Bristol City were defeated 2-1 by Dean Smith’s Aston Villa on Saturday but the result could have been so different if two key refereeing decisions had gone our way.

Villa probably should have taken the lead early-on when Albert Adomah headed against the bar with near enough an open goal to aim at but it was a moment of injustice minutes later that was to cost City.

Niclas Eliasson swung one of his excellent curling crosses into the six yard box which was met by the head of Andreas Weimann.

The Austrian dived low to power the ball past Jed Steer in the Villa goal. But the goal was immediately ruled out for offside despite replays showing that Weimann was level with play and thus onside.

Before the half was over Max O’Leary in the City goal made an outstanding save from Conor Hourihane, it was to be the first of several top saves from the youngster who put in a fine performance.

After Tammy Abraham had a goal rightfully ruled out for offside, O’Leary was on hand to save from close-range from Hourihane once more.

There wasn’t much O’Leary could do about Villa’s opener though. Hunt was alleged to have fouled Hourihane in the penalty area and referee Scott Duncan pointed to the spot. It looked incredibly soft and was another big turning point in the game.

Abraham stepped up and converted to make it 1-0. Then ten minutes later Hourihane finally got on the scoring sheet with a low finish.

With just over 15 minutes remaining Famara Diedhiou halved the deficit with a bicycle kick but after that in truth it was Villa that looked the more likely to score again.

City remain sixth in the table with a play-off place well within our grasp. However, we must have a good Easter weekend starting by beating Reading on Good Friday (midday) and then hopefully getting something at Hillsborough on Monday when we face Steve Bruce’s Sheffield Wednesday.