Stoke inched towards Sky Bet Championship basic safety with a 1-1 attract at Ashton Gate that did very little for Bristol City’s engage in-off prospects.
Danny Batth’s next-fifty percent header gave Stoke a share of the spoils their endeavour deserved soon after Filip Benkovic, one more central defender demonstrating the finishing instincts of a striker, experienced offered the Robins the direct just before the crack.
Victory would have practically secured Stoke’s Championship status and, however a draw leaves them with some function to do, manager Michael O’Neill will be assured they can end the job now they are five details earlier mentioned the relegation zone.
Bristol City’s possess ambitions search far more precarious right after Dean Holden failed to collect three details for the initially time since succeeding Lee Johnson in a caretaker capability before this month.
Immediately after wins in excess of Hull and Middlesbrough, Bristol City had ignited their enjoy-off possibilities but the Robins now path sixth-positioned Cardiff by 5 details with two online games remaining.
There was a controversial start to proceedings as Stoke striker Sam Vokes felt he experienced been manhandled by Tomas Kalas inside of the six-garden region, but referee James Linington was not fascinated in his initial-moment charm.
The two sides struggled to style chances in the opening quarter, though Bristol Metropolis goalkeeper Dan Bentley just managed to paw absent James McClean’s cross.
Famara Diedhiou was sent clean up via midway as a result of the initial half but Adam Davies, yet again deputising for the hurt Jack Butland, was off his line quickly and denied him on the edge of the box.
Stoke had a comparable option when Vokes cleverly hooked the ball over his head to launch Lee Gregory but Bentley replicated the great do the job of Davies and was equivalent to the undertaking.
Nahki Wells experienced the ball in the Stoke net following 32 minutes but his header was ruled out for a drive on Tommy Smith.
The Robins did consider the guide from a corner in the closing seconds of the 1st half.
Vokes headed absent but Stoke had failed to set a man on the edge of the location and the ball was quickly moved to Benkovic, who curled home his next intention of the season in model.
Stoke had shaded the opening period and were bright soon after the restart with Vokes making some trickery just before firing more than.
Nick Powell then discovered area to produce a highly effective very low shot which Bentley touched on to a post.
Stoke were being deservedly stage right after 64 minutes when McClean swung a dangerous ball into the box and Batth dispatched a fantastic diving header for his 2nd target in as numerous online games.
Batth practically experienced a next 10 minutes from time but Bentley pushed his bullet header on to the crossbar and Stoke were seemingly material to settle for a position following that.