John Eustace admitted relegation-threatened Blackburn had let their travelling fans down by gifting Bristol City all five goals at Ashton Gate.

Tommy Conway capitalised on a bad error by Dominic Hyam to shoot City ahead in the 24th minute and doubled the advantage with a first-half penalty after the defender had brought down Mark Sykes.

Anis Mehmeti fired the third in the 73rd minute after another Hyam slip and two late Nahki Wells goals, the first another penalty, awarded for handball against Kyle McFadzean, completed mid-table City’s biggest Championship win of the season.

The result left Rovers just three points above the drop zone with four games left and head coach Eustace, who made four half-time substitutions, admitted: “I could have taken the whole team off.

“Tonight was so unlike how we have been recently. There wasn’t the fight we have been displaying and we gifted them all their goals.

“We have let our fans down. I said there would be highs and lows when I took the job and tonight is very much a low.

“I am very disappointed, but I know I have a good group of lads and we will go again against Leeds at Elland Road on Saturday.

“I expect a response from the players in that game and it’s important the supporters stay with us. We are all in this together and before tonight there have been a lot of positives.

“I don’t think the result will affect confidence. Individual errors have cost us, the first ones just as we seemed to be taking control of the game.

“All games are tough in the Championship and we will continue to take each one as it comes.”

City head coach Liam Manning was understandably buzzing.

“I’m delighted,” he said. “The togetherness and willingness to run, while staying focused and in control, was tremendous.

“Tactically, a lot clicked. We felt we could hurt them down the sides and that’s how it proved.

“The balls forward were good and our forward players were prepared to chase lost causes.

“Our front players need to be our first defenders. Two or three of Tommy Conway’s goals this season have come from being exactly that.

“The international break was hugely important for me in terms of working with the players on grass and we have seen the benefits in the matches since.

“Nahki Wells’ goals took him to 100 in Championship football, so it’s a proud night for him and his family.”

Tommy Conway netted a first-half brace as Bristol City increased Blackburn’s relegation fears with a thumping 5-0 Championship win at Ashton Gate.

The striker capitalised on a bad error by Dominic Hyam to race clear and shoot low past Aynsley Pears for his 10th goal of the season in the 24th minute.

Seven minutes later Conway sent Pears the wrong way from the penalty spot after a mistake by Callum Brittain had led to Hyam bringing down Mark Sykes inside the box.

Substitute Anis Mehmeti capitalised on yet more weak defending by Hyam to fire in the third in the 73rd minute and another replacement, Nahki Wells, drilled home a 78th-minute penalty after Blackburn substitute Kyle McFadzean had handled.

Wells completed the rout with a stoppage time tap-in from Harry Cornick’s cross and the thrashing left hapless Rovers just three points above the drop zone with four games to play.

City head coach Liam Manning made three changes, bringing in Ross McCrorie, Joe Williams and Conway for Matty James, Mehmeti and Wells.

They faced a Blackburn side featuring goal machine Sammie Szmodics, eager to show Ashton Gate fans his skills after a disappointing spell as a City player in 2019.

The hosts made a blistering start, Scott Twine twice going close in the opening six minutes. The midfielder shot wide from a short Haydon Roberts free-kick and then had an acrobatic volley blocked.

Blackburn flickered as an attacking force as City goalkeeper Max O’Leary dealt with two tame efforts from Dilan Markanday and one from Joe Rankin-Costello.

But the home side looked more threatening and Conway’s opening goal came as no surprise. They could have been out of sight at the break as Rovers continued to make sloppy defensive errors.

After the penalty, Conway was presented with a hat-trick chance by Harry Pickering’s short back-pass, but was denied by a sprawling Pears save.

Sykes had chipped wide when clear through the middle and Manning’s men looked altogether sharper than their mistake-prone opponents.

Blackburn head coach John Eustace reacted by making four half-time substitutions, sending on John Buckley, McFadzean, Andy Moran and Ben Chrisene for Markanday, Tyrhys Dolan, Scott Wharton and Rankin-Costello.

Still the next goal effort of note came from the home side after 69 minutes when Jason Knight shot wide at the end of a slick move.

A better chance fell to Szmodics two minutes later, but he could only shoot wide after good control on the edge of the box. Manning responded by sending on Mehmeti, Wells and Cornick for Twine, Sykes and Conway.

Within seconds Mehmeti had settled any doubt about the outcome and Wells’ two late goals put the icing on the cake of City’s biggest Championship win of the season.

