Flint strike lights Robins fire

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Bar­rie White

LEE John­son wants his Bris­tol City play­ers to have that win­ning feel­ing in their last nine games, which he billed as cup fi­nals, after tak­ing all three points at Wi­gan.

Aden Flint’s late goal gave the Robins the win at the DW Stadium, City’s first since Fe­bru­ary 4, leav­ing un­der-pres­sure John­son de­lighted.

With the mu­sic blar­ing out of the dress­ing room in cel­e­bra­tion, John­son found time to joke about rip­ping his jacket when re­mon­strat­ing with the of­fi­cials and felt his side earned their luck.

“It's a mas­sive win and the play­ers are buzzing – it’s like a night­club in that dress­ing room,” he said.

“We’ve needed that win­ning feel­ing back, es­pe­cially to­day which had a cup fi­nal feel­ing about it.

“We’ve got nine left and we needed to win it.

“The last five min­utes was like three hours for me, but I thought we looked rea­son­ably solid. It was scrappy, yes, but it was al­ways go­ing to be as it was two teams fight­ing for their lives.”

David Perkins, re­stored to the line-up after the mid­week win at Birm­ing­ham, nearly capped off a dom­i­nant spell for the Lat­ics, but his curl­ing left-footed ef­fort skimmed the bar on 25 min­utes.

Gabriel Ober­tan – making a sec­ond start since sign­ing in Jan­uary – was de­nied at the back post min­utes later by Frank Field­ing, from Ever­ton loa­nee Callum Con­nolly’s cross.

And John­son was an angry man be­fore the break when he thought Con­nolly had dragged Matty Tay­lor back, even demon­strat­ing to the fourth of­fi­cial by pulling his own suit.

“I’ve man­aged to tweak a few fi­bres of the suit jacket (when show­ing it to the fourth of­fi­cial), but I’ll ask my mis­sus to stitch that up,” John­son added.

“I had a long chat with the ref­eree at half-time and I asked could he see (the penalty shout). He said he wasn’t sure – maybe our striker could go down but he’s tried to be hon­est.”

Bris­tol City’s win­ner came in the 88th minute when Flint bun­dled the ball over the line in front of the ec­static City fans for his third league goal of the cam­paign.

Wi­gan boss War­ren Joyce felt the goal should not have stood.

And he ad­mit­ted his play­ers need to be more street­wise after a 12th home game with­out a goal.

He said: “We’ve looked back at it and it’s not a cor­ner. In say­ing that, I don’t think we de­served to win the game.

“You can’t fault the play­ers’ ef­fort.

“We’re just not able to score goals, but we are in ev­ery game un­til the end.

“Gaby Ober­tan is a qual­ity player but a long way from full fit­ness.

“A trans­fer win­dow is easy if you’ve got money and you go out and buy some­one who’s do­ing it as this level.

“With him, Michael Ja­cobs, Omar Bogle, and Alex Gil­bey – it’s promis­ing but they haven’t played for six months.

“But get­ting them fit gives you a chance and gives you hope.

“It’s about grind­ing wins out – they’re the small mar­gins that ei­ther makes or costs sides dur­ing the sea­son.

“But that takes time with play­ers who have never played at this level be­fore – it’s not a player’s fault if they’ve not been taught it.”

PIC­TURES: Mark Pol­litt/ProS­ports

LATE SHOW: Bris­tol City de­fender Aden Flint, far right, scores the win­ner

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