrod Bowen (Kamil Grosicki 63), Jackson Irvine (Abel Hernandez 63), Harry Wilson, Fraizer Campbell.
Subs Not Used: David Marshall, Michael Hector, David Meyler, Jon Toral.
(Report courtesy of www.hullcitytigers.com)