Kenyan defender on target as Bristol City down Michael Carrick’s Middlesbrough

STARS ABROAD Kenyan defender on target as Bristol City down Michael Carrick’s Middlesbrough

Mark Kinyanjui 13:30 - 26.11.2023

The Kenyan defender had a rollercoaster of a game, scoring a headed goal but also putting the ball into the back of his own net in unfortunate version.

Kenyan defender Zach Vyner Obiero was on target as Bristol City managed to fight their way to a 3-2 win over Middlesborough to keep their promotion hopes alive on Saturday afternoon.

Vyner had a hell of a game, scoring a headed goal but also putting the ball into the back of his own net in an unfortunate version, managing to live to both ends of the spectrum.

The 26-year-old made one block, four clearances, and interceptions and won two of his three attempted ground duels. He also won one of his three attempted aerial duels.

On-loan West Bromwich Albion midfielder Gardner-Hickman, who was one of two changes Manning made to his starting line-up, looked lively from the start and went close with a shot that deflected off Dael Fry and was kept out by Boro goalkeeper Seny Dieng.

But the contest remained scoreless until the 21-year-old's eye-catching individual goal put City - who had found the net only once in their previous four games - into the lead as he cut in from the left, beat two defenders, and unleashed a drive beyond the helpless Dieng.

The Boro keeper's one-on-one save soon afterward prevented Conway from doubling the home side's advantage, but the City striker was handed another opportunity on the stroke of half-time when referee John Busby ruled that Matty James had been felled in the box.

Waving away Boro protests, Busby awarded a spot-kick and Conway duly dispatched it into the bottom corner for his third goal of the campaign - leaving the visitors with an apparent mountain to climb.

However, they wiped out that deficit within seven minutes of the restart as the luckless Vyner headed into his own net and, almost immediately, Crooks rifled the equaliser past Max O'Leary.

Manning's side regrouped, though, and regained the lead when Rob Dickie's far-post header from a corner kick was parried by Dieng, with the rebound falling for Sykes to make it 3-2.

Boro boss Michael Carrick responded with a string of substitutions and one of the new arrivals, Samuel Silvera, almost restored parity with a deflected effort that beat O'Leary but hit the woodwork.

But City saw out the game to move a place above Middlesbrough, who dropped to 12th in the table.

Bristol City head coach Liam Manning told BBC Radio Bristol: "Terrific afternoon for the players - it was a bit of a roller coaster.

"We spoke to the lads at half-time about being prepared for Middlesbrough to come out and maybe tweak how they press, to be a bit more front-foot and more aggressive. They were chasing the game.

"But it sums up the lads for me, the second half. What we need as a group and what we want as a club is that togetherness and that resilience."

Middlesbrough head coach Michael Carrick told BBC Tees: "You've got to manage the whole game. It's all right doing good things for large parts of it but we're shooting ourselves in the foot to a degree. It's frustrating.

"I can't fault the boys for their effort and for coming back into the game,, but we've just given ourselves a bit too much to do.

"We looked like we were going to go ahead, then there's a moment out of the blue in the second half, the corner comes from nowhere and that's the winning goal, which changes the game again.

"We can look really fantastic defending and not look like conceding any goals and then in a split second, there's one or two. The good thing again is we're capable of scoring goals and we've proved that again today."

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