Waghorn strikes but Blues go down
Martyn Waghorn grabbed his sixth goal of the season but it proved to be a consolation as City, aided by two deflections, took the points.
Blues were playing catch up for virtually 90 minutes after going behind early to Josh Brownhill’s 18 yard curler.
Famara Diedhiou headed the Robins further in front just past the half hour as Town struggled to make an impact in the game but Joe Garner went close and then Waghorn found the net just before the break.
Bobby Reid’s heavily deflected strike eight minutes from time - with a hint of offside - sealed the points for the visitors though to stretch their unbeaten run to nine Championship games.
Mick McCarthy had named an unchanged line-up from the side that beat Sunderland in midweek but an injury to Tom Adeyemi in the warm-up saw Tristan Nydam come in. Kevin Bru added to the substitutes.
Blues got off to the worst possible start when the visitors struck after three minutes, Brownhill curling the ball past Bart Bialkowski from the edge of the box with the aid of a deflection.
City threatened to add to their lead when Diedhiou broke but Luke Chambers came to Town’s rescue with an excellent tackle inside the box.
Bristol continued to look dangerous on the counter and Korey Smith saw an effort cannon back off Jonas Knudsen to safety from the angle, the Town defender then yellow carded for hauling down Callum O’Dowda.
It was Lee Johnson’s side who continued to carry the cutting edge and Reid cut inside and smashed the ball against the bar, Smith’s follow up effort smothered by Jordan Spence.
It was midway through the first-half before Town had a first sight at goal and it was a clear sight, Garner bursting into the box but his shot was blocked, then Cole Skuse had a 20 yarder suffer a similar fate.
Blues began to get a foothold in the game and Chambers’ raking 50 yard pass would have got Waghorn in but for Frank Fielding’s headwork, then Bersant Celina fired just wide.
O’Dowda weaved his way into the box but was way off target with his strike, Jamie Paterson a lot closer but on 31 minutes, City doubled their lead - Diedhiou first to the cross and his header left Bialkowski with no chance.
Celina was denied by Fielding as Town looked for an immediate response and that lifeline came just before the break, Waghorn sidefooting in from Knudsen’s cross.
There was still time for Bialkowski to tip over from Aden Flint’s header following a corner in the last action of another entertaining half at Portman Road.
Knudsen held firm from Paterson as the second 45 got underway, Garner then seeing his volley beaten out by Fielding at the other end.
Flint fired wide of the far post after Reid had set him up 18 yards out before Town made a first change with Adam Webster on for Dominic Iorfa.
Nydam’s excellent ball into the box found Garner but his volley was cleared, Freddie Sears replacing Celina just past the hour.
Bialkowski was quick off his line to clear as Reid looked to get in, O’Dowda blasting over from 20 yards before Town made a final change with Grant Ward on for David McGoldrick.
Jonathan Leko replaced Paterson for the closing stages and City made it three on 82 minutes to seal the win, Reid’s shot taking a deflection to beat Bialkowski and surviving the assistant referee’s flag, with Flint appearing to be in an offside position in front of the Town ‘keeper.
Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa (Webster 54), Chambers, Spence, Knudsen, Waghorn, Skuse, Nydam, Celina (Sears 61), McGoldrick (Ward 66), Garner. Subs not used: Gerken, Connolly, Kenlock, Bru. Booked: Knudsen, Garner.
Bristol City: Fielding, Bryan, Flint, Wright, Baker, Smith, Brownhill, Diedhiou, O’Dowda (Eliasson 83), Reid (Taylor 87), Paterson (Leko 75). Subs not used: Steele, Taylor, Woodrow, Magnusson, Hegeler. Booked: Bryan, Reid.