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Practice Makes Perfect - Tomlin

Lee Tomlin’s winner at Fulham was a prime example of practice making perfect.

With City and Fulham locked at 1-1 heading into stoppage time in their relegation battle on Saturday, the visitors were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. 

Tomlin knew the situation that faced him. It’s one he faces after training day in, day out. 

But the difference between clipping a ball over mannequins at Failand and securing three vital points at Craven Cottage wasn’t lost on the on-loan Bournemouth forward. 

“I did feel a lot of pressure stepping up to take the free kick,” Tomlin admitted on Bristol City Player HD

“It’s something I do every day in training. I stay out after training to practise free kicks. 

“The lads always joke that my free kicks never go in the top corner and they always head towards the middle of the goal. 

“However, I try and get it high quickly which allows it to drop low and cause the keeper problems in the bottom corner. 

“It was just perfect range for me and I think the lads all knew. I’m just glad it went in and everyone could see what it means to the lads. 

“I was the happiest man in the stadium. I’ve only been here a month or so, but I’m well aware how important it is for the club to stay in this division; I know how much it means to the fans.”

It could have been so different, as City trailed after just two minutes in West London when Ross McCormack lobbed Richard O’Donnell to give the hosts the lead. 

In truth Fulham dominated the first period and could easily have gone in at the interval more than one goal to the good. 

But City fought back strongly after half-time, first through Marlon Pack’s low drive to equalise and then Tomlin’s 90th-minute set-piece. 

Tomlin added: “We knew before the game how important a fixture it was, but for whatever reason nobody got going in that first half. 

“It was a bit edgy, nervous – from all of us. At half-time the gaffer (Lee Johnson) was perfect. He could have come into the dressing room and hammered every one of us – and we would have deserved it. 

“He’s been class and made the changes he felt were needed. The win is for him and the fans.”

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