Anis Mehmeti’s brilliant strike put another dent in Leicester’s stuttering bid for automatic promotion and gave Bristol City a 1-0 Championship win at Ashton Gate.

The winger accepted a square ball from Mark Sykes on the edge of the box and sent a sweet left-footed shot into the roof of the net to settle a closely-fought game in the 73rd minute.

Leicester had arrived looking to reignite their promotion push after just one win in five Championship games but paid for missed chances, with Jamie Vardy twice denied by outstanding Max O’Leary saves.

Both sides had scoring opportunities in an even first half packed with positive attacking play, with Foxes goalkeeper Mads Hermansen making early saves from Jason Knight and Tommy Conway in a bright Bristol City start.

Hermansen faced a bigger test on 15 minutes when diving to parry a Conway shot and then reacting brilliantly to keep out Scott Twine’s follow-up effort.

Conway had a strong penalty appeal rejected by referee Andrew Kitchen after going down under an 18th-minute challenge from behind by Wout Faes.

But the visitors grew into the match and James Justin sent a low shot wide.

Two better opportunities came Leicester’s way around the half-hour mark when first Faes headed wide from a Harry Winks free-kick and then Vardy fired just the wrong side of a post from Stephy Mavididi’s pass.

Mavididi was causing problems on Leicester’s left flank but the Robins continued to threaten and Twine had a 37th-minute shot blocked after Mehmeti’s penetrating dribble had set up the opening.

Vardy shot across goal and wide of the far post before the half-time whistle brought applause from both sets of fans.

O’Leary defied Leicester with a brilliant double save at the start of the second half, blocking Vardy’s shot after he broke clear down the middle and recovering his footing to stop the rebound effort from Mavididi.

Leicester looked sure to take the lead on 62 minutes when Bristol City were caught trying to play out from the back. Zak Vyner’s pass was cut out by Vardy with the goal at his mercy but O’Leary produced a stunning fingertip save.

At the other end, Sykes fired into the side-netting five minutes after replacing Twine but Leicester were on top and Abdul Fatawu shot narrowly wide before Mehmeti’s superb finish gave the Robins the lead.

Sykes was denied by Hermansen with the home crowd in full voice while Kelechi Iheanacho, on as a 74th-minute substitute for Vardy, had the ball in the net for Leicester five minutes later but was foiled by an offside flag.

From then on the home side managed the game well and had chances on the break.

A late goal from Leif Davis ensured Ipswich kept pace with league leaders Leicester after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 3-2.

All five goals came in a frantic second half, with the Robins taking the lead through Anis Mehmeti only for substitute Ali Al-Hamadi to equalise.

Tommy Conway’s header put City back in front but Conor Chaplin drew the teams level with a header from a free-kick by Davis before the Town defender sealed the three points.

Al-Hamadi had a penalty saved by City’s goalkeeper Max O’Leary but he was unable to stop Ipswich’s sixth victory on the trot.

It was a dour first half with few chances before the game came to life in the second period.

Chaplin struck the outside of the left-hand post in the 33rd minute after Kieffer Moore’s flicked header from a corner, while at the other end Harry Cornick’s cross was met by Nahki Wells, who headed straight at Vaclav Hladky.

Just before the half-time whistle, a mix-up in the Ipswich defence between Luke Woolfenden and Axel Tuanzebe led to the ball falling to Mehmeti.

He set up skipper Jason Knight but his effort from inside the box deflected off Woolfenden and glanced just past the outside of Hladky’s right-hand post, with the goalkeeper stranded.

The visitors broke the deadlock in the 54th minute when Mehmeti’s shot caught a slight deflection off Massimo Luongo to find its way into the back of the Ipswich net. And Wells had a wonderful chance to extend City’s lead when his shot struck the angle of bar and post and rebounded to safety.

But Ipswich struck back eight minutes later through substitute Al-Hamadi, who had only been on the pitch less than two minutes, turning Davis’ goal-bound shot into the net following Wes Burns’ cross into the City penalty area.

Hladky came to the rescue of Ipswich when he acrobatically turned away a shot from Mehmeti and Mark Sykes’ follow-up was cleared.

City substitute Conway pounced to head the ball past Hladky in the 77th minute following a pin-point cross from Sykes to put City back in front but Chaplin levelled three minutes later when he headed home from a Davis free-kick.

