City's stirring comeback thwarted by McCann's injury-time winner
CHRIS McCann broke Bristol City hearts at the death in a dramatic npower Championship encounter at Ashton Gate last night.
Substitute Paul Anderson thought he had salvaged a point for the Robins when netting a 90th-minute equaliser to complete a stirring second-half comeback.
But McCann had other ideas, heading in at the far post from Kieran Trippier's free-kick in the fifth minute of added time to send City crashing to a third defeat in four home games.
It was a cruel blow given that City had clawed back a 3-1 deficit, Sam Baldock and Anderson scoring late goals to raise the prospect of a handy point.
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It can be argued that City were the better side in the first half and deserved a draw, but there can be no excuses for the defensive failings that have seen then concede 26 goals in 12 games this season.
City have now failed to win any of their last six games and this latest defeat leaves them uncomfortably adjacent to the relegation zone and desperately in need of a win when Hull visit Ashton Gate on Saturday.
Given City's defensive frailties, Charlie Austin was probably the last person they needed to run into.
The Football League's leading marksman further enhanced his growing reputation by scoring a goal in either half to take his tally to 18 in all competitions this season.
Former Swindon striker Austin displayed blistering pace to put the visitors in front after just nine minutes.
Steven Davies shot City level direct from a free-kick eight minutes later but the in-form Austin restored Burnley's advantage from the penalty spot in the 59th minute after Mark Wilson handled.
Martin Paterson increased the lead two minutes later as the Clarets took control and that appeared to be that.
But this City side do not know when they are beaten and Baldock threw them a lifeline 13 minutes from time, converting his fifth goal of the campaign from the penalty spot after Michael Duff had fouled Stephen McManus. Robins boss Derek McInnes threw on Anderson in a desperate bid to salvage a point and it paid almost instant dividends.
Indeed, Anderson could hardly have chosen a better moment to deliver his first goal in City colours.
Robins fans have seen little of the winger since he arrived from Nottingham Forest on a free transfer in the summer. But he was in the right place at the right time to sweep the ball into the net from ten yards after Albert Adomah's free kick had come back off an upright.
For all City's new-found attacking prowess, they must now find a way to stem the flow of goals that is threatening to undermine their campaign.
Watching from the sidelines, McInnes will have been concerned by the ease with which Austin seized upon McCann's clever flick to leave Liam Fontaine and McManus in his wake. City defensive frailties then resurfaced with devastating effect in the final minutea s McCann was allowed a free header at the far post to deliver a second successive victory for caretaker manager Terry Pashley.