16 September 2023

Alex Palmer’s brilliant late save earns West Brom point at Bristol City

16 September 2023

Alex Palmer’s brilliant late save from Harry Cornick earned West Brom a point from a goalless Championship draw with Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

The Robins substitute looked certain to score in the 87th minute when set up in a central position just 10 yards out, but Palmer spread himself and stretched out a leg to make a crucial save.

Albion nearly won it themselves in stoppage time when substitute Josh Maja was denied by a goal-saving tackle from Kal Naismith and in the end a draw was a fair outcome from an entertaining encounter.

City dominated much of the first half, playing fast, attacking football down both flanks that only lacked a decisive finish.

Nahki Wells might have had a hat-trick inside 15 minutes, first being denied by a goal-saving tackle by Cedric Kipre, then shooting just wide and having another effort blocked for a corner.

Jason Knight shot over from 20 yards and Naismith was also off-target from just outside the box before Sam Bell’s low shot flew into the side-netting after 33 minutes.

Two minutes later Albion goalkeeper Palmer missed his kick on the right edge of the penalty area and Mark Sykes got in behind to hit the far post with his low drive from a narrow angle.

It did not look like being City’s day. But they had an escape soon afterwards when Albion created their one first-half chance, Brandon Thomas-Asante breaking clear down the middle, only to be robbed by Zak Vyner’s brilliant recovery tackle as he prepared to shoot.

Wells shot weakly at Palmer when well-placed in the 43rd minute, but City left the pitch to warm applause from their fans, despite failing to break the deadlock.

Playing towards their own fans, Albion looked sharper at the start of the second half without forcing a save from Max O’Leary.

Still City looked dangerous and Sykes had a 60th-minute header tipped over by Palmer. But it was more of a contest as at the other end Okay Yokuslu’s header was deflected for a corner.

Albion were starting to look the more likely winners as the game entered its closing stages. Erik Pieters shot over and Vyner did well to block an effort from Maja.

The visitors were denied by the woodwork in the 82nd minute when John Swift’s header struck the crossbar. Seconds later substitute Conor Townsend fired wide with the goal at his mercy.

City appeared to be tiring, but they almost snatched victory through Cornick’s chance and moments later Joe Williams fired inches over.

Albion were not finished, but, while Naismith’s challenge on Maja had 2,500 travelling fans yelling for a penalty, he appeared to win the ball cleanly.

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