Al-Hamadi missed a chance to put Town ahead for the first time in the match when his penalty was saved by O’Leary after Cameron Pring fouled Burns in the box.

But Town grabbed the three points when Davis’ fierce shot took a deflection off Rob Dickie and went into the back of the net while Jack Taylor struck a post late on to send the delirious Town fans home happy.

Ilias Chair’s first-half goal boosted QPR’s survival chances in the Championship with a 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

The key moment came three minutes before half-time when Lucas Andersen’s low cross from the right was stroked home right-footed by the unmarked Chair, who coolly passed the ball into the net from 12 yards.

From then on Rangers defended their lead with great tenacity against an out-of-sorts home side, who struggled to create meaningful openings.

QPR remained in the relegation zone, but they sit just a point behind fourth-bottom Millwall.

City made two changes from the 3-1 midweek win over Southampton, with Ross McCrorie and Nahki Wells replacing George Tanner and Tommy Conway, who dropped to the bench.

Rangers boss Marti Cifuentes made five alterations to the team beaten 1-0 at Stoke, welcoming back the influential Chris Willock and Chair to his starting line-up.

The home side lined up wearing a replica strip of the one worn by their counterparts of 50 years ago as City celebrated their FA Cup fifth-round replay victory over then unbeaten First Division leaders Leeds at Elland Road in February 1974.

But the historic kit failed to inspire as Liam Manning’s side looked a shadow of the team who had beaten Southampton so convincingly during a dour first half in which they barely tested visiting goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

City had plenty of the ball, without creating clear openings. Their best effort came in the 37th minute from Anis Mehmeti, whose curling shot from the corner of the box was parried by Begovic.

Jason Knight and McCrorie fired narrowly wide, while at the other end Willock had a shot charged down. But there was little to enthuse either set of fans until Chair’s quality finish.

Knight and Joe Williams had efforts blocked at the end of a half which ended with boos from some City fans.

Chair’s goal had been Rangers’ only shot on target. But they began the second half on the front foot, with his low 49th-minute shot saved by the diving Max O’Leary.

By the 58th minute Manning had seen enough and sent on Taylor Gardner-Hickman, Dire Mebude and Tommy Conway for Williams, Knight and Mehmeti.

It made little difference. O’Leary kept his side in the game with another diving stop, this time to keep out Andersen’s powerful drive.

City continued to flounder going forwards and Rangers defended their lead with comfort as both coaches made further changes.

Conway shot narrowly wide after 82 minutes for City, but it was Rangers who finished the stronger, Willock twice foiled by O’Leary saves and substitute Michael Frey shooting into the side-netting.

Liam Manning was not in the least surprised by an impressive debut from on-loan midfielder Scott Twine as his first-half goal earned Bristol City a point from a 1-1 Championship draw with Watford.

But the head coach did admit astonishment at the manner of the 25th-minute equaliser. Twine climbed above a defender to head into an unguarded net after goalkeeper Ben Hamer had blocked Tommy Conway’s close-range drive into his path.

“I reckon it’s the first time Scott has ever scored with a header,” said Manning. “He probably closed his eyes and it went in off his nose.”

The goal cancelled out Tom Dele-Bashiru’s 13th-minute well-struck penalty for Watford – after Rob Dickie had handled the ball inside the box – and ensured a fair outcome to a competitive English second-tier clash.

Manning and Twine have worked effectively together before as the player scored 20 goals in a season for MK Dons with the same boss in charge during the 2021-22 season.

Signed last Monday from Burnley on loan until the end of the season, the 24-year-old caught the eye with his accurate delivery from free-kicks and corners.

Manning added: “Scott showed what he is all about and will only improve as he gets to know the other players.

“He had a chance to score before his goal and is great at getting forward into threatening positions.

“His dead-ball delivery is one of the reasons I wanted to sign him and it was clear to see, I felt we had the better chances in the game.

“Two or three outstanding ones went begging. We had 15 shots from inside their box, which is a very high number.

“They had more control in the first half, but we had a chat during the break and came out firing.

“We were much more on the front foot and played in the areas we wanted to play in.

Both sides had chances to claim all three points from a stirring battle with no quarter asked or given.

Dickie had a late header brilliantly saved by Hamer, while Robins goalkeeper Max O’Leary produced a brave first-half save at the feet of Yaser Asprilla.

Watford boss Valerian Ismael said: “It was another solid away performance from us. We were strong, pressed well and were tactically very sound.

“We just needed to be more mature in our decision-making at times. That is the next step if we are to win games consistently. We have to be more ruthless.

