Wells scores goal No 18 in losing cause

  • Harsh consolation: Nahki Wells, right, finds the net for his eighteenth goal of the season yesterday, but his Bristol City side went down to a 2-1 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday that damages their promotion chances (Photograph courtesy of Bristol City FC)

Nahki Wells was on target yesterday with his eighteenth goal of the season, but his Bristol City side’s promotion aspirations in the Sky Bet Championship took a big hit with a 2-1 defeat at home to struggling Sheffield Wednesday.

Wells netted with a close-range header in the 68th minute, following up after Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith had made his second spectacular save of the day from the head of City defender Nathan Baker.

But by then City were two down to a Wednesday side who had won only one of their previous five league matches to become part of the relegation conversation.

Connor Wickham opened the scoring for the visiting side in the thirteenth minute and Massimo Luongo notched just before the hour mark to give Wednesday something to cling on to.

The result leaves City five points outside the play-off places in twelfth and extends their winless league run to seven matches at the wrong time in the season.

It all might have been so different during a bright start for City — Wildsmith having already stiff-armed Baker’s header over from in close — had Wells got his head on the end of a delightful ball from Jack Hunt, when any touch from point-blank range would have taken it past the Wednesday goalkeeper.

Wednesday virtually went straight down the other end and took a surprising lead, Wickham losing his marker from a corner and planting a flick header inside the vacated back post.

Luongo’s goal from a scramble when City failed to clear their lines gave Wednesday an advantage they hardly deserved.

But by the end, with home goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa saving well to deny substitute Alessio Da Cruz, they were just about value for a crucial three points that take them ten points clear of the relegation places — and only three points behind a regressive City.

For Wells, it was his third goal in ten appearances since joining City in a £5 million deal from Burnley, of the Premier League, in the January transfer window.

Manager Lee Johnson’s men are away to high-flying Nottingham Forest on Wednesday needing to stop the bleeding, which began before the pandemic-enforced break with two points from a possible 15 and has continued now with back-to-back reversals.