CITY remain unbeaten in the league after a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Walsall last Saturday.

Manager Steve Cotterill was again able to name an unchanged line-up and this consistency in personnel appeared to pay-off as City started the brighter of the two sides.

In the 17th minute Ayling’s long cross from the right evaded everyone in the box apart from young Joe Bryan, who cut inside onto his weaker right foot and smashed home a finish from close range.

As the half wore on the home team got back into things and I sensed they got the measure of City.

Walsall, much like us, try to hold on to possession and make the opposition work. City tired and Walsall, unlike most teams in League One, keep the ball well.

The second half was hugely frustrating as City looked flat and ran out of ideas.

A couple of the older players, Wilbraham and Elliott, looked knackered.

Yet puzzlingly Cotterill did not make use of his strong bench of substitutes, instead choosing to watch his charges “tough it out.”

We must have one of the strongest benches in the league so it was bemusing that our first change came with just seven minutes of the game remaining.

Things clearly needed freshening up prior to this moment. If we were trying to cling onto a 1-0 lead away from home then I’d suggest that was ill-advised.

As it went, just two minutes after the introduction of Wagstaff, Walsall scored a cracking equaliser. A passing move in and around City’s box resulted in Sawyers smashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

It was a disappointing end to a frustrating afternoon.

On Saturday City welcome Chesterfield to Ashton Gate (3pm). The newly-promoted Spireites have had a good start to the season and will provide another tough test.

Our first 11 have played a lot of games and I just wonder if a bit of fatigue is kicking in and as such I hope Cotterill will make a couple of changes.