Date: 16th August 2008 at 5:49pm
Written by:

After a disappointing 2-0 defeat on the opening day of the season last week at Charlton, Swansea City bounced back superbly this afternoon with an excellent 3-1 victory against Nottingham Forest at the Liberty Stadium.

After a 3-month wait, we were back at the Liberty for league action and the 15,000 Swans fans were far from disappointed after today`s 3-1 win and performance.

by swanjackal
“Technically looked sound and fairly solid against a pacey attack. Very pleased with all that played today.”

It was our first home win against Nottingham Forest for 53 years and we finally ended our 3-match drawing run against the Reds.

New Summer signing Gorka Pintado rounded off the win to score on his debut. It didn`t take him long to make an impact having replaced Jason Scotland with 24 minutes remaining.

Roberto Martinez made just the one change from last week`s game. Jason Scotland returned from injury to replace Guillem Bauza in a 4-5-1 formation.

The Swans kicked off the match in confident mood and dominated most of the first half possession with some excellent passing football. We continually surged forward towards the North Stand goal and it took us just 10 minutes to get off the mark. Jason Scotland did well to get passed a few defenders before getting the ball to Leon Britton in space on the edge of the area. His low drive hit the post but rebounded off the keeper and into the net.

It was nothing more than what we deserved after an exciting opening to the day. Forest were limited to a few goalscoring opportunities during the opening half hour but there were a threat on the counter-attack. Despite conceding an early goal though there wasn`t much more urgency in Forest`s play to get forward in search of the equaliser.

Tom Butler was having a decent game out on the left wing and was causing problems with his ability to cut inside and create something in the final third. Leon Britton was also a threat, and with Pratley and Bodde in the middle switching our play, Forest struggled to find an answer during a dominant opening 25 minutes for the Swans.

The same couldn`t be said for Jason Scotland though, as it was the midfield doing all the work going forward. He had a few neat touches here and there but wasn`t causing any danger in the box.

Ashley Williams looked solid and composed at the back and for much of the game he kept Robert Earnshaw ineffective. Our only defensive concern was Marcos Painter`s tendency sometimes to come inside into the middle, and this gave Forest the opportunity to strike back with the equaliser.

Lee Martin got passed Leon Britton and found space out wide on the right, his cross could only be parried by the diving De Vries in goal, the ball fell kindly to the unmarked James Perch who had the easy task of slotting the ball into an empty net from 12 yards.

It was harsh on the Swans after all the possession and chances we created but we were punished for our lack of marking in and around the box.

Just before the break, the Swans should have retaken the lead from a Ferrie Bodde cross, but somehow captain Garry Mon k headed over the bar from around 6 yards.

At the restart, it was Forest who started the brighter and after 8 minutes, Earnshaw should have given the Reds the lead from a free kick but the former Cardiff City striker missed the target.

At the other end, Jason Scotland had his best and only chance of the game to get on the score sheet. Bodde found him inside the box, Jason did well to the get the ball passed a defender and onto his left foot, but it was poor powerless shot that was struck straight at the keeper.

Minutes later though we regained the lead from the penalty spot. Thomas Butler done brilliantly to make his way into the penalty area, with 2 or 3 defenders pressuring him he was floored and the ref awarded a penalty, much to the delight of the 15,000 Swans fans. Bodde placed his shot to the keeper`s left who parried it, but the goal rebounded straight back to the Dutchman who made no mistake to score into an empty net.

Scotland was missing to take the penalty as he was replaced by new Summer signing Gorka Pintado. Our top scorer last season struggled up front on his own and didn`t really cause a threat in the game.

Pintado arrived onto the field, later followed by fellow Spaniard Jordi Gomez. Gorka`s pace and ball-chasing was very much welcomed after a typical slow and idle performance from Scotland. He linked up well with the midfield and showed some excellent touches of the ball before scoring our third goal to round off the victory. Mark Gower did well down the left and his cross was met by Gorka who made a neat touch with the outside of his foot to direct it past the keeper from 12 yards out. It was a touch of class from his position and in just 25 minutes, he gave the fans a glimpse of the quality he’ll add to our squad this season.

Moments before our third, De Vries did well to deny Lee Martin with an excellent save from his free-kick.

There were doubts before the game, and some fans were nervous on the outcome but Martinez`s side proved on home soil that we shouldn`t have anything to worry about in this League. We beat a well equipped side this afternoon who like us, are capable of having a decent season in the Championship this year.

Player Ratings

De Vries – 6
Some fans will argue he should have dealt with the cross that led to their equaliser, but he was stretching for the cross. The defence failed to do their marking and were punished.

Collins – 7
Solid defensively and linked up well going forward.

Williams – 8
see star player.

Monk – 7
Did well alongside Williams although there were a few times when he lost his marker.

Painter – 6
On 2 or 3 occasions their right winger had all the space in the world where Painter wasn’t picking him up. Apart from that he did OK.

Tom Butler – 8
Caused lots of problems in the first half and did well to get our second goal.

Pratley – 7
Was a busy man in the middle and never stopped running, contributed well to our dominance in the first half.

Bodde – 7
A decent performance from Bodde but didn’t show as much class as he often did last season.

Gower – 6
Quiet in the first half but improved in the second, did very well to set up Gorka’s goal.

Britton – 7
Worked hard all game and made some important tackles, opened the scoring for us well with a decent shot that hit the post.

Scotland – 6
Wasn’t much of a threat, too slow getting into the box and should have put his shot away early in the second half. Pintado looked far more dangerous in the short time he was on.

Bodde’s Goal On Video:
Roberto Martinez’s Post Match Views:
Click here to read his views

Colin Calderwood’s Post Match Views:
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Bodde’s Goal On Video:
Click here to download video clip