EDGY JOHNSON RUNNING OUT OF LIVES NOW
LEE JOHNSON reckoned he must have run over several black cats after watching his Bristol City team drop into the Championship relegation zone.
The head coach spent a tense battle “willing the ball into the net” only to see Lee Tomlin strike the crossbar early on and miss a second-half penalty, while Aaron Wilbraham had a 45thminute goal disallowed.
Johnson was left cursing his luck as some committed Burton defending, including three goalline clearances, produced a result which heaped more pressure on his job.
But it would have been even worse if Lloyd Dyer had converted a superb chance for Burton from close range in the second half.
“I accept that they had one great opportunity, but how we didn’t score is difficult to work out,” said Johnson.
“Lee Tomlin reckons the ground gave way under him as he went to strike the penalty, and we scored a good goal just before half-time only to have it ruled out.
“There were countless other chances and clearly I have to stop running over black cats.
“Nothing has changed as far as I am concerned and I will go ahead in preparing for Norwich City on Tuesday night.
“The fans were really supportive and I understand their frustration at the final whistle. The players gave everything and we just needed a break in front of goal.”
Tomlin blazed over from the spot on 65 minutes after John Mousinho had been judged to have fouled Aden Flint inside the box.
Four minutes earlier Dyer had contrived to miss from six yards when left with what looked an unmissable opportunity by John Brayford’s low cross.
It was a candidate for miss of the season as the miscued effort rolled agonisingly past a post, to the astonishment of Burton boss Nigel Clough.
He said: “Lloyd will have nightmares about that one. It was hard to see how he missed it. We had other opportunities and always looked dangerous on the break. But I was also delighted with the way we defended.
“The players put bodies on the line, which is the least we must do if we are to compete in the Championship.
“We may not be as good as some of the other teams, but there is nothing wrong with our spirit.
“I haven’t seen the penalty incident again, but it looked harsh at the time. For a goalless draw, the game certainly didn’t lack incident.”
City made a fast start and might have built a lead in the opening minutes.
Tomlin hit the crossbar with a second-minute volley from Wilbraham’s flick-on and looked in the mood to torment the Burton defence.
As the visitors began to grow into the game the dangerous Marvin Sordell’s ninth-minute shot brought a diving save from Fabian Giefer.
Another Sordell effort was tipped wide by Giefer on 25 minutes, while a cross from the same player flashed across goal with no one able to get the final touch.
City thought they had gone in front just before half-time when Wilbraham headed home a Dave Cotterill corner, only for the effort to be ruled out for pushing.
As the second half wore on the hosts applied increasing pressure, only to be thwarted by some fine last-ditch defending.
NO WAY THROUGH: Albion keeper Jon McLaughlin frustrates Bristol City midfielder Bobby Reid