“It was a clear penalty and we had another good opportunity to be ahead at half-time.

“Our attacking intent was very good in the first 45 minutes. In the second half, we got into more promising situations only to fail with the right final pass or cross.

“We have to be better at controlling the ball in our opponents’ half. Sometimes we take too many touches and lose possession.

“We need to be more calm on the ball, but that is OK, it will come.

“We are working with a lot of young players and I am pleased with the progress they are making.

“We have the possibility of entering the transfer market before the deadline and I am hopeful of doing some business.”

Manning does not anticipate any more signings before the deadline and said there were no deals imminent that would see players leaving.

Bristol City produced an FA Cup upset as 10-man West Ham were beaten 1-0 in a third-round replay at Ashton Gate.

Tommy Conway’s equaliser at the London Stadium nine days earlier had set up this return tie and the  21-year-old striker was the Robins’ hero again as his early goal proved the difference.

West Ham, sixth in the Premier League, suffered further misery as Said Benrahma was sent off after 51 minutes for reacting stupidly to a strong challenge from Joe Williams.

Bristol City, 14th in the Sky Bet Championship, will again meet top-flight opposition in the fourth round should Nottingham Forest successfully negotiate their replay at Blackpool on Wednesday.

West Ham boss David Moyes was short on attacking options with Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta and Michail Antonio injured and Ghana’s Mohammed Kudus away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Danny Ings, strongly linked with a move to Wolves this January, started for the first time since November alongside Benrahma and Maxwel Cornet.

West Ham were down on numbers and three current academy players occupied a bench one short of taking up its full allocation of nine substitutes.

Bristol City began with nine of the side that started the 1-1 draw in East London and Conway was on the scoresheet again inside three minutes after West Ham had wasted a golden opening – Cornet overhitting a pass with Ings clean through.

The action immediately switched to the other end where Konstantinos Mavropanos’ mistake allowed Conway to round Lukasz Fabianski and make light of a tight angle by rolling the ball home.

Anis Mehmeti sent a 20-yard effort over but the Hammers gradually asserted authority with Max O’Leary’s goal coming under increasing threat.

Ings was off target from the edge of the box, Mavropanos failed to connect with James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick when contact would surely have levelled matters and Cornet was denied by a last-gasp Cameron Pring challenge.

Cornet, making only his second start of the season, underlined his rustiness further by miskicking in front of goal, while Pring was vigilant to turn away Ings’ effort close to the line.

Bristol City had defended for most of the half, but the hosts burst into life in the final minute.

Mehmeti’s low effort tested Fabianski at his near post and the veteran goalkeeper was called upon from the resulting corner to gather Ross McCrorie’s header.

Life got a lot more difficult within six minutes of the restart when Benrahma kicked out at Williams after being fouled.

Referee Darren England took his time to decide the punishment as Benrahma received treatment, but the Algerian was eventually banished when back on his feet.

Tempers boiled over again as Taylor Gardner-Hickman and Aaron Cresswell were booked after grappling with each other.

West Ham almost equalised after Ings and Emerson combined and Cornet crossed for Tomas Soucek to force O’Leary into an excellent reflex stop from close range.

Substitute Nakhi Wells nearly doubled Bristol City’s lead, but the Robins held on for a famous victory and home fans celebrated as if they had won the cup itself.

David Moyes faces a trip back to his former club after West Ham were held to a 1-1 FA Cup draw by Bristol City.

The Hammers looked on course for a comfortable afternoon when Jarrod Bowen fired them into an early lead.

It proved to be anything but, however, after a second-half equaliser from Tommy Conway secured a replay for the rocking Robins.

West Ham’s squad would have been given a whole a week off had they won this third-round tie, but they will now be dragged back in on Friday as Moyes, who reached Wembley twice as a player with City, prepares for a return to Ashton Gate.

Almost 9,000 members of City’s cider army – among an impressive 62,500 sell-out – made the trip to the capital, but the raucous bunch who filled the Sir Trevor Brooking stand were silenced after just four minutes.

Lucas Paqueta dropped deep to collect the ball and lifted a delicious pass over the top to Bowen.

The England hopeful still had work to do, controlling the ball before knocking it past the dive of City keeper Max O’Leary and beating covering defender Cameron Pring on the goal-line.

Sadly for West Ham it was Paqueta’s last involvement in the match. The Brazilian playmaker was only just back from a knee injury and seemed to suffer a recurrence.

