Bristol City 1-1 Stoke City: Batth heads Potters closer to survival
Danny Batth equalises for Stoke City at Ashton Gate (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

A second-half header from Danny Batth helped Stoke City to a point against Bristol City after a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate.

Batth's equaliser edges the Potters closer to survival after Filip Benkovic had put the hosts in front in first-half added time.

Story of the match

Diedhou's early let off

The hosts struggled to get going early on and almost found themselves a man down after 18 minutes.

Forward Famara Diedhou collided late with Stoke centre half James Chester and appeared to show studs as he made the challenge but referee James Linington awarded only a free-kick.

Benkovic curls in opener

Stoke boss Michael O'Neill should have been happy with his side's performance going into the half-time break but was left frustrated as they went behind just seconds before the whistle.

After seeing their initial effort from a corner cleared, defender Benkovic reacted first on the edge of the area and saw his shot curl into the far corner via a deflection.

Woodwork denies Powell

The Potters started well after the break and were almost level just before the hour as they searched for an equaliser.

Flicked through on goal by Lee Gregory, midfielder Nick Powell fired low towards the far corner but was denied only by the post.

Batth heads Stoke level

Stoke continued to push for an equaliser throughout the second half and were rewarded for their efforts on 64 minutes.

Arriving unannounced into the area, Batth connected with James McClean's cross and headed past goalkeeper Daniel Bentley for his second goal in as many games.

Man of the Match: Danny Batth

The Potters defender was vital to much of his side's defensive work as they edged closer to Championship survival.

Registering the all-important equaliser, Batth could have had a second late on but was denied after Bentley tipped his looping header onto the crossbar.

Match Stats

Bristol City 1-1 Stoke City

Bentley, Benkovic, Baker (Vyner, 26') Kalas, Hunt (Eliasson, 76') Patterson, Smith, DaSilva, Weimann (O'Dowda, 84') Wells, Diedhou

Unused subs: Wollacott, Nagy, Watkins, Hinds, Rowe, Massengo

Davies, Smith, Batth, Chester, Martins Indi, Clucas (Collins, 90+3') Cousins, Powell (Thompson, 76') McClean, Vokes, Gregory (Campbell, 81')

Unused subs: Noukeu, Ward, Ince, Oakley-Boothe, Sorensen, Tymon

Takeaways

Play-off hopes over?

Even with a win, the hopes of making the playoffs seemed a stretch for Bristol City but this all but confirms it.

The result leaves the Robins five points below Cardiff City who occupy the final play-off place in sixth with two games to play and would require a surprising set of results for a chance of promotion.

Stoke almost there

An impressive result sees the Potters reach 50 points and move closer to Championship survival.

O'Neill's men move five points clear of Hull City in 22nd but now games against promotion chasers Brentford and Nottingham Forest to come before the end of the season.

But with a superior goal difference to all of the current bottom three, it would take a major collapse for them to be dragged back into contention.

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