Swansea City’s promotion push got firmly back on track with a fine 2-0 win over rivals Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium this evening.
Roberto Martinez rung the changes from the side that were humbled in the 4-2 loss to Northampton Town on Saturday afternoon. Darryl Duffy was handed a rare start alongside Jason Scotland. Kevin Austin was drafted into the defence after Marcos Painter suffered a re-occurrence of a hamstring injury.
After a tentative opening period Darryl Duffy had a golden opportunity to send Swansea 1-0 up after connecting with Darren Pratley through ball. Duffy spurred the opportunity and fired just wide of Steve Phillips in the Rovers goal
Bristol Rovers were left incensed moments later when their claims for a penalty were turned away by under fire referee Uriah Rennie, after Richie Lambert felt he was upended by Dennis Lawrence. Neither side could find that allusive opening but it would be the leauge leaders who were to test rovers just before half time.
Andy Robinson unleashed an effort on goal but saw his shot turned over the bar by Phillips. The Memorial Stadium faithful were left reeling after another penalty shout was turned down after Lewis Haldane was sent sprawling by Angel Rangel. It was adjudged that the former Forest Green player dived and was duly yellow carded for his troubles.
After the break both Swansea City and Bristol Rovers started with the intent of grabbing a winner. It would be through Haldane that Rovers nearly got the vital breakthrough but saw his shot go wide of Dorus De Vries who was rarely troubled. Swansea began to lay siege to the Bristol goal with a succession of chances. Thomas Butler had the chance to test Phillips but the keeper was equal to it.
The breakthrough would come from the unlikeliest of sources defender Dennis Lawrence. Ghosting into the box the lofty defender latched onto Butler’s cross to bury ball low past Phillips. Substitute Fabien Brandy was to hand Swansea a chance to make it 2-0 after Byron Anthony sent the Manchester United youngster clashing inside the box. Making no mistake from the spot up stepped Jason Scotland to send the visitors into a 2-0 lead.
Brandy was to cause Swansea problems late on when he was dismissed for a rash challenge on Rovers defender Danny Coles. Numerically advantaged Bristol tried to get back into the game but their late surge was to be in vain.
Bristol Rovers: Phillips, Lescott, Anthony, Coles, Jacobson, Haldane (Walker 76), Campbell, Disley, Lines, Rigg (Williams 71), Lambert.
Subs Not Used: Carruthers, Hinton, Reece.
Swansea: De Vries, Rangel, Tate, Lawrence, Austin, Butler, Pratley (Britton 65), Bodde, Robinson (Tudur-Jones 86), Duffy (Brandy 65), Scotland.
Subs Not Used: Bauza, Way.
Sent Off: Brandy (85).
Goals: Lawrence 72, Scotland 79 pen.
Ref: Uriah Rennie (S Yorkshire).
Post match reaction to come…