Date: 30th August 2008 at 5:24pm
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Swansea City threw away the chance to claim 3 more points and the chance to go 4th in the Championship after drawing 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon.

Ferrie Bodde put us in front before the break with an excellent strike from 25 yards. The home side were dominating and should have extended their lead but we were punished for our lack of quality in the final third as Wednesday struck back with an equaliser on 70 minutes.

Roberto Martinez named an unchanged side from the one that beat Plymouth 1-0 last week which meant the likes of Orlandi, Gomez and Pintado still wait for their first League start of the season.

It was a rather scrap start to the game, with neither side getting any rhythm into their lead and both goalkeepers had little to do in the opening 15 minutes or so.

Ettiene Esajas, as expected, was the visitors main threat and he had two decent chances early on. The first saw him shoot at goal which was an easy save for De Vries and the next forced the Dutchman into a much better save.

With plenty of head tennis going on, the Swans finally started to get the ball down and play some decent football. Darren Pratley was performing well in the middle of the park and so to was Tom Butler who saw a lot of the ball in the first half hour.

Our first real chance on goal came around the half hour mark as Mark Gower when close with a low drive. Monk thread the ball through to Scotland, he held it up well and found the midfielder but his low shot from the right was well saved by the keeper.

A few minutes later, Swansea`s dominance paid off as Ferrie Bodde unleashed a superb strike on goal from 25 yards. The Dutchman picked up the loose ball and curled a powerful shot past the diving keeper and into the top right hand corner.

After an uneventful first 15-20 minutes of the game from Swansea’s point of view, we got into the game well, started to create chances and dictated play. We really should have extended our lead and the visitors struggled to create any goal opportunities for the remainder of the half.

We began the second half where we left off the first, getting forward quickly and creating some half-decent chances on the visitors goal.

Martinez then made his first substitute around the hour mark. Jason Scotland struggled to get himself in the game as it was all about our midfield in the first 45 minutes. Last season’s top scorer made way for Gorka Pintado as we went in search for a second goal.

Pintado took less than a minute to make an impact, he charged towards the ball but the keeper did well to collect the ball at his feet near the byeline.

Minutes later, defender Ashley Williams should have made it 2-0 but his header on goal from Butler’s cross came back off the post.

The Swans continued to dominate, especially in midfield but as the far game went on you felt we desperately needed that second goal to guarantee the three points.

Pintado was again causing a threat on 67 minutes as substitute Jordi Gomez’s cross was met by the striker but his header was easily saved by the keeper. He was far more active in front of goal than Scotland was but he maybe should have put his chances away, especially with the quality he has shown so far since joining us in the summer. He had his third chance to score within 15 minutes of coming on but like Monk before him, he headered wide from close range.

Brian Laws made a double change with 20 minutes to go and it paid off as Steve Watson came on to head in the equaliser. It was poor marking from the Swans, and Watson had the easiest task of heading home to level the scoring.

It wasn’t deserved, but we were punished for our poor defensive work and our lack of quality in the final third. We were creating plenty of chances but our finishing was poor. Monk should have restored our lead but somehow he headered wide from 6 yards at the far post.

The Owls’ equalising goal gave them a boost in confidence and there was the extra worry now that Laws’ side could go on and win the game. They started to get forward more and there was a few moments where we were getting ourselves into needless pressure at the back.

Time was running out now and Martinez made his third and final change with a few minutes remaining. Febian Brandy came on for Tom Butler but maybe the change should have been made shortly after losing our 1-goal lead.

The Manchester United loanee had the chance to win us the game with a few minutes left but his header struck the post.

4 minutes of injury time were to be played but we couldn’t find that winning goal. It was a let off for Sheffield Wednesday as Swansea put in a winning performance. The Owls, unlike us, took their chances well, heading home the equaliser whereas we struggled in that department all game. Pintado, Monk and Brandy all had chances to convert crosses but they all lacked accuracy.

Today was a fine example of what the difference could be between a mid-table place and a play-off place. We drew a game which we should have definitely won and we can’t afford to be losing points like that this year. However, the signs have been good as we’ve performed well in all 4 games this season and we remain 7th in the Championship.

Swansea: De Vries, Williams, Painter, Monk, Rangel, Bodde, Britton, Pratley (Gomez 66), Gower, Butler (Brandy 86), Scotland (Pintado 56).

Subs Not Used: Tate, Orlandi.

Goals: Bodde 36.

Sheff Wed: Grant, McMahon, Wood, Beevers, Spurr, McAllister, Esajas (Watson 69), Smith (Johnson 59), O’Connor, Burton (Clarke 69), Tudgay.

Subs Not Used: O’Donnell, Gilbert.

Booked: Burton, McAllister, McMahon.

Goals: Watson 70.

Attendance: 16,702

Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

Player Ratings

De Vries – 6
Quiet for most of the game, no real errors made during the game.

Rangel – 7
Added support to our attacks on the right wing and improved in the second half.

Monk – 6
Decent enough game from the skipper but had little threat to contend with.

Williams – 6
Same as above.

Painter – 7
Solid throughout.

Butler – 7
One of our best players in the first half along with Pratley. Lots of effort and was a threat on the wing.

Britton – 7
Worked hard but was sometimes outmuscled in midfield.

Bodde – 7
Excellent goal but again makes a few inaccurate passes and lost us possession on a few occasions.

Pratley – 8
Our star man.

Gower – 6
Not a great game and struggled to beat the full back in the second half.

Scotland – 5
Was hardly involved in the game.