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Relegation Rivals: Bristol City

I went to watch my local team Bristol City at the weekend so here is what I thought of our potential relegation rivals.

The players walking out the last time Bolton visited Ashton Gate in 2013
The players walking out the last time Bolton visited Ashton Gate in 2013
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

This was the second time I have watched Bristol City this season having also gone up to the Macron when they played out a frightfully bad 0-0 draw against Bolton Wanderers. Thankfully for my sanity they played far better against Queens Park Rangers at Ashton Gate.

The game was a relatively even affair with neither City nor QPR really creating many clear cut chances. Much to everyone’s surprise Robert Green was competent while making a few easy saves during the first and second halves as City carved a few openings but failed to really test the former USA double agent.

I was not sure whether City defended well during this game or whether QPR were just terrible going forward. One thing is for sure and that is if QPR had played like this when they beat Bolton 4-3 they would not have managed to win that match. They struggled to carve out any real opportunities for the entire match. A few moments of suspect City defending from Luke Ayling, who my mate describes as their defences weakest link, allowed QPR space around the home side’s box but they never looked like taking advantage.

It was a moment of individual brilliance which put the visitors ahead. A wonderful finish left Franky Fielding in the City goal with no chance as they took an underserved lead. One other piece of individual brilliance nearly added a second but the ball bounced off the cross bar and away to safety. It is not a surprise that QPR have players who can do that, watching them is always a lesson in that player who is half decent you forgot existed because no one cares about QPR.

Other than that most of the chances in the match fell to the home side who finally found their break through with Aaron Wilbraham popping up in the right place at the right time to divert the ball into the back of the net after some good play from Joe Bryan. City could and maybe should have snatched a win at the death, which would not have been undeserved. But the ball didn’t quite fall for anyone in the box and they had to live with a well fought point.

So what should we be thinking about Bristol City then?

Based on that performance they will likely be fine. There were some very fine margins holding them back in this match. For example every cross seemed to be just a matter of millimeters too high. Maybe these are the margins you can get away with in League One but in the Championship they need that little bit more quality to really hurt opposition. If that is true that those are margins you can get away with in League One then Liam Feeney is going to be one hell of a player for us next season…

But after a solid performance with much to be optimistic about I think us Bolton fans will need to be pinning our hopes on another team being even worse than us in order to stay up this season.