Swans 1 Cobblers 1

Saturday, 10 March 2001, 0:00
3 mins read
Swansea City 1 Northampton Town 1 pics courtesy of Gary Martin www.scfc.co.uk
10.03.01
Vetch Field
Nationwide League Division Two
Att: 4,911
Swans 1
Cobbers 1
Watkin 52 mins
Howard 45 mins
For the Northampton View :NTFCUnofficial

You had to feel that today was a must win game if we were to maintain any hope of 2nd Division status next season, and although the game was not fruitless it certainly had a biter aftertaste. True Grit and determination with some French Gaelic flair unfortunately just wasn’t enough to beat a very robust Northampton side.

Fabiano
Some great build up play.
Swans Lineup

Freestone Price Howard [Jenkins 78] Todd Bound Romo [Roberts 78] Cusack Lacey Verschave Fabiano WatkinSubs not used:Jones J Phillips Boyd

Cobbler’s Lineup

Welch Whitley Frain Sampson Savage Howard Hunt Hope Hargreaves Gabbiadini Forrester Subs : Ferguson Hodge Sollitt Morrow Green

The Swans with more defensive injury woes introduced young Chris Todd, a summer signing from Llanelli into the Centre back role to replace long term doubt Jason Smith and O’Leary who failed a late fitness test was replaced for David Romo to fit into a wing back role.

The Swans stuck with the 5-3-2 formation that proved so effective at Stoke mid-week with Price filling in back as the 3rd Centre Back. Creating a much more dynamic midfield, which could win balls with Howard and Romo constantly pushing up creating the extra man.

Saying that however the Cobblers started off the better team and would feel aggrieved at not winning a penalty in the 1st minute when Mat Howard pulled down Forrester in the box, but no penalty was awarded. Then only a few minutes later a long ball sent Forrester through on goal (Even though he looked about 5yds offside!) but his shot rebounded off the post into the grateful hands of God (Roger).

After that the Swans took control and with a little support from the North Bank started to look like a promotion chasing team rather than one fighting for it’s survival. Cusack sent Fabiano through with a great ball one on one with the keeper but his shot blazed wide of the mark. Watkin had a firm header deflected over the bar from a Romo freekick and we all thought that a goal would come soon.

But alas, as is the way this season the game slowed down after 30 mins and the cries from the North Bank died and Northampton started to get more into the game. That was until Verschave on the right wing dropped his shoulder and got clear of his marker strided into the penalty area, but the final ball to unmarked Watkin was sent wide and the impotece was lost.

Then just before the half time whistle a shot from Gabbiodini that from my position just went wide without a deflection was adjudged a corner. As is usual in these situations the fortunate team capitalised with a goal. As the corner came into the box Roger came out to meet the ball but David Romo blocked his path to the ball leaving Northampton’s Howard an easy header, which deflected in off the bar.

Half-Time. A lot of dis-illusioned Jacks wandering aimlessly behind the North Bank at half-time seemingly just wanting to leave early as again although the better side we were behind again due to a defensive error.

The second half again started slowly as the North Bank too miserable to sing gave the Vetch Field a ghost town atmosphere. All that was to change however on 58 mins when a great cross from the right wing by Verschave picked out Watkin on the far post who had time to control before slotting home his 7tb league goal of the season with a little help from the inside post.

The North Bank fire started to roar again and urged the Swans on for a winning goal. It was all one way traffic now and if any team were going to win it would be the Swans. Verschave was unlucky near the hour mark as after some great build up work by the French combination of Romo and Fabiano sent their countryman through on the left but his powerful shot deflected wide.

But Northampton obviously happy with a draw sat back and with Verschave and Watkin both looking exhausted with their 4th match in a week the midfield needed to push up more into the Northampton half but they only way they could win the ball was through sheer grit and determination. Hollins attempted to bring new life into the midfield with 12 mins to go introducing Stu Roberts and Jenkins but even with fresh legs the battle was going to be tough.

With nearly all the possession in the final 10 mins the Swans could not break a resolute defence and failed to really create a clean cut chance despite a string of corners in injury time.

Relegation Battle

PortVale 32 11 8 13 40 38 41 Swindon 34 10 9 15 36 50 39 Camb 36 10 8 18 46 59 38 ———————————————- Bristol R 32 8 13 11 35 36 37 Luton 34 9 7 18 41 60 34 Swansea 34 6 10 18 34 56 28 Oxford U 34 4 4 26 35 75 16

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