Teenage striker Divin Mubama was sent on as a replacement for a rare chance to impress.

West Ham almost doubled their lead when Bowen got round the back of the City defence and pulled the ball back, but O’Leary made a superb reaction save to claw out Pablo Fornals’ shot.

O’Leary made another fine stop to prevent an own-goal from Pring, who inadvertently turned Bowen’s cross-shot towards his own net, and then tipped a James Ward-Prowse volley wide.

Moyes was forced into a second substitution after just 38 minutes when Konstantinos Mavropanos was hurt after an aerial challenge with Conway, with veteran defender Angelo Ogbonna sent on.

City, 11th in the Championship and on a run of one defeat in five matches under former Hammers Under-23 coach Liam Manning, threatened sporadically in the first half.

But Sam Bell shot straight at Lukasz Fabianski and Rob Dickie’s header was also too close to the Polish keeper.

City should have drawn level early in the second half when a low cross from captain Jason Knight eluded everyone in the box and fell to Pring, who lashed his shot wide at the far post.

But on the hour mark the away fans behind the goal were delirious when Joe Williams pinged the ball forward.

Ogbonna missed it and Conway raced forward before burying his shot across Fabianski and into the net.

West Ham poured forward in a bid to avoid a replay – and preserve their week off – but Tomas Soucek headed over and substitute Danny Ings hit the sidenetting.

Bristol City head coach Liam Manning reflected on winning a Christmas cracker against Hull and admitted: “We like to do things the hard way.”

His side led through Tommy Conway’s 24th-minute penalty, awarded for handball against Jacob Greaves, only to fall behind by half-time to Aaron Connolly’s solo strike and an Ozan Tufan spot-kick after referee Ben Toner spotted a dubious foul on Greaves in a crowded box.

Anis Mehmeti matched the brilliance of Connolly’s goal with a similar effort to equalise on 77 minutes and after Hull lost goalkeeper Ryan Allsop to an injury sustained trying to prevent that goal, Knight beat his replacement Matt Ingram with a deflected effort to settle the outcome.

Manning joked that he had aged 10 years during the previous home win over Sunderland and again had his emotions put through the wringer.

He said: “Up to our goal, we were excellent and caused them real problems. Then we got a bit emotional and they took advantage as a very good side who are well coached and on a good run of form.

“The less said about Hull’s penalty the better. There was so little contact on their player and I’m just glad the result wasn’t influenced by a poor refereeing decision.

“But we responded to the setback well, even in the final minutes of the first half, and the second-half performance was excellent.

“We got on the front foot and showed some moments of real quality. We spoke at half-time and there was so much good in the first half that I didn’t want to derail it.

“The message to the players was that we faced a terrific challenge and could either step up and build on our good first-half play or let the penalty decision have an adverse effect.”

Hull head coach Liam Rosenior, a former player for both clubs, was serving a one-match touchline ban and admitted: “Watching from the stand was horrendous. I have learned my lesson and never want to let it happen again.

“Credit to Bristol for playing well, but for us it was three points dropped. I sound like a broken record when I say that we didn’t get the result we deserved.

“Our level of performance was again good, but we have to manage games better because the end product is all-important. It’s so frustrating because we should have more points on the board than we have.

“The defeat was self-inflicted. There was so much good in the way we played.

“Ryan Allsop hurt his back diving for their second goal and that is just bad luck.

“I believe that if you perform consistently over the course of a season you will end up where you deserve to be. We were by far the better team, but key moments in the game have cost us.”

Jason Knight’s 84th-minute strike earned Bristol City a thrilling 3-2 Championship win over Hull at Ashton Gate.

The hosts took a 24th-minute lead when Jacob Greaves handled Tommy Conway’s glancing header and Conway sent goalkeeper Ryan Allsop the wrong way from the spot.

But Hull battled back to equalise on 33 minutes through Aaron Connolly and went in front eight minutes later with the game’s second penalty, coolly converted by Ozan Tufan after referee Ben Toner spotted a foul on Greaves as he contested a free-kick from the left.

Anis Mehmeti brilliantly equalised and a terrific advertisement for Championship football ended with Bristol fans celebrating thanks to Knight, while those who had made the long journey from Hull could console themselves with the fact that their team had given everything.

Bristol had the better of the opening exchanges, Knight forcing saves from Allsop with a shot and a header before Conway’s opener.

