CITY moved a point closer to League One safety after a hard-fought 1-1 draw with fifth placed Preston North End at Ashton Gate last Saturday.

In a tense encounter both sides missed good chances and scored from deflected goals.

City started the slower of the two teams and manager Steve Cotterill accepted that the away side had the better of the first period. Twice, City keeper Fielding was called upon to make smart saves from Joe Garner for the visitors. But following the break City grew into the game after the substitution of the yellow carded El-Abd and introduction of Cunningham.

Emmanuel-Thomas began to come into the game and when he’s on song he can dictate games. Osborne went very close for City from a corner with Preston’s keeper Rudd making a flying save.

But against the run of play Preston took the lead when City failed to clear a cross and Jack King fired in a powerful shot that deflected off the unlucky Nosworthy.

Under Cotterill, City are made of strong stuff however, and six minutes later we were back on level terms when impressive loanee Wade Elliott drove another deflected strike past Rudd.

Other results didn’t go our way on Saturday and City are now just four points above the drop zone. I remain very confident of survival though and probably just one more win from our final five games will be enough, especially given our goal difference, which is superior to our nearest rivals.

City travel to the West Midlands on Saturday to face Walsall (3pm). The Saddlers lie in tenth position and have had a good season. They have also won two of their last three games. However, City beat Walsall 1-0 at Ashton Gate back on Boxing Day and Walsall don’t have the best of home records.

Both teams do however draw a lot and therefore the most likely result is another score draw. A draw would be fine but the incentive is there for City – win, and we’ve as good as secured another season in League One.