Bristol City 2 Barnsley 0

Last updated : 29 March 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Bristol City cemented their place in the play-off places with more than a little help from the opposition Barnsley after their errors handed them the points.

A terrible early mistake by full-back Neil Austin and a poor attempted save from keeper Martin Taylor on his debut for the Tykes gave City the two goals of the game at Ashton Gate.

Taylor, who joined from Wycombe for the rest of the season, had no chance when Austin under hit a back pass to him on six minutes, but it was his blunder which sewed up the game for City in the 63rd when he failed to hold a tame shot from Christian Roberts.

In between City coasted along not wishing to pick up injuries ahead of next Sunday's LDV Vans Trophy Final against Carlisle.

Austin's early error allowed Scott Murray to round Taylor and clip in his 22nd goal of the season, and late on he slammed a post with a powerful low cross shot.

Barnsley arrived with just one defeat in 12 games and a game plan based on keeping it solid in defence and breaking out quickly at any opportunity.

Their top striker Mike Sheron almost cancelled out City's early goal in the 11th minute when he toe-poked just wide after taking a return pass from Alex Neil on his left.

A good corner routine in which Sheron tugged the home defence out of position almost paid dividends for Barnsley, but Gary Jones could not get a clean strike in on goal as he was off balance when the ball reached him inside the area.

Barnsley's physical defending resulted in the referee handing out three yellow cards to them in the first half.

Both sides were much more positive after the break and Barnsley skipper Mitch Ward went close to scoring only to see his shot shouldered away by Kevin Betsy.

Murray was stoking up Bristol's best effort but the decisive goal stemmed from a rather subdued Mickey Bell on the left.

His pass was seized by Roberts and, despite his shot lacking any real power, Taylor saw it late and as he attempted to claim the ball it slipped out of his hands and over the line.