Swansea City made a disappointing start to their new Championship season with a 2-0 defeat away at Hull City.
Our poor run of opening day results continues as we’re still yet to win our first game of the season since 2005 when we beat Tranmere Rovers 1-0.
Nigel Pearson’s side scored either side of the break while it was the same old story for the Swans really, some decent play early on but not enough quality in front of goal.
The Tigers’ new signing from Spurs – John Bostock opened the scoring against the run of play, firing in a superb goal from 30 yards. Ashbee doubled the host’s lead from a corner in the second half after a poor error from De Vries.
Angel Rangel was named in the initial team sheets at 2:30pm despite speculation linking him with a move to Blackpool, but moments before kick off he was withdrawn and replaced by Albert Serran. The Spanish right back apparently picked up an ankle strain in the warm-up, but you can’t help think he’s closer to leaving the club.
In midfield, Dyer and Cotterill started on the flanks with Pratley in the middle alongside Lopez and Gower. Dobbie started up front on his own in a 4-5-1 formation.
Serran – Monk – Williams – Tate
Dyer – Lopez – Pratley – Gower – Cotterill
The game got off to a slow and rather uneventful start and it took around 20 minutes to see the first shot on goal, and it came from Mark Gower, but his long range effort flew off target.
The Swans looked strong, solid and comfortable early on but Hull City opened the scoring totally against the run of play. David Cotterill nearly put us in front after his free-kick hit the top of the bar.
After previously trying his luck from distance and failing, the debutant, John Bostock tried again on 23 minutes and he found the net with a superb strike from 30 yards. Solano provided the pass and he turned well before firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Gardner then had a chance to double the host’s advantage shortly afterwards, but his header went over the bar. The goal midway through the first half certainly gave Pearson’s side a boost in confidence as Swansea City struggled to find a way back into the match.
Darren Pratley our only decent chance for the remainder of the half, Gower sent in a cross towards the midfielder but he missed with a glancing header – an attempt he should have at least got on target. Dobbie also had a shot at goal after good work from Cotterill to win possession, but the striker’s effort was easy for the keeper to save.
Swansea City made a good start to the second half, and had a promising 5-minute spell but that’s all it lasted for as Hull City doubled their lead.
Dorus De Vries, who was so consistent and reliable last season, made a huge error on 50 minutes when he failed to deal with a corner, Ashbee was at the far post to net from close range.
Rodgers soon reacted to the second goal by making a double substitution as he took off Stephen Dobbie and Mark Gower and replaced them with Shefki Kuqi and Andrea Orlandi.
Chances remained few and far between for the Swans as we continually found it difficult to create openings on the attack. Darren Pratley was not as influencial in midfield as he can be but he did have a decent chance with a header but it was blocked by Zayatte. Kuqi also volleyed wide but these were still only half chances for us.
We never really sounded like forging a comeback in this game, as the Tigers’ 2-goal advantage was always going to be safe. It was same old Swans really, struggling for goals still and while it’s difficult to stop 30-yard screamers, De Vries’ error made it very difficult for us to get a point from the game.
We shouldn’t be too pessimistic after just one game. It was a difficult one away at Hull City who are looking for an instant return to the Premiership. Our defence didn’t make too many errors, although we could have cleared the loose for the second following De Vries’ failure to deal with the cross. Our lack of goals and creativity on the attack is still the main concern.
Hull City: Duke, Zayatte, Dawson, Ashbee (c), Gardner, Garcia, Kilbane, Bostock, Cairney, Atkinson, Solano.
Subs: Oxley (GK), McShane, Olofinjana, Barmby, Devitt, Cullen, Cousin.
Swansea City: de Vries, Rangel, Tate, Monk (c), Williams, Pratley, Lopez, Gower, Dyer, Cotterill, Dobbie.
Subs: Cornell (GK) Serran, Orlandi, Kuqi, Pintado, Taylor, Gun.
Referee: Mr M. Russell.