Morrison saves West Brom to deny Bristol City famous win

Date published: Saturday 9th January 2016 5:21

James Morrison: Celebrates West Brom's late leveller

James Morrison: Celebrates West Brom's late leveller

James Morrison spared West Brom’s blushes with an injury-time equaliser against Bristol City as the FA Cup third round tie at The Hawthorns ended 2-2.

All the goals came in the second half as the Championship side came from behind to lead with goals from Jonathan Kodjia and Kieran Agard, after Saido Berahino had climbed off the bench to put Albion ahead.

City looked set for a famous victory but in the fifth minute of time added on at the end of the regulation 90 minutes Morrison converted Callum McManaman’s cross from close range to set up a replay.

West Brom made a lively start, with Stephane Sessegnon and James McClean both looking dangerous down the flanks. The final ball was lacking though, and it was to be the story of the first half for the Premier League team.

At the other end, Ben Foster, making his first appearance since March last year after recovering from a serious knee injury, looked as sharp as ever as he got down well to smother Joe Bryan’s curling effort from the edge of the area.

West Brom’s only effort on target of the first half came after 18 minutes. Chris Brunt’s free-kick struck the defensive wall and McClean’s shot from the rebound was parried away by Frank Fielding.

Albion worked a handful of other decent openings before half-time, with Sessegnon the architect, but a Bristol body was always on hand to make a block.

Jonathan Kodjia: Fires in a shot against West Brom

Morrison, set up by Sessegnon, got a clear sight of goal just before the break but he steered his shot wide from 10 yards out.

Teenage goalkeeper Max O’Leary began the second half for the visitors, making his senior debut for the Championship club – with Fielding seemingly injured.

O’Leary was beaten straight straight away as McClean headed Salomon Rondon’s cross goalwards but Nathan Baker, on loan from West Brom’s neighbours Aston Villa, rescued the 19-year-old with a header to clear the ball from just in front of the goal line.

The start of the second half was a much more lively spectacle with chances at both ends – the most notable coming when Kodjia lobbed just over Foster but into the side-netting before the hour mark.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis made a triple substitution in the 63rd minute, bringing on McManaman, Craig Dawson and Berahino. McClean, Chester and Rickie Lambert made way.

The changes took just four minutes to take effect as Berahino opened the scoring, curling a low shot off the greasy surface and into the bottom corner of the net beyond O’Leary’s dive.

The in-demand striker, Pulis said this week he thinks as many as five clubs are interested in signing Berahino, celebrated by running over to the touchline to shake his manager’s hand.

However, City were level in the 74th minute as some slack marking allowed Kodjia to head home Luke Freeman’s free-kick from insdie the six-yard box.

That was Kodjia’s final contribution as he made way for Agard 10 minutes later – and it proved to be an inspired change by Bristol boss Steve Cotterill.

Foster made a superb one-handed save to keep out Freeman’s shot but Agard, barely on the pitch a minute, reacted quickest to squeeze home the rebound.

However, another twist remained and Morrison pounced to break the visitors’ hearts.

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