Bristol City 1-1 Swansea: Ntcham strikes to salvage draw at Ashton Gate
Substitute Olivier Ntcham volleyed a second-half equaliser to earn Swansea a 1-1 draw againt illness-hit Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Nigel Pearson’s side took a deserved 24th-minute lead when Tommy Conway latched onto a Nahki Wells pass to drill home his eighth goal of the season from 12 yards.
But Swansea levelled on 76 minutes, Ntcham finding the bottom corner with a volley from 20 yards after a corner was cleared into his path.
Bristol had edged an entertaining Championship encounter until the closing stages, but paid for not being more clinical in front of goal.
Pearson’s already depleted squad suffered a blow before kick-off when defender Rob Atkinson pulled out, suffering from the sickness bug that had affected several players during the week.
Cameron Pring was promoted from the bench, while Swansea were unchanged and backed by a large contingent of travelling fans.
Despite being without numerous players, including four centre-backs, the home side produced an impressive first-half display and might have been out of sight by the break.
Swansea goalkeeper Steven Benda produced a miraculous save on his line to keep out Antoine Semenyo’s 10th-minute shot from close range, although the striker should have given him no chance.
Benda came to the Swans’ rescue again on 20 minutes, stretching out a leg to keep out a low drive from Wells.
Conway’s goal came as no surprise as Bristol’s front three were causing the visitors countless problem, Semenyo playing just behind the goalscorer and Wells.
Swansea launched some dangerous attacks of their own, but it was not until first-half injury time that home goalkeeper Max O’Leary had to make a save from Nathan Wood’s volley.
Oliver Cooper put an early header wide and Luke Cundle had a shot blocked for a corner, but Swans manager Russell Martin cut a frustrated figure in the dug-out area.
He made a change at the break, introducing Ryan Manning to the left of midfield for Wood, with Joel Latibeaudiere dropping into the back-line..
Michael Obafemi should have done better when mistiming a header from a Cundle cross, but soon Benda was in action again, saving from Semenyo.
Swansea’s second substitute Ntcham had a 67th minute shot blocked and sent the rebound straight at O’Leary.
By the 71st minute Martin had made five changes, also sending on Armstrong Oko-Flex, former Bristol player Jamie Paterson and Kyle Naughton.
Ntcham fired over before Pearson introduced fresh legs up front, replacing Semenyo and Wells with Chris Martin and Sam Bell.
The equaliser came three minutes later, Ntcham’s strike sparking a spell of Swansea pressure, which brought several more corners, as the visitors pushed for a winner.
But the least Bristol deserved was a point from a fully committed effort and they held out for one.