STILL SEARCHING: Bristol City lose again at Ashton Gate
PA - Bradley Collyer
Jordan Zemura’s stunning first-half strike helped Bournemouth secure a convincing 2-0 Sky Bet Championship win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Jamal Lowe netted his first goal for the Cherries, connecting with a sweet volley from Jack Stacey’s right wing cross in the 21st minute and Zemura doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time, making space inside the box to strike a thunderous left-footed drive from an angle and finding the top corner.
The result extended City’s run without a victory at Ashton Gate to 16 games, a sequence stretching back to January.
Bournemouth made the early running, helped by an injury to City midfielder Joe Williams, whose career has been blighted by fitness problems since he arrived in Bristol.
He pulled up off the ball and was clearly distraught as he left the field and was replaced by Nahki Wells in the 14th minute.
In celebrating his goal, Lowe held up the number seven shirt of Bournemouth player David Brooks, for whom there was a minute’s applause from both sets of fans in the seventh minute as he is beginning treatment for stage two Hodgkin lymphoma.
It was no surprise that the goal came from a move down the right when Bournemouth’s Stacey and Lowe were running riot.
City had to wait until the 37th minute for a clear chance, with Wells volleying over a Callum O’Dowda cross from close range.
At the other end Dominic Solanke headed over as Bournemouth continued to attack with menace.
Gary Cahill was booked for ending a rare City raid with a foul on O’Dowda, but Zemura’s wonderstrike confirmed Bournemouth’s first-half dominance and the home side left the pitch to jeers from their supporters.
City boss Nigel Pearson made a change at half-time, sending on Jay Dasilva for O’Dowda, but soon Bournemouth were piling on the pressure again, Dan Bentley saving from Stacey and Ryan Christie.
Bentley’s goal was starting to resemble a shooting gallery as City’s feeble resistance saw their defence breached repeatedly, the ball flashing across the six-yard box on numerous occasions with no final touch.
The hosts finally came to life on the hour, Wells just failing to connect with Cameron Pring’s downward header and Dasilva having a shot blocked.
City were reduced to 10 men when, having used their three substitutes, midfielder Andy King was forced to leave the field in the 73rd minute.
All Bournemouth’s slick football lacked was another decisive finish as they peppered Bentley’s goal, but they were almost rattled when Chris Martin got on the end of a Wells cross only to head tamely at Mark Travers.
By the final whistle, jubilant Cherries fans were chanting, ‘We are top of the league’. On this form, they may well stay there.
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