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Bristol City 1-1 Blackpool: Shayne Lavery scores 93rd-minute leveller for Tangerines

Chris Martin
Bristol City goalscorer Chris Martin cut a dejected figure at full-time

Blackpool's Shayne Lavery scored a 93rd-minute equaliser against Bristol City as the Tangerines marked their return to the Championship after a six-year absence with a point.

Chris Martin's first-half goal gave Bristol City the lead just before the break, and the Robins remained on top in the second half.

Nigel Pearson's hosts created numerous chances that should have seen them comfortably ahead by more than one goal.

But Blackpool, promoted through the League One play-offs last season, gradually built pressure in the closing minutes.

Callum Connolly's strike hit the post with 11 minutes to go, before Lavery equalised with a shot inside the post seconds before full-time.

Bristol City might struggle not to see this as two points dropped on the opening day of the season, after controlling the match for 80 minutes.

The hosts started strongly and were pressing for a goal throughout the first half. Andreas Weimann blasted a left-footed shot over the bar, Kasey Palmer - substituted on for the injured Callum O'Dowda after just 10 minutes - had a low driving shot saved, Andy King saw a free header go wide, while Rob Atkinson also saw a shot go over.

But with half-time approaching, King sent a cross into the box and Martin headed home inside the far post - the 32-year-old's third league goal since joining in September 2020.

Summer signings King, Matty James and Atkinson all made impressive debuts for the Robins, with the former Leicester pair of King and James in particular controlling proceedings in midfield.

The pair set up a string of chances, while also coming close to scoring themselves. James - facing his younger brother Reece in the opposing side for the first time - sent a long-range shot narrowly wide in the second half.

But City were unable to put the match out of reach of Blackpool despite all the opportunities they created, and they were clearly left rattled when Connolly's shot stormed off the post on 79 minutes.

And in the third and final minute of added time, debutant Lavery got on the end of substitute Josh Bowler's delivery, to score and snatch a point.

Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson told BBC Radio Bristol:

"It's clearly a big disappointment to concede more or less on the last kick of the game. It's a reminder of what football is, and that is that when you are dominant in a game, as we were for long periods of it, you've got to have that ruthless edge to get yourself over the line.

"We've certainly had opportunities today, in terms of creating goal-scoring opportunities and unfortunately a bit of a lack of communication at the end has cost us quite dearly.

"I was relatively pleased with how we performed, we looked pretty solid. I think we created some good chances. Chris' goal, I mean it was a fantastic header.

"There's no point me getting overly disappointed about it, I would have loved for our fans for us to have picked three points up.

"It was a really good atmosphere today and it's certainly good to be back."

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"You can never question the fighting spirit of this team - they go right to the end of the game. And, by the end of the game, I felt that our performance merited a point.

"I thought we started well, the first 15 minutes, but then they got on top of us - not creating loads of clear opportunities but they had the momentum in the game. You couldn't begrudge them their lead at half-time.

"I didn't think we were us in the first half, I just felt we lacked a little bit of belief, confidence, bit of positivity, and we gained that in the second half and we created some good opportunities.

"We had some good moments, and obviously when you think that that's it, the time's running out, we produced a real moment of quality to get the equalising goal, so I'm made up with the point."

Line-ups

Bristol City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Bentley
  • 26Vyner
  • 17BakerBooked at 64mins
  • 5Atkinson
  • 3Dasilva
  • 6James
  • 10King
  • 14Weimann
  • 36ScottSubstituted forWilliamsat 77'minutes
  • 11O'DowdaSubstituted forPalmerat 13'minutesSubstituted forBellat 88'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 9Martin

Substitutes

  • 2Simpson
  • 8Williams
  • 12O'Leary
  • 21Wells
  • 22Kalas
  • 33Bell
  • 45Palmer

Blackpool

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Maxwell
  • 2Connolly
  • 26Keogh
  • 3Husband
  • 29Garbutt
  • 22HamiltonSubstituted forLaveryat 80'minutes
  • 5James
  • 18Ward
  • 10Anderson
  • 28John-JulesSubstituted forBowlerat 73'minutes
  • 9Yates

Substitutes

  • 11Bowler
  • 16Carey
  • 19Lavery
  • 20Casey
  • 21Ekpiteta
  • 25Antwi
  • 32Grimshaw
Referee:
Andy Davies
Attendance:
18,729

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol CityAway TeamBlackpool
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home11
Away7
Shots on Target
Home2
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bristol City 1, Blackpool 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bristol City 1, Blackpool 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Bristol City 1, Blackpool 1. Shayne Lavery (Blackpool) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Josh Bowler.

  4. Booking

    Sam Bell (Bristol City) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Bristol City. Robert Atkinson tries a through ball, but Sam Bell is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Luke Garbutt (Blackpool).

  7. Post update

    Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Bristol City. Sam Bell replaces Kasey Palmer.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Keshi Anderson (Blackpool).

  10. Post update

    Zak Vyner (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Blackpool. Conceded by Robert Atkinson.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jerry Yates (Blackpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Shayne Lavery following a fast break.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Blackpool. Richard Keogh tries a through ball, but Jerry Yates is caught offside.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackpool. Shayne Lavery replaces CJ Hamilton.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Richard Keogh (Blackpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.

  16. Post update

    Callum Connolly (Blackpool) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box following a set piece situation.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Joe Williams (Bristol City).

  18. Post update

    Keshi Anderson (Blackpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Chris Martin with a cross.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Bristol City. Joe Williams replaces Alex Scott.

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