LAST-GASP DOBBIE DOES THE BUSINESS
Cotterill’s frustrated as City are held
THERE are few occasions when scoring three goals away from home leads to a manager bemoaning his side’s finishing, but Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill expects plenty from his table-topping side.
Two goals in four minutes at the start of the second period gave the visitors a 3-1 lead over Fleetwood Town, but Stephen Dobbie’s late equaliser completed a fine comeback for the hosts in what was a superb advert for League One football.
Cotterill, whose side remain unbeaten and five points clear of second-placed MK Dons, was left disappointed after his side failed to take advantage of all the opportunities that came their way.
“We should have been 6-1 up at half-time,” he said.“We had six unbelievable chances and the game’s dead and buried then. We are disappointed with the first half in terms of us being more ruthless because I think the game could have been over at half-time.
“We didn’t start the game very brightly and took us 20 minutes to get into the game. By then we were a goal down which makes it more difficult but I thought we recovered really well in the first half.
“We then started the second half like a train to go 3-1 up, then all of a sudden they pinch a goal from a game where we are massively on top.
“Conceding goals like this has been unlike us this season, but we keep the unbeaten record going.”
The former Burnley boss’ frustration was not without reason, as his side created plenty during an extremely open first half.
Kieran Agard wasted two glorious opportunities as he allowed Chris Maxwell to push the ball away from him as he shaped to shoot, before just failing to make contact with a Mark Little cross.
But it was the hosts who took the lead as Josh Morris showed great technique to fire in Fleetwood’s first league goal in 299 minutes of football from the edge of the box after Dobbie’s shot was blocked by Derick Williams.
The leaders were soon level, though, as Agard eventually found the back of the net as he slid in at the near post to convert the excellent Joe Bryan’s low left-wing cross.
Aaron Wilbraham had an effort ruled out for offside on the brink of half-time, though the visiting supporters from Gloucestershire didn’t have to wait too long to celebrate as Agard turned home his second from close range following a goalmouth scramble.
Wilbraham soon netted his eighth of the season after an error from Nathan Pond, and despite there being 39 minutes left the game seemed up for the hosts.
Graham Alexander threw on top goalscorer Jamie Proctor on the hour mark, and the striker made an immediate impact seconds later as he headed in Morris’ cross before Frank Fielding made two fine saves to deny Dobbie and Conor McLaughlin.
And though the Robins looked relatively comfortable in defence, their resistance was broken as Dobbie curled in a fine effort from the edge of the area to rescue a point.
Alexander himself was disappointed with the way his side conceded three soft goals, though was quick to praise the character of his players as they fought their way back to level.
“We shot ourselves in the foot at the start of the second half with two really sloppy and cheap goals against us that put us on the back foot against a very good team who will, I would guess, be in the top two at the end of the season,” he said.
“We have to go back quite a few months to see when we were that sloppy with goals. I don’t think there was any great skill involved, just basic goals where we had chances to clear all three.
“The character shown by our players was unbelievable and they deserved to get back in the game. I thought the quality of our goals were fantastic.”
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Kieran Agard celebrates putting his side two goals ahead
LAST-GASP LEVELLER: Fleetwood’s Stephen Dobbie makes it 3-3
STAR MAN JOE BRYAN Bristol