Swansea City got their first point of the season this evening after a goalless draw against a rather poor Reading side at the Liberty Stadium.
Paulo Sousa would have been happy with an improved performance from his side tonight but our poor finishing let us down in the final third. It was a game we definitely should have won comfortably but Mark Gower missed a first half penalty and Nathan Dyer had a great chance late in the second half but he headered Tate’s cross just wide.
The Swansea City boss made just one change from the side that lost to Middlesbrough on Saturday. There was a surprise starting place on the left wing for younster Kerry Morgan, who replaced Shaun MacDonald who was dropped to the bench. Mark Gower moved inside to centre midfield to join Leon Britton and Andrea Orlandi.
Swansea City lined up:
Rangel – Monk – Williams – Tate
Dyer – Britton – Gower – Orlandi – Morgan
The visitors started the brigher side and within a few minutes they had a few corners to try and put our defence and goalkeeper under some early pressure. Reading however didn’t really cause too much of a threat on our goal in front of the South Stand but they were certainly linking their passes together a lot better than we were. We found it difficult to settle into the game but after a quiet opening 20 minutes or so from the Swans we started to get forward thanks to the pace of our wingers Nathan Dyer and Kerry Morgan.
Stephen Dobbie was also looking impressive in the lone striker role, he held the ball up at times and sprayed it out wide and he also had a few decent attempts on goal. His best was an excellent turn and shot but his effort on goal was well saved by the goalkeeper.
As we began to get more involved in the game we then won an opportunity to put us a goal in front as the referee awarded us a penalty. He was poor all night and thanks to the linesman in front of the East Stand who spotted the hand ball in the box. Mark Gower stepped up but his poor effort gave the keeper a straight forward save to make diving down to his right.
Stephen Dobbie has staked his claim now as our main striker as he pretty much did everything but score this evening. He linked up with the midfield, held the ball up well when required and usually gets an accurate shot at goal when he pulls the trigger.
In the second half it was all Swansea apart from when Reading counter-attacked on a few occasions. Dobbie looked like the only player who was going to score tonight and he forced the visiting shot-stopper into another good save. He got his finger-tips to a low effort from the Scotsman but somehow the referee gave Reading a goalkick.
A mass brawl then broke out in front of the dugout following a nasty challenge on Nathan Dyer. The likes of Leon Britton, Angel Rangel and Ashley Williams got involved as Paulo Sousa tried to calm things down.
Dobbie had a few more chances to get his first League goal for the club but it just wasn’t happening for the Swans in front of goal. Despite our dominance going forward, you had the feeling we weren’t going to score.
Our full backs Angel Rangel and Tate finally got more involved in our attacks and helped out our wingers and it was Tate who provided Nathan Dyer with a great chance towards the end to score our winning goal. Tate did well to deliver a good cross with his weaker left foot but Dyer headed past wide at the near post.
With the Swans struggling to find the target, you felt changes were needed. Casey Thomas’ pace could have added something to our play and Gorka Pintado was available but Sousa didn’t make a change until the 80th minute. Gorka replaced Stephen Dobbie. It was a strange decision to take off our best player as Pintado didn’t make an impact at all. Jazz Richards and Shaun MacDonald also came on in place of Nathan Dyer and Mark Gower in injury time.
Reading held on as both sides shared the points but with a bit more confidence and better finishing it would have been our first win of the season. It was an improved performance from Saturday’s poor show against Middlesbrough but we’re struggling in front of goal.
Stats, reaction, and ratings to follow