2017-18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Milan Djuric (64')

Bristol City breathe new life into promotion quest after Milan Djuric winner

Milan Djuric's header put Bristol City's play-off bid back on track as it secured a 1-0 Championship victory over Ipswich at Ashton Gate.
Introduced as a substitute for the ineffective Famara Diedhiou, the Bosnian striker missed one chance before he stooped in the 64th minute to nod home Lloyd Kelly's cross from the left.
He benefited from poor marking by an Ipswich side who had defended well to that point. But the visitors created precious little going forward and could have few complaints at the end of a game played in arctic conditions.
For City it was a welcome return to winning form at a time when their challenge for the top six appeared to be faltering. Lee Johnson's team were not at their best, but edged a contest of few thrills.
Ipswich set up with five across the back protected by a tight midfield three, and Mick McCarthy's tactics looked spot-on in spoiling City's quick passing game in a forgettable first half.
The weather was hardly conducive to good football, with a swirling wind and driving sleet and snow creating problems for both teams.
City top scorer Bobby Reid tested Bartosz Bialkowski with a low drive from 25 yards in the fourth minute. But it was one of few attempts at goal to warm a shivering crowd as the sides cancelled each other out for most of the first 45 minutes.
Ipswich managed to force a save from Frank Fielding just before the interval. Jordan Spence delivered a cross from the right to the far post and Callum Connolly's downward header was comfortably held by the goalkeeper, diving to his left.
A temperature, which was low at kick-off time, dropped markedly and the game was farcical for a while as a blizzard set in.
It had cleared by half-time, which came as a blessed relief to players and spectators alike as they sought sources of warmth.
City started the second period brightly, but still struggled to break down the well-organised visiting defence. Young left-back Kelly drew a cheer for a rare strike at goal when his low 56th-minute drive was saved by Bialkowski.
At the other end Hordur Magnusson blocked a Connolly shot before City created the first clear scoring opportunity on the hour.
Bialkowski could only parry Marlon Pack's stinging drive from distance and Djuric contrived to lift the rebound over the bar.
The striker soon made amends and, while Ipswich worked hard and threw men forward in the closing stages, City held out with few alarms for a vital three points.