FLINT IS ROCK SOLID FOR CITY
ADEN FLINT’S headed goal put the skids under enterprising Scunthorpe – and brought an immediate challenge from Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill.
Flint rose powerfully at the far post on 52 minutes to meet Luke Freeman’s right-wing corner and direct the ball over the line, despite a desperate attempt to clear.
It was the key moment in what had been a closely fought game while Greg Cunningham wrapped up the points with a perfectly placed shot seven minutes from time.
And Cotterill said: “I think Aden should score more often. He is brilliant at heading almost everything that comes his way in our penalty area but could use his aerial ability better in the opposition box.
“We have to give him the right service but if we do I’d like to see him get on the scoresheet more regularly.
“We knew Scunthorpe would be hard to break down and play with a lot of spirit.
“In the first half we tried to go around the outside of them too often, even though they sometimes had as many as six spread across the back.
“It was important to test them down the middle more and we did that in the second half when the performance was much better.
“The players responded to what was asked of them. No-one is getting carried away with the start we have made.
“But I have a great set of lads, who want to work hard for each other and that is always a great position to be in.”
City could have had more goals in the closing stages, Scunthorpe goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik making fine saves to deny Kieran Agard and substitute Scott Wagstaff.
The first half had Scunthorpe counter-attack effectively and create the better openings. Gary McSheffrey was unlucky to see a 20th-minute shot from just inside the box rebound back into play off a post.
McSheffrey and Paddy Madden caused problems for the home defence without forcing enough saves from Frank Fielding.
And Scunthorpe manager Russ Wilcox said:“We need to be more ruthless in both boxes.
“You are not going to visit a club like Bristol City and create a dozen chances but we had four or five really good ones that we should have put away.
“Gary McSheffrey was very unlucky with the shot that came back off the inside of a post and had we scored then it might have been a different outcome.
“We should have defended better for the opening goal and after they got the second they got on top of us in the closing stages of the game.
“But we played some really good football against a very good side.
“Bristol City and Preston have been the best two teams we have come across so far.
“We were like rabbits in the headlights for the first 15 minutes but saw it through and then played really well for an hour.”
Joe Bryan was always a threat on City’s left and produced some threatening crosses while Korey Smith excelled in prompting the attack from midfield.
But the hosts looked vulnera- ble in the first half and the game was too end-to-end for Cotterill’s liking.
Injury-hit Scunthorpe emerged with plenty of credit for contributing much to an entertaining encounter, watched by a crowd of more than 12,000.
City have made their best start in years under Cotterill and look to have the squad, support and resources to sustain a promotion challenge.
They look dangerous going forward and a second clean sheet of the season bodes well for the winter ahead.
IN FULL SWING: Greg Cunningham rounds off the win for Bristol City in the last ten minutes
HEADS UP: Eddie Nolan and Aaron Wilbraham battle in air