Swansea City got one step closer to a dream Wembley final with a 1-0 win over fellow league one club Brighton And Hove Albion in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern section semi final.
All that stands in the way is League Two leaders MK Dons who secured their regional final place after a thrilling penalty shoot-out against Gillingham.
Darryl Duffy broke his goal drought with a 9th minute headed goal which was to prove the difference between the two sides as Swansea could not press home their advantage.
Swans manager Roberto Martinez has praised his under fire striker for his effort and complimented a young Brighton outfit beset by injury problems ahead of the fixture. Seagulls manager Dean Wilkins was left reeling as the seaside’s were knocked out of the FA Cup by Mansfeild at the weekend and was looking for a positive response from his players.
Martinez spoke on the Official site.
|”Everyone was delighted to see Darryl get the goal,” “He’s a goalscorer and because he hasn’t been getting the goals lately he’s been a bit down.|
Darryl is still a young player and it has been tough for him at times. But he’s continued to work hard on the training ground and he’s remained fully committed.”‘He was determined to score and do well tonight and he deserved his goal. He’s earned his rewards with the winner in a semi-final and I’m sure things will take off for him.
It was a very professional performance and now we’ll look forward to the next game and approach it in the same manner to win it,” added Roberto.
Brighton are a bright young side with a good future ahead of them. They are arrogant in all the right ways and pushed us all the way.”’But if we had to chose to go into the middle of January still in the FA Cup, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and top of the league, then we would take it every time. It’s a price worth paying to be successful.”
Wilkins was left with nothing but pride from his players following the final whistle. He also revelled that the Withdean stadium club could have forfeited the tie following a injury crisis
Wilkins spoke on the Official site.
|”’I think we can be really proud,’ he said. ‘I felt that generally we were still in it right up until the final whistle, and with a little bit more quality and a bit of luck here and there, we could have drawn the game.|
It was an incredibly young side that we put out there and they did extremely well in difficult circumstances. Swansea are the best team in the league, in my opinion.
I’m not making excuses, but yesterday we thought really long and hard about calling the game off because of sickness and diarrhoea.
We had players out there tonight who weren’t fully fit, so when you take that into consideration it shows what an immense effort it was.
“We made some phone calls yesterday to find out how depleted your side has to be before you can call it off. Really we were down to 12 fit players. The consequences were that we could be thrown out of the competition, a fine of £5000 and a possible points deduction.”
We’re hardly in a position where we can afford a fine or a points deduction, so we made the decision to go ahead and play the game, and I think the performance of the players vindicated that.’