Cusack stars for Swans

Thursday, 20 July 2000, 0:00
1 min read

The club captain scored the game’s first goal and created the other two in a contest that Swansea dominated and could have won by a wider margin. It took just seven minutes for Cusack to create the game’s first clear opening, releasing Michael Keegan on the right for a cross that was eventually headed over by Martin Thomas. Ten minutes later, Michael Howard helped a clearance back into the Cobh penalty area and Cusack set up Steve Watkin for an effort that was blocked to safety. Continuing to spread the ball around the pitch, Swansea should have been in front on 35 minutes. Cusack chased down the right to maintain possession but when Keegan crossed, Watkin glanced his header wide from close range. The Ramblers’ reprieve was shortlived as within two minutes Swansea were ahead. Keegan’s corner was met at the far post by a Cusack header which beat goalkeeper Alan O’Shea. On the stroke of half-time, Kristain O’Leary tried his luck with a shot from 20 yards and though that effort was saved, the goalkeeper was helpless early in the second period with a similar chance. When Cusack laid the ball off to O’Leary the advantage was doubled with a shot drilled in from the edge of the area. With a two-goal cushion, Swansea maintained their control of the match and it was no surprise that they went further ahead on 81 minutes. Roger Freestone kicked long to Watkin who brought Cusack into the move. Showing no signs of tiring, the 33-year-old capped a superb performance by giving the ball back to Watkin who thumped home a fierce drive from 18 yards. Swansea’s only black mark of the evening came when a defensive mix-up gifted Cobh a late consolation. Donal Golden beat Freestone from close range after intercepting a Thomas free-kick. It wasn’t enough to spoil the night for Swansea, though. The champions’ performance had been impressive both in content and in front of goal.

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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