Bristol still searching for first win after going down at Worcester
Bristol are still searching for their first win of the season as their losing run was extended to 10 games after a 31-25 Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat at Worcester.
Bristol had suspended rugby director Andy Robinson following their dismal start to the season and appointed Mark Tainton as acting head coach and deservedly led 13-5 until just before half-time but two yellow cards for Jack Wallace and Rob Hawkins just after the restart proved the turning point.
Max Stelling and Josh Adams both crossed twice for the Warriors with Michael Dowsett also going over and Jamie Shillcock added three conversions.
Giorgi Nemsadze, Tom Varndell and Wallace scored tries for Bristol with Billy Searle converting two and adding two penalties.
Worcester took an early lead with a sixth-minute try after the visitors carelessly lost possession for Adams to seize the loose ball and run 30 metres to score.
That score was against the run of play as Bristol had the better of the opening exchanges and were rewarded when Nemsadze finished off good forward pressure to score their opening try.
Searle converted before kicking a penalty to give his side a 10-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Bristol props Soane Tonga'uiha and Jamal Ford-Robinson dominated the scrum and were lively in the loose causing Worcester to concede a succession of penalties, one of which Searle kicked to extend the visitors' advantage.
However in first-half injury time, Warriors scored their second try when Jackson Willison burst out of defence to put the Bristol defence on the back foot. Adams capitalised by racing away to send Stelling over.
Shillcock was again off target with a straightforward conversion attempt so Worcester trailed 13-10 at the interval.
After the restart, Shillcock made partial amends with a clean break which took the home side into the opposition 22. There Bristol hooker, Hawkins, dragged him down and was yellow-carded.
Worcester took immediate advantage of their numerical superiority when a powerful run from Chris Pennell set up a second try for Adams before Bristol suffered a further setback when Wallace was sin-binned for a tip tackle.
Down to 13 men, Bristol couldn't stem the tide and Dowsett scored a bonus-point try when he sailed through a huge gap in the visitors' defence.
The two players returned from the bin but the tide had been turned firmly in Warriors' favour with Stelling's second try after 65 minutes giving Worcester a convincing 31-13 lead.
A Luke Arscott run then created a try for Wallace; Varndell quickly scored another before he was late tackled by Matt Cox, who picked up a yellow card.
This set up a nerve-racking finish for the home side as they played the last five minutes with 14 men but they just held on for only their second win of the season.