Warren Feeney scored his first competitive goal in 9 months to give Swansea City all three points tonight at home to Swindon Town.
The on-loan Cardiff City striker came off the bench at the start of the second half to score the winner after Paul Anderson’s opener after 20 minutes was cancelled out by Roberts on 70 minutes.
Roberto Martinez made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Brighton on the weekend. Darryl Duffy made an early return to the starting line-up to replace Feeney and Anderson started in place of Andrea Orlandi.
Rangel – Monk – Lawrence – Painter
Butler – Pratley – Bodde – Anderson
Duffy – Scotland
Swansea City started the game with more urgency in their passing play and began playing their one-touch football that Martinez has tried to install into the team this season. It wasn’t a vast improvement from Saturday but still we were better when we had possession but there was little to cheer about early on.
Despite little efforts on goal early on, the crowd responded magnificently to the players’ and manager’s call for more support and from the off they created a superb atmosphere, something we have been missing at the Liberty for some time.
It seemed as though Martinez had told his side to shoot on sight more but every attempt was blazed high and wide over the bar. Yet after those early attempts we went back to trying to walk the ball in. In our particular attack on at least three occasions we had a clear opportunity to shoot at goal from inside the penalty area but we were always looking for a pass.
Swindon also brought their fair share of supporters and they made themselves heard throughout the game.
They were silenced after 21 minutes though as Anderson put us ahead. Scotland missed the cross coming in from the left but the Liverpool winger was unmarked at the far post to strike the ball home.
Swindon responded well with some good chances. Dorus De Vries did brilliantly to save a shot while he saw another fierce effort fly just past his left hand post.
The Swans went in half time the happier of the two sides but Swindon showed that they quality to come back in the second half.
At the restart, Martinez brought off Darryl Duffy and on came match-winner Warren Feeney. Duffy made a surprise start up front after his rapid recovery from a groin injury and came off most probably to save his fitness for Saturday’s tough trip to league leaders Leyton Orient.
We made a rather quiet start to the second half, just like we did in the first. Swindon gradually started to get the upper hand and enjoyed a dominant 15-minute spell. Somehow they had missed some great chances and you just knew an equaliser was going to come. Their pace on the counter attack was causing us all sorts of problems, Monk was dealing with the strikers well enough but Lawrence was often out-muscled.
The goal did come as expected and it was thoroughly deserved. Their second half dominance was rewarded when Welshman Christian Roberts beat Painter for pace and skill down the right before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top left corner of the net.
Unless the Swans could settle into the game and gain some possession then Swindon looked a good beat to go on and win it. We recovered well and were given more space to attack and spread the ball all to our wingers. Four minutes after their equaliser, Martinez replaced Anderson with Orlandi and Joe Allen also came on 2 minutes later to replace Jason Scotland. The striker had a poor game, he looked lazy and was far too slow with the ball at his feet, their defenders had no trouble dispossessing him.
The Swans were playing some good attacking play in patches and we were able to play our quick one-touch passing play at times.
Just before his replacement, Paul Anderson went close when he ran inside and had a shot on target, the keeper could on parry it and he did well to save the rebound.
Swindon were level for just four minutes as Feeney grabbed our winner with 16 minutes to play. The ball was played out to Butler and his looping cross was met by Feeney who headed home at the far post from inside the 6-yard area.
We now had to hang on as Sturrock’s side looked to get a second equaliser. They had quite a few corners late on and they were always worrying times for us but thankfully we managed to deal with them.
We managed to hang on and it was a huge boost to get a home win. That moves us back up into the play-off zone in 6th and gives a boost in confidence for Saturday’s tough trip to Leyton Orient.
It was not the best performance from the Swans but it was a definite improvement from Saturday. Our passing was a lot better but there were still errors being made that we need to keep out of our play. Our defence had problems with Swindon’s pace going forward and we just don’t look like a side who can build on a 1-goal lead.
Photos and match reactions to follow…
De Vries – 7
Made a few more excellent saves to keep us ahead in the second half. Had no chance with their goal, another solid display.
Rangel – 6
Not as good as his previous games. Lost possession at times and sometimes struggled against their left winger.
Lawrence – 5
Out muscled and out-paced, fans were calling for him to be replaced by Austin in the second half.
Monk – 8
See star player.
Painter – 6
Roberts flew past him to score their goal. Battled hard though and maximum effort.
Butler – 7
Set up our goal well on the right hand side but before that he sometimes struggled to beat his man.
Bodde – 7
A good commanding display, had some good shots on goal and again was the man in the middle getting the ball moving.
I suppose that’s a generous 6. Loads of effort and determination and an improvement from Saturday, but again he can’t pick out a forward pass. On one occasion we had numbers and space to counter attack, he received the ball and without even looking he instantly passed it back to the defence.
Anderson – 7
A lively performance and had a few good attempts on goal.
Scotland – 5
His worst performance I’ve seen of him. Lazy and particularly slow when receiving the ball at his feet. Was hardly in the game.
Duffy – 5
Not much to say on his first half performance.
Feeney – 7
Great to see him score and hopefully more will follow.
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