MX23RW : Sunday, February 17 12:36:55
Dec 30, 2017 at 5.30pm UK at ​Ashton Gate
Attendance: 25,540
Bristol City
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
Reid (53')
Fielding (64')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Douglas (66'), Bennett (90')
Batth (14')

Result: Wolverhampton Wanderers rescue dramatic victory at Bristol City

Result: Wolves snatch dramatic victory
© Offside
Wolverhampton Wanderers score a dramatic injury-time winner against automatic promotion rivals Bristol City to move 10 points clear at the top of the Championship.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have moved 10 points clear at the top of the Championship table courtesy of a dramatic 2-1 victory over automatic promotion rivals Bristol City in a match which saw both teams have a man sent off.

The visitors were forced to play the vast majority of the match with just 10 men after captain Danny Batth was shown a controversial early red card, but it took City until the second half to make their advantage pay through Bobby Reid.

However, the hosts were soon down to 10 men themselves when Frank Fielding was sent off, and Wolves were quicker to exploit the red card with an equaliser through Barry Douglas moments later.

It looked as though the match would end all square until Wolves won a late free kick which allowed Ryan Bennett the chance to snatch a late winner which puts Wolves another step closer to securing promotion back to the Premier League.

Bristol City slipped out of the automatic promotion places due to Derby County's victory at Ipswich Town earlier in the day, but they almost responded within seven minutes of kickoff when Jamie Paterson's glancing header needed to be kept out by a fine John Ruddy save.

Ruddy was called into action in almost identical fashion once again just three minutes later, this time denying Reid's header from a Hordur Magnusson cross.

A bright start for the hosts looked to have got even better 14 minutes in when Wolves were reduced to 10 men, with referee Peter Bankes ruling that captain Batth was out of control during a challenge on Magnusson, despite getting the ball before colliding with the player.

Having already lost their captain, Wolves then lost their manager in quick succession too as Nuno Espirito Santo was sent to the stands shortly after seeing his side have a penalty appeal turned down.

Despite that double setback Wolves came within inches of breaking the deadlock after 20 minutes when Douglas's free kick clattered against the post.

Following a frantic and action-packed opening 20 minutes the game did begin to calm down as the first half wore on, with City struggling to turn their possession and numerical advantage into goals.

Indeed, it was Wolves who created the next big chance too when Willy Boly rose highest inside the area but glanced his header narrowly wide of the far post.

Bristol City did almost break the deadlock right on the stroke of half time with a headed chance of their own, but Nathan Baker was also unable to hit the target as he nodded his effort over the crossbar.

Having seen an eventful first half end goalless, Bristol City opted to throw defender Aden Flint up front at the beginning of the second half, and the hosts did open the scoring within eight minutes of the restart - although it was Reid who got the goal rather than Flint.

City hit the Championship leaders on the break as Paterson picked out Reid inside the box, with the striker's finish taking a slight deflection off Bennett on its way in.

However, having made their numerical advantage pay, the hosts soon found themselves with 10 against 10 when goalkeeper Fielding was sent off, bringing down Matt Doherty outside the box and immediately receiving his marching orders.

There was more punishment to come for City too, with replacement goalkeeper Luke Steele's first action being to pick the ball out of his own net after Douglas's resulting free kick had taken a slight nick off Marlon Pack on its way in.

Suddenly it was Wolves who looked most like going on to claim all three points, with Ivan Cavaleiro firing one long-range effort wide before turning provider to set up Romain Saiss, who was denied by Steele.

Flint then came close for the home side with a header which went straight at Ruddy, but clear chances were hard to come by at both ends of the field in the closing stages.

That was until Wolves won a free kick in the fourth minute of injury time, and Douglas turned provider this time with a drilled delivery which was nodded home from close range by Bennett.

There was no time for Bristol City to respond as Wolves took all three points from an incident-packed match, ending the home side's seven-match unbeaten streak and stretching their own to 11 games in the process.

The defeat leaves Bristol City a point off the pace in terms of the automatic promotion race, whereas Wolves march on towards what looks increasingly like a return to the Premier League.

Bristol City (4-4-1-1): Fielding; Wright, Flint, Baker, Magnusson (Taylor, 78'); Brownhill (Eliasson, 87'), Pack, Smith, Bryan; Paterson (Steele, 65'); Reid

Wolves (3-4-3): Ruddy; Batth, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Saiss, Neves, Douglas; Costa (Cavaleiro, 62'); Bonatini (Bennett, 17'), Jota (Enobakhare, 88')

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Lee Johnson in charge of Bristol City on December 20, 2017
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