EFL Trophy - Final
Bristol City2Walsall0

Football League Trophy final: Bristol City 2-0 Walsall

Aden Flint scores
Aden Flint headed Bristol City in front for his sixth goal in 10 games

Bristol City beat League One rivals Walsall to lift the Football League Trophy for a record third time.

City top their division by 10 points - 37 ahead of the Saddlers - and their quality told in front of 72,315 fans.

Aden Flint opened the scoring with a downward header in the first half and fellow defender Mark Little poked in a second after the break.

It meant Walsall went home empty handed from their first trip to Wembley, while City ended a 12-year wait for a trophy.

Their last silverware came in the same competition in 2003 and the Ashton Gate club went some way to banishing the painful memories of 2008, when they lost to Hull City in the Championship play-off final.

For Walsall, it was their first appearance at the national stadium in their 127-year history and, although they showed moments of promise, they failed to make it count.

JPT wins

City were more clinical and took 15 minutes to break the deadlock.

Former Alfreton centre-back Flint leapt highest to meet Marlon Pack's corner and nodded down past Richard O'Donnell to net his sixth goal in 10 games.

Walsall rallied for an equaliser before the break but lacked the finishing touch, as Sam Mantom headed over and Andy Taylor sent a dipping volley just over the bar.

Five minutes after the restart, they fell further behind.

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Flint fulfils boyhood Wembley dream

Little, who won the trophy with Peterborough last season, headed towards goal and was denied initially by O'Donnell before touching in the rebound.

The two-goal deficit did not deter Walsall, though, and they broke forward for their best effort of the game as Jordan Cook's cross-shot struck the woodwork.

Bristol City thought they had nabbed a third when Aaron Wilbraham tapped in after a goalmouth scramble, but the offside flag was raised.

The Saddlers scored a late equaliser in their league meeting with City back in October, but this time the Robins saw the game out to lift the cup.

Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill told BBC Radio Bristol:

"It's a great feeling. I have to give a special mention to Walsall. They made it a really good game.

"We'd planned and prepared for it very well and the players executed the plan perfectly.

"Whilst you can look at the league tables and think that makes us favourites, it was a tough game.

"It's a start of a lot of the players' careers. They handled the occasion and they won, which is what we came here for."

Walsall manager Dean Smith:

"I'm disappointed. We didn't perform to our level. Our use of the ball wasn't as good as theirs.

"I'm sure the lads will analyse their own performances. We always knew height would be a factor and they scored from a corner.

"Maybe there was a bit of nerves. They're young lads and they wouldn't have been in front of this crowd before."

Bristol City players celebrate Aden Flint's opener
Bristol City players celebrate Aden Flint's opener
Mark Little pokes in Bristol City's second goal
Mark Little pokes in Bristol City's second goal
Aden Flint holds the Johnstone's Paint Trophy following Bristol City's win
Aden Flint holds the Football League Trophy following Bristol City's win

Line-ups

Bristol City

  • 1Fielding
  • 22Ayling
  • 4Flint
  • 3Williams
  • 2Little
  • 7Smith
  • 21Pack
  • 15FreemanSubstituted forElliottat 90'minutes
  • 23BryanSubstituted forCunninghamat 87'minutes
  • 18Wilbraham
  • 19AgardSubstituted forEmmanuel-Thomasat 89'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Elliott
  • 10Emmanuel-Thomas
  • 11Wagstaff
  • 12Saville
  • 13Richards
  • 17Cunningham
  • 24Tavernier

Walsall

  • 1O'Donnell
  • 2Purkiss
  • 6Downing
  • 15Chambers
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Mantom
  • 27FordeSubstituted forGrimesat 74'minutes
  • 10SawyersBooked at 38mins
  • 7Chambers
  • 21CookSubstituted forBaxendaleat 81'minutes
  • 9BradshawSubstituted forHiwula-Mayifuilaat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4O'Connor
  • 11Baxendale
  • 12Cain
  • 13MacGillivray
  • 17Flanagan
  • 24Grimes
  • 30Hiwula-Mayifuila
Referee:
Mick Russell
Attendance:
72,315

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol CityAway TeamWalsall
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home10
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home3
Away7

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