WILLIAMS SEES RED IN DEFEAT
BRISTOL City manager Steve Cotterill described Derrick Williams’ sending off as stupid and lazy as the league leaders crashed to surprise defeat against bottom-club Crewe Alexandra.
City were reduced to ten men when Williams received his second yellow card four minutes after the interval for a challenge on Uche Ikpeazu.
It was to prove costly as Crewe finally made the breakthrough with 16 minutes remaining when Jamie Ness thumped a vicious 25yard strike past the outstretched Frank Fielding.
Cotterill said: “He probably deserved to be sent off. It was a stupid lunge from him, going to ground after he’d already been booked.
“It was a game we absolutely dominated, even with ten men, and it was obvious the referee was going to do that – he was pedantic right from the off. If he sends Derrick Williams off he should send Ikpeazu off as well. He’s fouled persistently all afternoon.
“We created some great chances but when we are on top of games we’ve got to take them and that’s what we didn’t do. Otherwise we would have buried them.”
The visitors started the brighter with the industrious Luke Freeman flashing a shot wide after just three minutes.
Aaron Wilbraham seemed certain to give City the lead on the half-hour mark, but with the goal at his mercy Crewe defender George Ray heroically cleared the danger from two yards out.
Moments into the second half Freeman came close to giving the visitors the lead, but his left foot shot skipped just wide of Garratt’s far post before Williams received his marching orders a few minutes later. Almost immediately space opened up on the pitch for the home side with Nicky Ajose bending a 25-yard effort just past the right hand post.
Despite surrendering momentum, City showed why they are top of League One – exuding more quality on the ball with Freeman the catalyst throughout.
But Crewe finally made the breakthrough with 16 minutes remaining with Ness’ screamer proving to be the only clinical finish of the game.
Afterwards, Steve Davis praised the attitude of his young side.
He said: “If we can relay that same type of performance and effort and everything else that we got here from everyone I think we’ll have a better second half to the season.
“We had about five or six 18-year-olds in that squad and that’s what we do and that’s how we’ll continue to do it if we can play with that level of commitment and spirit. They’re fighting for each other.”
The Railwaymen’s manager reserved some special praise for veteran defender Alan Tate, who’s loan period at Gresty Road is expected to have now come to an end as he heads back to Swansea. He added:“What he gives us is a manager on the pitch, and with a young team, we lack leaders on the pitch. He’s been magnificent.”
UNLUCKY: Bristol City’s Aaron Wilbraham fires a shot on goal MATCH WINNER: Jamie Ness of Crewe (far left) scores for Crewe