Swansea 4 Exeter 2

Saturday, 8 September 2001, 0:00
4 mins read

FULL TIME REPORT

SWANSEA CITY 4 v 2 EXETER CITY

Six goals at the Vetch and four from the home side? Has the world truly gone mad. Not this time but it was two very shaky defences that contributed to this goal glut and gave the Swans their first maximum point haul at the Vetch this season.

Exeter arrived in Swansea at the bottom of the football league and, as it turned out stayed there although all could have been different if they had been able to build on their early one-goal advantage.
That advantage could have been more had it not been for a save from Freestone with his legs and Exeter’s inability to take the rebound allowing the Swansea defence to clear the ball.
Swansea were having more of the play but Exeter it was who took the lead when Christian Roberts showed more pace than Matthew Bound and easily rounded the defender to slot calmly past Roger much to the joy of the reasonably sized travelling support.
Swansea seemed to move up half a gear after this goal and quickly looked to get back on level terms as the crowd started to get agitated at what they were seeing with cries of “Hollins Sort It Out” and “What The F is going on” clearly audible from the North Bank.
The equaliser did come and less than ten minutes later when Sidibe flicked on a corner at the near post for O’Leary to rifle home despite a clearance from the defender that the referee ruled was behind the line. Mazzina thumped the ball back into the net for good measure and Swansea were level.
Exeter’s defence was doing little to give their goalkeeper much confidence as they seemed to scramble balls away when clearances were easier than they made them look and their frailities were soon exposed as Swansea took the lead.
Mazzina was again at the heart of the action as he picked the ball up in front of the centre stand and sent a pin point cross into the penalty area straight onto the head of Stuart Roberts arriving at the back post who planted a header well out of the reach of Andy Walker to the joy of the Swansea fans.
The excitement of the second goal had not died down (it was so quick I was still on the telephone!) when Sidibe tricked his way into the area and ended up on the floor as the referee pointed to the spot. Several comments of no penalty around me were heard but the result? Matthew Bound hits the ball as hard as he can and the net bulges again. Swansea were 3-1 up.
In reflection, it is hard on Exeter that they went into the interval with that scoreline but, as we commented many times last season, when you are down there, the luck that you need does not always come.
The second half was a bit of a non-event, which you can always tell when the fans start singing to various players “xx give us a wave” and the biggest cheer came when they chanted this to the linesman who did enter into the spirit with a wave behind his back.
Swansea did find themselves with a couple of very good chances to extend the lead with Phillips, Tyson and Coates with none of them finding the targets with free headers.

Roger though was called into action as Flack’s header threatened to creep in at the near post before he tipped it around for a corner.

There was always the feeling of the Cheltenham game towards the end where we managed to surrender a two-goal advantage and John Williams, on for Tyson, almost relieved that tension with a very strong header that was well saved by Walker.
However, those fears were raised as Exeter pulled a goal back five minutes before the end. Swansea’s poor marking was again highlighted as a looping header was sent over Roger’s head and you had this horrible feeling of deja vu again.
The goal though spurred Swansea on a little bit as John Williams broke into the Exeter defence and blasted the ball past Walker to secure the points for the Swans. Williams took his shirt off in celebration that he was back on the scoresheet and Swansea celebrated three points which lifts them to eleventh in the table.
Personally, I did not think that we played as well today as we did against Cheltenham for an hour and the two goals that we conceded are a worry to me, not so much that we conceded but the manner in which they went in. Having said that, we found the net four times but it is unlikely that we will always find a defence as shaky as Exeter’s.
At the end of it all, three points are three points and if it spurs us on to better things in weeks to come then so be it. The sponsors gave the Man Of The Match award to Nathan Tyson who personally wouldn’t have been my choice despite looking lively on his debut. A few times he was caught with the ball, seemingly trying to take on one too many defenders but if you watch closely there are hardly people queuing up to take the ball off him.
My Man of The Match? It would be hard to pick one, Mazzina and Phillips were very strong in the centre and Lee Jenkins at right back seems to improve with every game in that position.

Sidibe and Tyson seemed to work well up front and Stuart Roberts also had a good game. John Williams also played well when he came on and took his goal very well, and was unlucky with the header.

However, and no bias in this, I would go for Roger who pulled off two top drawer saves today, the first of which without would have seen us two goals down within quarter of an hour and I wonder if we have the character to come back from that kind of deficit.
Certainly not a vintage performance or one that fills me with over confidence but a good win nevertheless.

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