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Bristol City foiled by Baldock 'goal' ruling

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 20, 2014

By ANDY STOCKHAUSEN

Bristol City striker Aaron Wilbraham appeals to referee Simon Hooper after the goal is disallowed during the League One clash against Leyton Orient at Ashton Gate   PICTURE: PHIL MINGO/PINNACLE

Bristol City striker Aaron Wilbraham appeals to referee Simon Hooper after the goal is disallowed during the League One clash against Leyton Orient at Ashton Gate PICTURE: PHIL MINGO/PINNACLE

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BRISTOL CITY 0 LEYTON ORIENT 0

Referee Simon Hooper proved the villain of the piece as he controversially denied Bristol City victory against Leyton Orient at Ashton Gate.

City thought they had scored the only goal of a hard-fought League One contest when Sam Baldock headed in Korey Smith's corner six minutes before half time.

But the Wiltshire official enraged Robins boss Steve Cotterill and his players by ruling out the 'goal' for an alleged infringement and denying the home side a third straight League win.

But defeat for Orient would have been an injustice, the London side playing the more cohesive football and creating the better chances.

One of the best sides in the third tier last season, Orient are again fancied to push for promotion this term. City rode their luck at times, but at least maintained their unbeaten League start to the League One campaign and they will travel to Rochdale in good heart at the weekend.

Their confidence growing on the back of consecutive League wins over Sheffield United and Colchester, a Robins side showing two changes started brightly, Baldock testing O's keeper Adam Legzdins with a low shot from range and the recalled Joe Bryan narrowly failing to find Aaron Wilbraham with a header across the six yard box.

Aden Flint twice came to City's rescue, heading clear a dangerous cross from Nathan Clarke and then blocking a Romain Vincelot through ball intended for veteran striker Kevin Lisbie.

Orient hardly seemed to be inconvenienced when Lisbie limped off after 22 minutes to be replaced by target man Darius Henderson, who nearly scored with his first touch, Frank Fielding making a smart save at his near post.

City put the ball in the net six minutes before half time.

Controversy flared when Baldock nipped in front of Orient keeper Legzdins and appeared to apply a finishing touch to Smith's corner kick, only for referee Hooper to rule out the goal for an infringement.

Orient came on strong at the start of the second half and Fielding had to be alert to keep out a Henderson header after a Dean Cox cross to the far post caused pandemonium in City's defence, while Wilbraham produced a crucial block to turn Nathan Clarke's header behind for a corner.

Relying upon swiftly-launched counter-attacks, City threatened when Little led a breakaway which culminated in Bryan's fierce drive being charged down by a phalanx of blue-shirted defenders.

City again went close when Pack directed a corner towards the far post and Wilbraham, stooping to conquer, narrowly failed to apply a finishing touch with his head.

Both goalkeepers were having problems with their kicking and when Fielding sent a weak clearance straight to Vincelot, his through ball put Henderson in the clear.

Just as the former Swindon and Sheffield United marksman was about to pull the trigger, Flint came across him to execute a magnificently-timed goal-saving tackle.

Henderson was again at the heart of the action when ploughing into Fielding and somehow escaping a yellow card, the referee again upsetting City.

Orient nearly undid all their good work 15 minutes from time, Clarke dwelling on the ball in his own six-yard box and gifting possession to Wilbraham. Unfortunately for the home side, the big forward was unable to get his shot off and Legzdins cleared the danger.

Robins boss Steve Cotterill made a double substitution with 12 minutes to go, withdrawing Pack and Bryan and sending on Adam El-Abd and Luke Freeman and switching to a 4-4-2 formation.

Freeman went close in the dying stages, his shot being blocked by Clarke, while Luke Ayling and Flint both went close with headers at the death.

Bristol City: Fielding, Williams,Flint, Ayling, Little, Elliott, Smith, Pack (El-Abd 80), Bryan (Freeman 80), Baldock, Wilbraham (Emmanuel-Thomas 90). Subs Not Used: Wagstaff, Richards, Cunningham, Burns.

Leyton Orient: Legzdins, Omozusi, Cuthbert, Baudry, Clarke, Cox, Vincelot, James, McAnuff (Pritchard 82), Lisbie (Henderson 23), Mooney (Simpson 89). Subs Not Used: Sawyer, Lowry, Bartley, Woods.

Att: 11,692

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).

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