Swansea City continued the push for promotion to the Championship this evening with a thrilling 0-0 draw against Carlisle United.
Carlisle United under the management of John Ward are hot on the heals of the Liberty Stadium outfit. Swansea are likely to welcome back Defender Marcos Painter back in contention after passing himself fit for the clash at Brunton Park. Painter who has been suffering with a re-occurrence of a hamstring injury has not featured for Swansea since the second leg of the Johnstones Paint Trophy Final back on the 25th February.
Both Painter and Anderson must be content with a place on the bench.
Roberto Martinez has been further boosted by the welcome return of Paul Anderson who has been sidelined since the 0-0 draw against Nottingham Forest on the 29th January. In an off the ball incident Anderson pulled up with a hamstring injury thanks in part to a shortened warm up before the kick off. Swansea arrived late after congestion around the City Ground. Under fire official Darren Deadman ignored the pleas from club officials to delay the kick off.
Spaniard Angel Rangel misses out of the top of the table clash and is replaced by Ashley Williams who makes his Swansea début.
It was the home side who had the first real opportunity to take the lead after a quick counter attack as Marc Bridge-Wilkinson 25 yard drive failed to trouble De Vries. Carlisle kept the pressure on Swansea as Grant Smith sent a shot goal ward of De Vries’s goal but went wide of the Dutch shot stoppers right hand post.
Swansea began to get into the game as Jason Scotland found strike partner Fabien Brandy in space but the Manchester United youngster saw his shot blocked.
Building on the pressure that the Brandy chance created on a quick counter attack Kevin Austin on the edge of the area found on the edge of the area Andy Robinson who blazed his shot over the bar.
Swansea were left incensed moments later as Darren Pratley took a free kick early and put the ball past Kieran Westwood but referee Steve Tanner disallowed the goal. Retaking the free kick Robinson rattled the post as Carlisle cleared the danger.
Tempers started to fray as Andy Robinson found himself in Tanners book whilst Grant Smith also picked up a booking after a rash challenge on Thomas Butler. 29 goal Jason Scotland had a late chance as he clashed with defender Peter Murphy in the penalty area but could not send the ball goal ward.Tempers again flared as the players left the field of play as they raced back into the dressing room as it looked certain to boil over .
Swansea started the second half with a fratic pace when Fabien Brandy was felled just shy of the Carlisle penalty area by David Raven.In the resulting free kick Andy Robinson could only but watch as for the second time in the match he saw a free kick effort hit the bar.
Robinson was unlucky not to claim the opener as he saw another effort sail over the bar.
Pinning Carlisle into their own half a quick succession of Swansea pressure could not break the deadlock as Brandy , Britton and Butler all saw efforts blocked.
Carlisle United nearly created the opening for the breakthrough goal as Hackney saw his glancing header saved by De Vries. John Ward made his first substitution of the game as Cleveland Taylor replaced Scott Dobie.
Within a minute Roberto Martinez made his first roll of the dice bringing on Spaniard Guillem Bauza for Fabien Brandy.
Swansea piled on the pressure on the Carlisle defense as Robinson and Bauza went close.With minutes left Paul Anderson replaced Thomas Butler on the left hand flank.
Despite a late Swansea flourish which saw Anderson pulling the strings the leauge leaders could not find and opening.
Roberto Martinez’s side came away from Brunton Park with a well earned point and could secure promotion on Saturday against Gillingham at the Preistfeild Stadium. It could be sooner should Swindon win over third placed Doncaster Rovers on Friday.
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