But Zak Vyner had already made a saving tackle on Connolly before the striker’s fine solo equaliser, cutting in from the left to drill a sweet low drive beyond the reach of City goalkeeper Max O’Leary.

The home side bitterly disputed the penalty decision that put them behind but Hull were worthy of their interval lead after finishing the first half strongly.

O’Leary saved well from Tufan after one of several strong runs by Liam Delap, who caused problems down the right wing for Hull.

Bristol began the second period well and Conway was just wide with a near-post volley from a Taylor Gardner-Hickman cross.

Again Hull rallied and Lewie Coyle shot wide from distance after two corners in quick succession.

Delap had a shot from a narrow angle saved by O’Leary and Connolly saw a fierce volley blocked as Liam Rosenior’s men wrestled back the initiative.

At the other end Greaves did well to get in the way of a close-range shot from Knight.

Both teams looked to play out from the back and through midfield as an entertaining contest developed.

On 77 minutes, Mehmeti matched Connolly’s goal with a brilliant solo effort, racing in from the left and placing a perfect low shot beyond the diving Allsop.

Hull had to substitute Allsop through injury on 82 minutes and two minutes later replacement Matt Ingram was beaten by Knight’s fierce shot from just inside the box, which took a deflection.

There were chances at both ends right into seven minutes of stoppage time, when Hull substitute Adama Traore volleyed narrowly wide at the near post.

Neither side deserved to lose and rightly received a rousing ovation at the end of a brilliant game.

Liam Manning joked that he had aged ten years watching his City team defend for their lives to beat impressive Sunderland in the Sky Bet Championship.

Tommy Conway’s 20th-minute penalty, after Taylor Gardner-Hickman was tripped by Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson, proved enough to settle a hugely competitive game at Ashton Gate.

Play-off hopefuls Sunderland dominated for long periods of the second half but could find no way past inspired City keeper Max O’Leary, who made brilliant saves to keep out two Luke O’Nien headers and one from substitute Jobe Bellingham.

Head coach Manning said: “Max was outstanding, not just with his saves but the composure he showed under pressure.

“I’ve aged 10 years watching the game but I’m delighted for the lads because of the togetherness and spirit they showed.

“We have played better, but despite defending for long periods we were always a threat and had chances to extend the lead.

“I have a terrific group of players and, while there is room for them to develop, they lack nothing in effort.

“In a tough league like the Championship, you cannot afford to get too high when you win or too down when you lose.

“What the fans want to see above all is a team putting bodies on the line and giving 100 per cent. There could be no complaints on that score today.

“The commitment to block shots and stop crosses was fantastic. It had to be because Sunderland played well, particularly in the second half.

“Still, I felt we were always capable of catching them on the break. Anis Mehmeti has hit a post and Harry Cornick was through on goal after going on as a substitute.”

Sunderland were caught playing out from the back for the penalty, having survived a previous scare doing the same, and interim coach Mike Dodds was understandably frustrated.

“My anger is mainly directed at a mad 15 minutes in the first half when we invited Bristol City to take the lead,” he said.

“Apart from the penalty incident, there were three or four other lapses that went unpunished and it gave them impetus.

“If I had seen that sort of sloppiness in training, the players concerned wouldn’t have been in the team.

“I haven’t seen it from the team before and don’t want to again. There were words spoken about it at half-time.

“We completely controlled the second half and created chances without taking them. I can live with that, but what happened in the first half was unacceptable.

“Their keeper has made some good saves, but at times our finishing could have been better.”

Of his own situation, Dodds added: “The club have been great in communicating with me and the ball is firmly in their court over what happens next.

“Whoever becomes the next head coach will inherit a fantastic dressing room at a club definitely on the up.”

The hosts hit a post in the first half through Mehmeti’s curling shot but had to survive several Sunderland penalty appeals during a backs-to-the-wall second half.

Playing towards their 2,600 travelling fans, the visitors applied constant pressure, only to be denied by O’Leary and some committed last-ditch defending.

Cornick had a great chance to settle the outcome when breaking clear, but the hosts were hanging on at the end before celebrating three hard-earned points.

Huddersfield manager Darren Moore say his side were left “kicking themselves” after being held to a 1-1 draw by Bristol City.

Delano Burgzorg opened the scoring for the hosts but Tommy Conway equalised in the second half.

Moore said: “They were difficult conditions for both teams. Both sides liked to get the ball down and play, considering it got worse in the second half we’re obviously pleased to get the breakaway goal with what we did.

