A 62nd minute Lee Trundle penalty gave Swansea a point tonight as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Yeovil at the Liberty Stadium.
New signing Marcus Stewart put the visitors in front before Trundle scored his 3rd goal in 2 games from the spot 8 minutes later.
The Swans were hoping to build on their last 2 consecutive league victories but after a good first half display, we failed to match that level of performance in the second.
Kenny Jackett was boosted with the return of 3 key players for tonight`s game, as Trundle returned to the starting line-up after an injury while Andy Robinson was back in the centre of midfield. Leon Britton was also fit enough to start as he slotted in at right back.
Kevin Amankwaah faced his former club as the strong and vocal away following booed him everytime he was in possession.
Tommy Williams moved up into left midfield and looked a far better player than when playing in defence. He was a busy man out wide in the opening half as a lot of our attacking was via that left flank, but we were never attacking with enough players and getting many numbers inside the box to get on the end of his crosses.
Both sides were playing well and it looked as if the 14,500 spectators were in for a good, competitive game.
Despite some early glimpses of our dreaded long-ball tactics, at times we were passing the ball along the floor and it was clear that we were more of capable of playing this way, and when we did were keeping hold of the ball and moving forward well.
Our first chance fell to Robinson after he was brought down not far outside the area. He struck the resulting free kick well but the keeper did well to palm the ball away for a corner.
Fallon also had a chance from Britton`s cross, but the New Zealander couldn`t get over the ball enough as it went over the bar.
Paul Terry then got booked for a challenge on skipper Pratley, but Williams unsurprisingly sprinted over from the left touchline to the scene to show his feelings towards the ref, and he also got booked for a pathetic and needless moan at the ref.
The Swans were having most of the possession but we were hardly using it to our advantage. We were never going forward with enough players and our play in the final poor was poor to say the least.
Yeovil were also quick on the break but our defence, especially Alan Tate were handling things well. He did brilliantly to save a shot off the line as the ball looked odds-on to find the back of the net.
We really needed a goal before the break to build our confidence and hopefully to go on and put the game beyond doubt in the second half, but it wasn`t to be as the two sides went in with the score unchanged at 0-0.
Kenny Jackett made the right choice in replacing Fallon for Akinfenwa. His only job in the first 45 minutes was to win the headers and everytime we hit a long ball from defence we were losing possession.
Akinfenwa though used his strength well to get amongst the defenders. This enabled him to control the ball and bring others into play as well as getting a few shots in at goal.
However, our second half showing was completely opposite to the first and Yeovil went ahead 6 minutes after the re-start. New signing Marcus Stewart had the luxury of a free header thanks to woeful defending by Amankwaah to head the ball into the net to give the Glovers the lead.
It really should have been 2-0 not long afterwards after a good move from Russell Slade`s side. We weren`t following the runners and we were lucky not to be punished for ball watching. Chris Cohen was put through inside the area but he struck straight at Gueret who easily saved.
Jackett made a surprising change around the hour mark as Tom Williams made way for Darren Way as Robinson moved to the left. I thought Williams was playing well and added width in midfield.
Just a few minutes later and the Swans nearly got the equaliser. Britton fed Robinson but his shot struck the bar.
Moments later and we were level, thanks to a huge lifeline from the referee, who awarded a penalty as Akinfenwa was brought down by Terrell Forbes. From where I was standing, it didn’t really look a pen, but who cares as we hoped Trundle wouldn`t make the same mistake from the spot. He didn`t, he struck the ball right down the middle, 1-1.
Akinfenwa again changed things when he came on and surely it`s only a matter of time before he deservingly gets a place in the starting line-up.
Swansea pushed for a winning goal but we just weren`t playing like we were in the first 45. We had no width with Robinson always coming inside and a second goal was looking highly unlikely.
Trundle really should have won the game though and after creating a chance for himself inside the box. He managed to turn well from his marker but somehow he put the ball just wide from inside the box.
In the end it was a disappointing performance and a disappointing result and we never built on our good first half showing. I think we definitely would have suffered defeat if it wasn`t for that dodgy penalty decision.
Tate though was outstanding although he was lucky to get away from a poor back pass to Gueret. He saved one shot brilliantly off the line and did very well throughout the 90 minutes, definitely man of the match over Darren Pratley.
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Gueret – 7
Dealt with everything pretty well.
Amankwaah – 6
Shocking defending for their goal. Decent going forward.
Iriekpen – 6
Guilty of ball watching at times and Tate saved what would have been a definite goal after some poor defending from his team-mates.
Austin – 6
Just seemed to pump long balls up to the targetmen all day.
Tate – 8
As mentioned above. Superb throughout.
Britton – 5
Poor second half, looks far off the player he was last year.
Robinson – 6
Unlucky with the free-kick early on, but is not a left winger or a centre midfielder really.
Pratley – 7
Decent game but he just doesn’t get the midfield attacking enough in the centre. There was never any players in the box for crosses and the midfield was all over the place. Literally.
Williams – 7
Didn’t deserve to go off, played well and caused problems constantly in first half. Should never be played at left back again though, definately a left midfielder.
Trundle – 5
Completely useless, lazy and all he did in the game was score that penalty.
Fallon – 4
Did nothing, tried hard as usual but no end product. Start Akinfenwa next game.
Akinfenwa – 7
Changed things for us up front, did well and deserves to start.
Yeovil Manager, Russell Slade:
“At best the penalty was six of one and half a dozen of the other. I wasn’t happy with the decision. I will go away and assess the video and I certainly hope the referee does the same.
“To his credit, Akinfenwa said he thought it was a harsh decision – it’s always disappointing when a fellow professional from the other side says that. It was harsh on my boys because I thought we deserved the win.
“If you’d asked me if I’d have been happy to go away with a point before we arrived then I would have said yes. Swansea is a difficult place to come and get points. But I’m disappointed at the end because I thought we deserved all three points.”
“It was definitely a penalty. Bayo doesn’t get a lot of free-kicks because of his size, but their defender had his arms all over him.
“I didn’t think about any of the misses. I just stepped up and hit it hard down the middle. I see a penalty simply as a chance to score and I’ll be mixing them up this season. I don’t think there’s any greater pressure because of what happened last season.”