Bell gives Bristol City extra-time win at Swansea

by 24britishtvJan. 18, 2023, midnight 15

Last updated on .From the section FA Cup

Bristol City progressed to round four of the FA Cup as Sam Bell's extra-time goal secured a 2-1 replay victory at Swansea City.

Swansea had chances to triumph, but it was academy product Bell's night.

The 20-year-old ran from near halfway to score a memorable first senior goal for his home-city club.

Bell's intervention secured a second successive win for Bristol City, a welcome boost after a run of just one victory in 12 matches in all competitions.

Swansea had lost only once in four games before this - against Championship leaders Burnley - but saw any hope of a cup run wiped out as they failed to take their chances.

While the Welsh club's focus for the rest of the season will be a play-off push, the Robins can look forward to a home cup tie against West Bromwich Albion later this month.

Swansea had been left ruing their failure to win this tie at Ashton Gate nine days ago having dominated the first half, though Antoine Semenyo had deservedly cancelled out Joel Piroe's goal to set up the replay.

While Russell Martin made seven changes for a game he felt Swansea could have done without, Nigel Pearson kept faith with the Bristol City team who started in the league last weekend - and was ultimately rewarded.

It was hard to tell which of the bosses had shuffled their pack in an even first half where chances were at a premium.

Olivier Ntcham had the one shot on target, a 20-yard drive which was gathered by Max O'Leary, although the Bristol City goalkeeper reacted quickly to prevent an own goal when Zak Vyner sliced towards his own net.

The visitors' first chance came when the ball ricocheted to Semenyo early in the second half - only for the Ghana international to slash wide.

Swansea responded, Joel Latibeaudiere forcing a sprawling save from O'Leary before Piroe shot across the face.

The hosts were exerting real pressure for the first time when Bristol City snatched the lead, with Joe Williams winning possession and feeding fellow substitute Bell.

He threaded a pass through for Sykes, who got to the ball well before Swansea goalkeeper Andy Fisher and rolled in his third goal in two games.

Suddenly the game opened up, with Williams chipping tamely into Fisher's arms before Swansea levelled when Matt Grimes' cross reached the far post and Cooper, who had been on the pitch for a matter of seconds, was left with the simple task of sidefooting into the net.

Swansea came close in extra time through Luke Cundle's wasteful header and a Ryan Manning volley which was pushed over by O'Leary.

Then came Bell's big moment, his pace carrying him away from Ben Cabango before he cut inside and shot high into the net.

"I'm just really frustrated we haven't won it. I feel like it's the same sort of answer I've given you a lot of times. We need more in the final third. They had so little until they scored.

"I was really pleased with the performance. We made seven changes, the game didn't look any different, we were so dominant.

"We needed to show more for the dominance. We give away a poor goal in the middle of the pitch. Their game plan has probably worked really well, Nigel [Pearson] will say.

"I'm so pleased with the players, they gave everything, they dominated for so long, but we need to make more of it because we only score one goal with the amount of entries we had in the box."

"I am pleased for us to get into the next round. It was a tough game - we knew it was going to be. We went with an unchanged side and we knew we would have to make changes during the game.

"It was a super goal to win it, a great finish. We just hoped he would get the chance.

"I thought all the substitutes had an impact on the game. They created a few opportunities for sure, Max [O'Leary] made a couple of good saves, but we always felt we would get some opportunities and it's then whether you can take them.

"It was a fabulous way to win the game in all honesty."


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