Swansea 2-2 Cheltenham

Monday, 27 August 2001, 0:00
2 mins read



Stuart Roberts, Lee Jenkins and Gareth Phillips, all Wales U-21’s, had fantastic games for the Swans, with Roberts grabbing a goal and collecting his man of the match award.

There’s definitely hope for the future for Wales with these 3 starlets. Stuart Roberts demolished the Cheltenham defence with his speed and skill. Gareth Phillips controlled the centre of midfield with his tough tackling, and Lee Jenkins ran the flanks supplying plenty of ammunition for the explosive Roberts and Sidebe.
Swansea ripped the Robins apart in the 1st half with Roberts finishing off in the 12th minute after Kristian O’Leary’s effort was blocked on the line.
Young Frenchman Mamady Sidibe reminded me of Tore Andre Flo, with him being extremely talented in the air, yet just as good with some silky skills on the floor, using his pace to turn and beat defenders, quite remarkable for someone who’s 6″4″.
Swansea continued to put the pressure on the Cheltenham defence with the keeping coming to the rescue again from Roberts with a fantastic save down low to his left with Roberts clean through.
Just when it looked like Swansea were to go in with a slender 1 goal advantage, a push on Mamady Sidibe from a Jenkins cross was deemed worthy of a penalty by the dodgy ref (dodgy for both sides), and Matthew Bound stepped up and power the ball into the roof of the net giving the keeper no chance.
So the Swans went in 2-0 up, with there no thought in anyone’s mind of a possibility of a comeback.
It was evidential when the Swans came back out that the manager had told the players to just sit back a bit and enjoy the lead. This tactic seemed to work for 15 minutes or so with Swansea still creating the better chances with Cusack grabbing the best chance.
This all changed on the 65th minute when Cheltenham manager Steve Cotterill brought on a 3rd striker to try and salvage something. Swansea not reacting to this were soon on the back foot, with pretty much constant defending from then on.
On the 70th minute the Swans lead didn’t look so great when Duff got on the end of a wide Cheltenham free kick to power a header past the helpless Freestone.
Still, not many thought the Swans had too much to worry about. Yet Cheltenham were making chances, but the pressure wasn’t too intense. A few minutes later it the Cheltenham players were fuming when it seemed that Welsh International Freestone handled outside the area, but the referee waved claims away, but I think the Cheltenham players had the right to feel hard done, from where I stood, Freestone claimed the ball from outside the box with his hands.
It seemed then as if Cheltenham heads dropped as Sidibe nearly found an opening after a 50 yard tricky run, only to be closed down when about to pull the trigger.
Swans fans early celebrations were cut short in the 2nd minute of injury time, when a cross found Yates on the back post to head the ball into the corner of the net, to the site of 4,000 despairing Swans fans.
So Swansea are yet to win at home, but made a very good impression on me on the 1st half, with Sidibe, and welsh boys Jenkins, Roberts and Phillips impressing greatly. Future Welsh internationals??? Lets hope so!!!

Dan Evans Writes and Maintains Valley Volley, The Welsh International Site

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