JOHN­SON RAGES AT SLOW START

Ram­pant Bees pip lack­lus­tre Robins

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Sean Davies

LEE JOHN­SON slammed his Bris­tol City side’s start to the game as their re­cov­ery proved too lit­tle too late to pre­vent de­feat at Brent­ford.

City dropped to within one point and one place of the rel­e­ga­tion zone – de­spite not los­ing in their pre­vi­ous four – af­ter Brent­ford’s Jan­uary sign­ing Sergi Canos con­tin­ued to prove his worth with his third goal in two games, be­fore Lasse Vibe net­ted the sec­ond.

It was a game of two halves in many ways, but Brent­ford took their op­por­tu­ni­ties while the vis­i­tors were left to rue missed chances.

John­son said: “Sec­ond half we cre­ated chances, but first half we didn’t start strong enough and that is frus­trat­ing.

“It is eas­ier to play and have brav­ery when you are 2-0 down. They sat back and pro­tected the lead, but we had some de­cent chances.

“Tammy’s header hit the post, a free-kick on the edge of the box you ex­pect Tom­lin to beat the wall, Tay­lor missed a sit­ter and Reid clipped the out­side of the post.

“That is no ex­cuse, and we have to make sure we im­prove on that start. You can­not start like that and ex­pect to win games.”

Home fans were on their feet within five min­utes when Ro­maine Sawyer’s cush­ioned header landed at Canos’s feet, but Frank Field­ing stood up to the ef­fort.

The winger made no mis­take with his sec­ond chance. Yoann Bar­bet’s free-kick was blocked by the wall but Ryan Wood found Canos in acres of space and he fin­ished calmly.

Vibe dou­bled the home side’s lead in the 25th minute. Jota’s deep cor­ner was put into the dan­ger zone by Har­lee Dean for Vibe to nod past the keeper.

David Cot­ter­ill’s free-kick saw the vis­i­tors’ first chance of the game just past the half-hour mark, but Aden Flint couldn’t find the tar­get.

An ex­cel­lent first half was al­most capped with a third goal, twice, on the stroke of half­time. First the ref­eree’s whis­tle dis­al­lowed Bar­bet’s header be­fore Field­ing de­nied Vibe.

The first minute of the sec­ond half saw Joe Bryan’s low ball poked to­wards goal by Tammy Abra­ham but eas­ily saved. Soon af­ter Abra­ham com­bined with Bryan well again, but this time struck the post with a good header.

De­spite an un­der­whelm­ing per­for­mance, City should have pulled at least one back with first Reid, and then Tay­lor, fail­ing to hit the tar­get in­side the box with less than ten min­utes to play.

Brent­ford man­ager Dean Smith in­sisted there is no chance of them tak­ing their foot off the pedal de­spite hav­ing lit­tle to play for.

“Our per­for­mance for 70 min­utes was very good,” said Smith. “The fi­nal 20 we had to make sub­sti­tu­tions, and we got very sloppy for the fi­nal min­utes. We gave them op­por­tu­ni­ties by giv­ing the ball away, but for 70 min­utes some of our play­ers were ter­rific.

“That was the mes­sage over the in­ter­na­tional break – we want to keep win­ning games and play­ing good foot­ball, with half an eye on next sea­son, try­ing things on the train­ing ground we can bring into games and some of that was on show to­day.

“I might need some fresh legs on Tues­day with the amount of cramps out there to­day, but I am re­ally pleased with the at­ti­tude and ap­pli­ca­tion of the lads even though we are rea­son­ably safe.”

PIC­TURES: JMP

PUSH AND SHOVE: Frus­trated Bris­tol for­ward Tammy Abra­ham chal­lenges for the ball

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