Lee rolls the dice for Robins

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Jonathan Spencer

FOR­TUNE favours the bold and Lee John­son ad­mits he took a risk throw­ing on Peter Odemwingie and Bobby Reid – but it worked to hand Bris­tol City a cru­cial three points.

Ful­ham took the lead early on in the game through goal-ma­chine Ross McCor­mack to calm the nerves in­side the sta­dium.

Mar­lon Pack then drew Bris­tol City level with a fierce right-footed shot mid­way through the se­cond half, af­ter John­son had taken off Jonathan Kod­jia and Luke Free­man for his su­per subs at half-time.

And at the death, Lee Tom­lin whipped in a free-kick to en­sure the vis­i­tors left Lon­don hav­ing leapfrogged their fel­low rel­e­ga­tion bat­tlers.

“The first 30 min­utes we were well off it,” said John­son, who signed Odemwingie on loan from Stoke last week.“I felt Ful­ham were the bet­ter side, first to the ball ev­ery­where and the front two looked dan­ger­ous.

“I was quite bold, I made two sub­sti­tu­tions to two of our big play­ers be­cause we needed some­thing. I brought Peter Odemwingie and Bobby Reid on and the pair of them I thought were ex­cel­lent.

“It just meant we got a foothold on the game and I thought se­cond half, the ma­jor­ity of it was played in their half.We de­served the win.”

The vis­i­tors could have taken the lead mo­ments af­ter the game started as Joe Bryan was played in down the left but An­drew Lon­er­gan de­nied him.

How­ever, the clin­i­cal McCor­mack opened the scor­ing in the third minute with a de­light­ful chip past the stranded Richard O’Don­nell.

McCor­mack then nearly struck again from a free-kick that drifted just wide of the right-hand post.

The Robins nearly drew level but Ful­ham’s Fer­nando Amore­bi­eta’s de­fen­sive header wan­dered just wide of his own left hand post.

McCor­mack, who now has 19 Cham­pi­onship goals this sea­son, then nearly stretched the Whites’ lead with an­other free-kick but his ef­fort curled just wide.

The vis­i­tors came out fight­ing in the se­cond half and nearly scored straight from kick-off but Tom­lin’s ef­fort was saved by Lon­er­gan.

Moussa Dem­bele could have stretched Ful­ham’s lead with a one-on-one but the ball eluded him af­ter a heavy touch.

Odemwingie nearly opened his ac­count for the Robins but Ryan Fred­er­icks made a goal-sav­ing tackle to deny the striker.

Luke Gar­butt also had the chance to dou­ble Ful­ham’s lead but his shot flew over the bar.

Pack equalised for the Robins in the 69th minute, strik­ing the ball into the bot­tom left hand cor­ner, to score his first of the sea­son.

Ful­ham nearly snatched it near the death through McCor­mack but O’Don­nell pro­duced a great save down to his right.

How­ever in the 90th minute, Tom­lin’s curl­ing free-kick found the bot­tom left-hand cor­ner to leave the Ful­ham faith­ful rest­less at the fi­nal whis­tle.

And Slav­isa Jokanovic is un­der no il­lu­sions as to how much trou­ble Ful­ham find them­selves in.

“Gen­er­ally we start the game very well, we play good foot­ball and we can score goals,” he said.

“But we didn’t con­trol the se­cond half be­cause we made many mis­takes. It’s dis­ap­point­ing for us and it’s dis­ap­point­ing for our sup­port­ers through this sit­u­a­tion.

“We are in a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle. This is now re­ally clear, our sit­u­a­tion is very im­por­tant for all of us to un­der­stand where we are.

“I un­der­stand where we are, ev­ery­thing is in our hands still and we need to be brave.”

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