Ferrie Bodde gave Swansea City all three points tonight at home to Walsall after scoring a magnificent goal from 20 yards in the 1-0 win.
In a tightly fought match, neither side could create much in front of goal and it was Bodde’s moment of brilliance that split the sides. The Swans were fortunate he didn’t go off injured as he came back on after a knock to strike home the winner.
It was vital we got back to winning ways tonight as Doncaster were almost certain going to beat strugglers Bournemouth with the form they’ve been in recently. A draw would have cut the gap to 6 points as two goals from former Swan Jason Price gave Rovers a comfortable 2-0 win at Dean Court.
The Saddlers arrived at the Liberty Stadium full of confidence, having lost just once in the last 19 games while the Swans were 14 matches unbeaten before kick-off.
Roberto Martinez was forced into a few changes and made three from the side that drew 2-2 at Crewe last Saturday.
Alan Tate replaced the injured Dennis Lawrence at the back and Painter returned alongside him after a 1-match ban.
We returned to a 4-5-1 formation tonight which meant Bauza was back on the subs bench. Pratley was back after suspension.
Rangel – Tate – Monk – Painter
Butler – Pratley – Bodde – Britton – Robinson
The Swans started the game off with the most possession, but we were struggling to create anything in front of goal. It was the visitors who had the first real chance. Kevin Betsy outjumped Alan Tate to win a cross from the left wing but his header was dealt with by the diving Dorus de Vries.
Finally we started creating a few half chances. Scotland had a shot blocked and Andy Robinson should have done better when he raced towards goal on the counter-attack. We also had a penalty appeal turned down for hand ball.
We were having the more possession but far too often our final ball wasn’t good enough. Walsall also needed shooting practise as they wasted a few chances at the other end.
Early on in the second half, Walsall had a great chance to break the deadlock but De Vries was equal to the long range shot – tipping the ball over for a corner.
Moments later, it looked as if we were handed a body blow as Bodde was down injured. A stretcher came on, but Bodde managed to limp off. A few minutes later he was back on and he scored a cracker to give us the 3 points.
We had been goal shy all game but Bodde tried his luck from just outside the box, and his shot flew past Ince to put us in front.
Martinez’s side needed to go on and avoid making the same mistake as they did on Saturday, throwing away a lead. Walsall remained tight at the back and they caught us out a few times on the counter-attack.
We should have doubled our lead towards the end when we were awarded a soft penalty. I honestly thought Butler was going to get booked for diving but the referee pointed to the spot after he was brought down in the box. A second goal would surely have meant the game was won, Pratley stepped up but his slow effort was saved by goalkeeper Ince.
Alan Tate had a good game with Monk although sometimes they were guilty of a few loose passes and conceding possession. Painter struggled at left back I thought but he didn’t make any major mistakes.
Jason Scotland wasn’t hardly in the game and apart from a few decent passes in the final third he deserved to be taken off for Bauza in the second half.
Bodde again controlled the game and with Pratley’s drive and energy they complimented each other well in the middle.
We continued struggling to create much in the final third as we hung onto our 1-goal advantage. It was another ordinary performance at home but a win is what counts and that maintains our 8-point gap at the top of the table.
Reaction and stats to follow.