Scott Sinclair was the star of the show last night as his hatrick put Swansea City into the last 16 of the Carling Cup – beating Peterborough United 3-1 in an exciting game at London Road Stadium.
The former Chelsea winger who joined the Swans in a £500,000 move – a fee that could rise to £1m, gave us the best possible start in the third round tie after just 5 minutes. The lead didn’t last long though, as the home side responded a minute later as Mackail-Smith netted from Lee’s cross. Sinclair grabbed his second just before half time and he completed his hatrick with 12 minutes remaining to grab all the headlines. He helped put Swansea City through to the last 16 of the League Cup – the fourth time we’ve managed it in our history.
Brendan Rodgers made seven changes to the team that beat Scunthorpe United on Saturday. New signing Yves Makabu-Makalambay was given his debut in goal after signing a contract until the end of the season. Albert Serran and Jazz Richards were given starting places in defence. Alan Tate was given the captain’s armband as skipper Garry Monk was left out of the 18-man squad.
In midfield, Jordi Lopez, Cedric Van Der Gun and David Cotterill started, while up front Stephen Dobbie was back in the side after being dropped on Saturday.
Richards – Serran – Williams – Tate
Van Der Gun -Cotterill – Pratley – Lopez – Sinclair
Sinclair was causing problems from the very start in this game and after just two minutes he tested out the goalkeeper – cutting inside from the left and unleasing a shot on goal but Lewis in goal kept it out with a decent save.
Three minutes later though, and the young winger opened the scoring for Rodgers’ side. Whelpdale, who was making his 100th appearance for the Posh, helped to put Dobbie in possession, and he provided a ball through for Sinclair. He race out wide from a central position and his shot was saved at first by Lewis but the ball ended up in the net. There was some uncertainty at first as to who the goalscorer was but Sinclair claimed it.
The lead lasted just a minute though as Mackail-Smith converted Lee’s cross to put the sides level again. Yves couldn’t keep that shot out but moments later he made a good save from McLean’s effort on goal.
The first half was an entertaining one to say the least as there was plenty of action at both ends. Mackail-Smith had about 4 claims for a penalty in the whole game and the referee ignored every single one, which annoyed the home fans plus their players and manager.
Sinclair continued to create a threat and after having a few shots on goal, he found the net just before half time. Cotterill played an excellent ball through to the former Chelsea man and you just knew that Sinclair was going to find the net for a second time in the game.
George Boyd nearly got Peterborough off to the best of starts in the second half as the home side were looking to put the teams level once more. Williams did brilliantly to make a crucial challenge to deny Boyd a shooting chance.
Chances came and went for both sides, Lopez and Dobbie had shots just off target while new goalkeeper Yves made some impressive sides to keep us in the lead.
Sinclair then had the opportunity to complete his hatrick and to put the game beyond doubt, but somehow he missed with a header from close range. He didn’t need to rue the miss for too long though, as he linked with Dobbie on 78 minutes to give us a 2-goal advantage. The Scottish striker played a nice back-heel to Sinclair and he finished well to complete his hatrick and to put the Swans into the 4th round of the League Cup.
The Posh had chances to get into the game, but thanks to some poor misses and good saves from Yves, we were able to hang onto our lead and then extend it late on. Peterborough boss Gary Johnson said he was ‘angry’ with the referee for not awarding them a penalty as Mackail-Smith was brought down four times inside the penalty area.
Another job well done for Swansea City and we look forward to Saturday’s draw to see who we’ll face in the 4th round.
Peterborough: Joe Lewis, Seth Nana Ofori-Twumasi (Jay Davies, 86′), Kelvin Langmead (C), Gabriel Zakuani, Tommy Rowe, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (David Hibbert, 70′), Charlie Lee, Chris Whelpdale (Lee Tomlin, 56′), George Boyd, Aaron Mclean, Craig Mackail-Smith.
Not Used: Steve Collis (GK), Carl Piergianni, Arron Davies, Nathan Ralph.
Swans: Yves Makabu-Makalambay; Jazz Richards, Albert Serran, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate (C); Jordi Lopez (Mark Gower, 67′), Darren Pratley, Cedric van der Gun (Joe Allen, 70′), David Cotterill, Scott Sinclair (Nathan Dyer, 82′), Stephen Dobbie.
Not Used: David Cornell (GK), Andrea Orlandi, Scott Donnelly, Daniel Alfei.
Attendance: 4,164 Away: 188
Referee: N Miller (County Durham)