Swansea City gave their quest for promotion a major boost tonight with a 2-1 victory over 2nd place high flyers Brentford.
We were hoping to build on our LDV Vans Trophy success in the league as we faced a big Friday night game that could define the rest of the season.
Goals from Akinfenwa and Robinson got us the vital 3 points that move us up to 3rd in the table, just a point adrift from our opponents tonight, who remain 2nd.
We finally ended a 5-match drawing run that seemed would never end and hopefully this result can give us the confidence we need to go on a run for the remaining 8 games.
Kenny Jackett made just one change to the side that beat Colchester in midweek.
Tommy Williams was surprisngly missing from the 16-man squad so Ricketts kept his place at left back. Lee Trundle was also fit to replace the unlucky Leon Knight, who scored against Colchester on Tuesday.
We lined up:
Tate – Monk – Lowe – Ricketts
Britton – O’Leary – Martinez – Robinson
Akinfenwa – Trundle
SUBS: Murphy, Way, Fallon, Knight, Forbes.
Brentford started the game the better side, they passed the ball around neatly and were giving our defence a lot to think about early on.
We showed no fluency in our attacking game, our passing lacked accuracy and was quite the opposite to Brentford’s slick play.
We thumped a lot of balls up to Akinfenwa while Trundle was hardly in the game at all throughout the full 90 minutes.
That’s why then our goal on 20 minutes came right out of the blue. Ricketts sent in a cross from the left, Britton headed across and Akinfenwa was there to scramble the ball in from close range.
It was rather an underserved lead to be fair, and it was no real surprise that the visitors equalised not long later – but it was another goal conceded from a corner.
Again, marking in the box was non existent enabling Frampton a free header which beat Gueret.
A good away following meant the two sets of supporters were competting well to be heard and both ends made themselves heard.
Lee Trundle went close late in the first half from a free kick which was well saved while Robinson’s effort in a similar position was deflected for a corner.
At the break, we needed to show a lot of improvement, especially going forward, we struggled to create clear-cut chances whilst Brentford were constantly putting balls through to their strikers.
There wasn’t much improvement for the first 10 minutes until Jackett madea double change. Fallon and Forbes came on to replace Akinfenwa and Martinez.
It didn’t take long before the two subs made a difference. We were getting the ball out wide to both flanks, Robinson and Ricketts combining well on the left with Tate and Britton down the right.
Rory Fallon went so close to scoring a superb first goal for his club. He received the ball on the edge of the area, beat his man before curling a shot towards the top corner which was well saved by the keeper as he tipped the ball onto the bar for a corner.
At the other end, Keith Lowe conceded possession just inside Brentford’s half and they broke quickly as we were caught out. Ricketts chased back but Gueret made a great save from a one on one situation.
Despite being out of position on the wrong wing, Forbes did well and he went close when he went on a surging run into the box. He had a free man outside him but he went alone and his shot was again saved by their busy keeper.
Fallon went close again later on when his header was saved yet again by their keeper and there were claims that the ball had crossed the line.
We then won a third free kick in a goalscoring position and it was Robinson who stood up to take it with less than 4 minutes left.
We’ve seen him do it before and he curled the ball around and over the ball into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance to keep it out and the fans were delirious to see what was likely the winning goal.
We held on well for 6 or 7 more minutes and we even went close to get a third. Fallon again looked certain to score his first goal for us. He took it around the keeper but his shot from quite an acute angle struck the post. Luck certainly isn’t with the New Zealander at the moment but the fans chanting his name at the end and the chances he created will give him a big boost in confidence and I’m comfident his first goal is just around the corner.
It certainly showed today that we play a lot better with a balanced side out and we improved well in the second half and our attacking play was a lot better. Our push for promotion is certainly still on and lets hope we can build on this.
14 Match Photos here
Match Stats here
Video Link to goals here
You can rate the players in the forum here
You can pick your man of the match in the forum here.
Willy Gueret – 6
Solid enough, couldn’t do anything with the goal.
Sam Ricketts – 6
Improvment, got forward more often and provided more width in 2nd half.
Garry Monk – 7
Worked well with Lowe and formed a good partnership at the back.
Keith Lowe – 7
Did well on his home debut but made a bad mistake that nearly conceded a goal.
Alan Tate – 7
Another good performance from Tate, good going forward as well as defending.
Andy Robinson – 8
Provided no width on the left in first half, much better in 2nd.
Roberto Martinez – 6
Was hardly in the game, sat back and watched play go on.
Kristian O’Leary – 7
Made some good tackles and gave our midfield that physical presence that we needed.
Leon Britton – 7
Better game than against Walsall, caused more problems, couldn’t fault him for effort either.
Adebayo Akinfenwa – 6
Scored the goal but he was given the job of flicking long balls to Trundle, not given any other supply of the ball from midfield.
Lee Trundle – 5
Nowhere near the Trundle we all know, struggled throughout and needs to put more effort in when conceding possession.
Rory Fallon – 8
Went very close 3 times to score. Created more chances than the other 2 strikers. This should boost his confidence and I’m sure a goal is just around the corner now.
Also went close to scoring along a good surging run into the box.
Kenny Jackett – 9/10 Seemed to have got it spot on, we improved in second half and his changes did the job. Though does Trundle deserve a rest?
”It was narrow. It was a great atmosphere and a very competitive game. We gave a good account of ourselves and we had some very good chances in the second half to win that game. We didn?t sit back ? we kept going forward. We had some good chances, but it wasn?t to be. It was a great free kick, and apart from a couple of scares I thought we were going to be OK.
The Swansea crowd were terrific straight from the first minute. It was a cup final atmosphere and both supporters ? even those from Brentford would have thought we had a go and the Swansea fans will be going home happy and ours will be going unhappy. Brentford fans will think we had a go and we came close.”