Roberto Martinez ‘guaranteed’ his side would recover after their embarrassing cup upset away at Havant & Waterlooville and they did with a comfortable 2-0 home win against Port Vale.
A crowd of 12,310 was at the Liberty Stadium as centre midfield duo Ferrie Bodde and Darren Pratley provided the goals to extend our lead at the top of League One to 5 points.
Martinez made 3 changes to the side that lost to Havant. Dennis Lawrence was left out of the whole 16-man squad as Tate replaced him at the back. In midfield, Thomas Butler replaced Andy Robinson who made the substitutes bench following a late fitness test. Guillem Bauza lost his first team place as the Swansea boss reverted back to a 4-5-1 formation. Ferrie Bodde returned after serving a 5-match suspension.
Rangel – Monk – Tate – Painter
Anderson – Britton – Pratley – Bodde – Butler
The Swans started off well and there were certainly no signs of a hangover from Wednesday night. From the off, we dominated possession and particularly our midfield were dictating play. After a dissapointing performance at Havant, Leon Britton looked to be trying his best to improve, having missed a penalty and a glorious opportunity to get us back into the game. Despite his small size, he was winning the ball time and time again and he certainly proved that he is still worthy of a place in the starting 11. He was contributing well to our style of closing down the opposition quickly, hardly giving them a second on the ball.
Early on, Darren Pratley had a decent shot on goal from a shot from just outside the area. Angel Rangel played a superb diagonal long ball up to Butler on the left wing and he surged forward. He laid the ball to Pratley who’s effort was finger-tipped away for a corner.
Port Vale struggled in the first half to create any clear cut chances and it was just a matter of time before the Swans opened the scoring and thankfully we did before the break. Butler made a move inside, laid the ball off again, this time to Bodde who thundered a right-footed shot from 20 yards into the top right hand corner. It was deserved as our patient attacking play finally paid off.
Vale tried to get back into the game quickly in the second half and they should have got the equaliser. Whittaker’s cross was met by Herd but somehow he headered over the bar from inside the penalty area.
Meanwhile the Swans maintained their level of attacking play and we doubled our lead just a minute after the restart. Jason Scotland tried his luck from 20 yards with a shot, it was blocked and it fell nicely to Pratley inside the penalty who easily tucked it home beyond the keeper.
Port Vale’s best chance was denied with a superb save by De Vries. A cross came in, Rogers met with a great glancing header but the Dutch keeper was equal to it and palmed it away for a corner. It was the only thing Tate failed to deal with today as he certainly looked a lot more solid than shaky Dennis Lawrence.
Herd also had a long range effort comfortably saved by De Vries but other than that our 2-goal lead looked more than comfortable.
New loan signing from Manchester United Febian Brandy was brought on with 10 minutes to play. He showed some good acceleration and a few neat touches but didn’t he really have long enough to show what he can do.
Martinez must have been delighted with his side’s character to instantly bounce back from the mid-week defeat. It was a good dominating display of passing football and hopefully we can produce another performance like that on Tuesday when Crewe visit the Liberty Stadium.