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Late Maynard goal hands City win
Published : 03 Jan 2012 22:46:55
Nicky Maynard may not be the darling he once was among Bristol City fans but the striker's eighth goal of the campaign gave his side a 1-0 win over Millwall at Ashton Gate
Maynard, who has been transfer-listed after turning down the offer of a new contract with the Robins, had been on the receiving end of significant criticism from sections of the City crowd for the way he conducted his contract negotiations.
But he popped up with the winner in second-half stoppage time to punish wasteful Millwall and send the home fans delirious.
Albert Adomah and Marvin Elliott missed good early opportunities for City, while Liam Trotter, Harry Kane, Hamer Bouazza and Liam Feeney all failed miserably in their attempts to beat David James in the home goal.
It took 17 minutes for Millwall to mount a serious attack, with James turning Jack Smith's deflected effort round a post. Five minutes later the Lions should have got their noses in front, only for Bouazza to misdirect his close-range effort from Feeney's pinpoint low cross.
With seconds left of the opening period Feeney fired straight at the City goalkeeper when unmarked eight yards out, as somehow the visitors went into half-time on level terms.
Both sides struggled to find rhythm and fluency after the break, with Tony Craig's long-range volley the closest either team went to a goal before the hour mark.
Alan Dunne deflected Stephen Pearson's effort over the crossbar with 20 minutes remaining, Craig slashed an attempted clearance against his own post and Yannick Bolasie brought a save out of Steve Mildenhall as the home side found the opener ever more elusive.
But in the dying stages Maynard popped up with the winner. Adomah dinked a delicate cross in from the right, the Millwall defence fell asleep and Maynard stole in to tap home from only a couple of yards out.
It was a sucker punch for Millwall, who seemed to be coasting to a point. For City fans, for one day at least, Maynard was no longer the villain of the piece.