“We grew into the game. I think David Kasumu did some incredible work to get up the pitch and then have the composure to pick Delano Burgzorg out.

“I said we’ll probably kick ourselves in the second half. For their goal, we chose the wrong decisions on the ball and they were able to capitalise on it.

“As the conditions worsened, we had to show a lot of resilience. One or two of our players ran out of gas, which we expected. Credit to the subs who came on, who dug in and saw us through.

“For the goal to come in the manner it did, at the time we were playing well in good areas. For it to come so early in the second half, it gave them momentum.

“We had to be solid off the ball and we had to exploit areas when we were on the ball. When the equaliser went in the impetus and momentum fell with them.”

Burgzorg struck after a devastating first-half counter-attack spearheaded by the impressive Kasumu, who picked the ball up in his own half and drove 40 yards forward before sliding in Burgzorg to score.

Conway capped off a tidy move for the Robins straight after the break, slotting home Andreas Weimann’s precise cross to equalise after Rob Dickie had found Weimann wide on the left with a defence-splitting ball.

City manager Liam Manning said: “From our perspective it was a frustrating game.

“We created two terrific chances in the first two minutes and especially in the first 20 minutes we had some real control.

“Huddersfield were extremely well organised. Despite us having control for that 20 minutes, we were always vulnerable.

“We were frustrated and disappointed to give away the goal. With the manner of the goal it was such a big momentum shift. There were a couple of tweaks we needed to make out of possession but on the whole the first half was what I wanted to see.

“We had some stern words at half-time. We’ve given too many goals away recently that have been on us. For all the good play you have to have a ruthless edge and that’s at both ends.

“Of course some people would think that means creating and scoring goals, but that also means being ruthless in the control you have in the game so you can’t give up counter-attacking opportunities, which they scored from.

“I was delighted with the response we got at half-time. The second half didn’t fall quite tactically as we wanted it to but we carried on balancing the emotional side to the tactical side.

“Darren’s side play with great honesty and hard work. Well organised and set up too, he does a terrific job of that.”

Liam Manning admitted a cool exterior belied a racing heartbeat after his first home game as Bristol City head coach produced a 3-2 Championship victory from a five-goal thriller.

The Robins looked on course for a comfortable win when Taylor Gardner-Hickman curled a superb first goal for the club after 37 minutes and Tommy Conway doubled the advantage with a penalty just before the break after Matty James had been fouled.

But Boro roared back to level by the 52nd minute through Zak Vyner’s headed own goal and a Matt Crooks shot before Mark Sykes volleyed home a 67th-minute winner from an acute angle.

Manning punched the air at the final whistle, having taken four points from his first two games as successor to Nigel Pearson.

“That was nice and relaxing,” he joked after being asked to evaluate his first game in charge at Ashton Gate.

“There are less stressful ways to spend a Saturday afternoon and my heart is still racing. But I consider myself in a privileged position as head coach of a great club.

“Overall I’m delighted. The second half didn’t start as we had planned, but we will learn from that and the way the players defended the lead after going 3-2 up was fantastic.

“We worked in training on four of the lads defending against eight attackers and it was a bit like that in the closing stages when every player had to show great commitment.

“The most positive sign was the number of quality chances we created against a very good side. The crowd played their part and I felt very proud to be on the touchline at Ashton Gate in charge of a Bristol City team.

“You never stop learning in this game and if you think you know it all, you shouldn’t be involved.

“I have great faith in the squad I have inherited and we have a lot of young players who will improve with age and experience.”

Boro boss Michael Carrick sent his side out early for the second half, but made it clear there were no teacups thrown during the interval.

He said: “I just told the players to believe in what they are good at. Do what they do best. In the second half we were more like our usual selves.

“We controlled the game for long periods so I’m very disappointed to be going home with nothing.

“I didn’t think it was a penalty because our player got a touch on the ball, but that’s football.

“We paid for a messy five minutes in the first half and one in the second. Other than that, we played some good stuff.

“When those little moments catch you out, you can find yourselves with too much to do.

“The boys were good chasing the game in the second half and then one lapse has cost us.

“All their goals came from isolated incidents. First a shot into the top corner no goalkeeper would have saved, then a penalty and then a corner.

“We didn’t manage the minutes leading up to half-time well enough. But the players responded really well after the break and we looked the only team likely to win.

“Bristol City were well organised and asked questions of us. I wish Liam all the best in his new job.”

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