Cherries 2 Swans 0

Saturday, 18 November 2000, 0:01
3 mins read

Match Report by Richard Lillicrap

I’ve just returned from Bournemouth. The only thing to cheer me up so far was a Chelsea fan going tonto on 606 about their club going to the dogs! A wet dismal day on an open terrace in a dismal ground that makes the Vetch look like a palace.

The Swans lined up with Steve Jones in a back four but Savarese on the bench. Watkin leads the attack with Cusack. After what seemed like ten minutes I checked my watch and we’d played three. The rest of the half was the same – interminable. But to be fair we looked to be cruising to a 0-0 with the defence playing solidly against a crap team.

Most play was up the other end with the Swans attacking but creating nothing. I counted 4 or 5 occasions when a poor Bournemouth clearance fell to Bound or Thomas or someone 20 yards out and they chose to stiff it into row z off balance rather than do something sensible.

Twice Bournemouth got behind Jones who was a bit rusty so the warning signs were there. Roberts did not get past his man once.

Roger and the Bournemouth keeper played catch for odd periods and the stands got a good pounding from Smith and Bound clearances. Half time was a welcome release at 0-0.

Half time saw an innocent Swans fan ejected from the stand. This was prompted by a small group of tw ts on the Swans terrace singling him out for some “you fat b@st@rd” treatment – such was the alternative entertainment.

The police and stewards didn’t like him waving back and (allegedly) chucked him out when he went to get a burger at half time. That left 249 Swans fans.

The second half was inexorably following the pattern of the first. All the play was up the other end again as Bournemouth got on the front foot. Details are limited as it was difficult to maintain any attention to the rubbish being served up on the pitch. But there was a mix up at our right back area and we lost the ball again. But this time B’mouth had men clear and two quick passes to an unmarked player where Howard should have been. Roger no chance 0 -1.

Within a minute we were nearly level. Romo (still struggling to come to terms with 100 mph football) set up a cross which found Watkin unmarked !!!!! A good firm downward header spat forward off the greasy surface and rattled the goalie’s shins. It bobbled to a b’mouth player and was cleared.

After a further two minutes of Swans pressure, B’mouth went forward again. But this time they tore us to bits for twenty minutes. No real chances again but we were not in the game.

Savarese came on for Romo (good switch) and immediately looked the part. But he was feeding off scraps. The inevitable then happened. An atrocious pass left Howard in no man’s land. Their midfielder ran into the space and eventually released to the right wing who beat Roger from 12 yards out (not that you could judge from our end).

Lacey for Roberts. Keegan for Jenkins. A final flurry.

Some skirmishing round the B’mouth goal at last. 3 minutes left when Savarese, Cusack and Watkin carved an opening for Lacey coming in from the left. But he hammered it 5 yards wide with the goalie out of position. 2 mins left when Howard hit one from thirty yards. A belter but it was two feet from the top corner.

Apart from a semi mass brawl when Watkin took their left back’s throat measurement after being clattered there was little more to report. Various sections of our lot chose to heap some racial abuse on the black referee but were generally too depressed to be really obnoxious.

The final whistle was greeted with a substantial amout of booing. Cusack – who comes out of this with credit – made a particular point of applauding the fans as he left the pitch. But this was met with cries of f k off and v-signs from a minority.I didn’t see anything from the rest of the players – but I wasn’t watching all the time.

Overall – a most depressing outing. The silly thing is that Bournemouth were really poor and could have been taken. I was interested by the decision not to play Savarese up front from the start. It was the sort of match that cried out for an out an out goal poacher. But Bournemouth played quite well for twenty minutes after their goal. This shows what a bit of confidence can do.

It is abundantly clear that the Swans are playing with no confidence and are starting to find it difficult to reverse the trend. Some of the errors are basic. Steve Jones headed the ball behind a few minutes from the end. There was nobody anywhere near him. And from where we stood it was as if he was trying to twist round to get the ball to Roger and came nearer to scoring an og!! Will Dai Smith please post another joke like the conductor one to take my mind off it. See you all at Cambridge ?

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