After going 2 games without a win, it was absolutely vital that the Swans got 3 valuable this afternoon as Port Vale were today`s visitors at the Liberty Stadium.
After Saturday`s draw away at high-flying Bristol City, manager Roberto Martinez was forced into making a few changes. Izzy Iriekpen picked up an ankle injury during the game and Tom Butler was also struggling with a hamstring strain. Austin was back in defence alongside Lawrence while Tom Williams started on the left wing.
Darryl Duffy also got his first start since his loan move from Hull so the Swans lined up:
R. Duffy – Lawrence – Austin – Painter
Britton – O`Leary – Craney – Williams
D. Duffy – Trundle
Swansea City made a good start to the game although they did have some defending to do early on as Port Vale came looking to get all three points.
Captain again for the day, Lee Trundle really should have put us 1-0 up after 10 minutes or so as he raced clear on goal after beating the offside trap, but his low shot went wide of the far post.
He made amends just 8 minutes later though. Following a long throw into the box, the ball fell to Trundle who made no mistake this time and fired the ball home from about 10 yards out with his right foot, yes his right.
We began to get into our stride at this point as Leon Britton especially was causing all sorts of problems on the right wing. 8 minutes later we doubled our lead as Darryl Duffy got his first goal for us. Dennis Lawrence did brilliantly to get the ball to the Hull striker on his left and he fired the ball in from close range.
The game was played at quite a fast pace and despite a few attacks from the visitors, the defence kept Gueret quiet for most of the game. However, he continued to make the crowd nervous with crosses though as again he dropped a high ball, luckily the defence were able to clear.
I thought Marcos Painter was particularly impressive at left back in the first half while Tom Williams in front of him offered a far more balanced approach to our midfield. He offered us far more width and supported Painter on the attack. Craney was also showing signs of improvement after some quiet games from the former Accrington Stanley player.
Martinez`s side went in at the break very comfortable and it wouldn`t have been a surprise to see more goals in the second half as I definitely think we could have been 3 or 4-0 up at the break.
We didn`t come out all guns blazing though is we got off to a rather slow start in the second half. The visitors tried to get into the game more but later on in the match we were often finding huge gaps in their defence as we wasted a huge amount of superb chances in front of goal.
Britton again was causing trouble down the right, leaving Vale defenders behind but he seemed to run out of energy for the final ball. He was later replaced on the hour mark by Tom Butler.
Just seconds before the change though and Duffy got his second of the game to put the game beyond any doubt. Britton did brilliantly and put a great pass through to the striker, who rounded the keeper before slotting the ball home cleverly past a defender.
Trundle was also replaced a few minutes later as Abbott came on to replace the skipper.
We still had a number of chances to put more embarrassment on the visitors, Abbott had 2 great chances – one being a great header that was tipped over the bar. Butler also went close while Duffy was unlucky not to get a hat-rick.
Overall it was a hugely entertaining and exciting game in which the Swans attacked brilliantly throughout. Port Vale also came to attack and get a win but they left gaps at the back, especially in the second half as we got through them a number of times, and in fairness they were lucky not to be beaten by a higher margin.
The only bad thing was that all of our rivals won and we remain 4 points adrift of that last play-off place.
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