Swans 0 Rochdale 1

Tuesday, 9 October 2001, 0:01
2 mins read

Swansea needed to make a couple of changes from the side that beat Kidderminster due to suspensions to both Gareth Phillips and Kristian O’Leary.with Andrew Mumford and Jonathan Coates coming into the side. Nick Cusack dropped back to the three man central defensive team.

Freestone

Jenkins Todd Bound Cusack Howard

Appleby Mumford Coates

Roberts Williams

Swansea, in truth started brightly enough and passed the ball around the park well and optimism in the crowd of 3500 was reasonably high as they created a few chances. Andrew Mumford in particular was unlucky to see a low shot well saved by Gilks in the Rochdale goal and a sublime piece of skill from Appleby narrowly missed the upright as Swansea looked the most likely side to score.

Rochdale, were providing little quality threat to our defence with their attacks mainly limited to long balls for the pacy Platt to chase. Warning signs were there as Swansea’s defence seemed to back off the ball too happily and let Rochdale come at them.

The visitors nearest attempt at goal early on actually came from a Swansea player as Chris Todd lifted the ball over Roger and onto the bar but that apart, Swansea were still the stronger team.

Swansea forced a succession of corners but all to little avail as the same consistent pattern of delivery produced free-kicks for Rochdale for nothing challenges on Gilks.

The Rochdale goal came just after the half hour mark as the ball was played in from the Rochdale left and the cross eluded Matthew Bound and Tony Ford nipped in at the far post, beating Chris Todd to the header and planting it past the helpless Freestone.

And thus Swansea lost their game plan. Any hopes that the crowd had of a stirring second half performance disappeared in what was a throwback to the dire times of the end of Hollins regin. The side lacked any direction and balls were played long a and deep.

To be fair Addison and Nicholas tried to change things but it was to no avail as Tyson replaced Appleby and Sidibe replaced Todd. With three very similar strikers up front and neither of them offering anything at this stage, the nearest Swansea came in the second half was a Coates volley which just cleared the crossbar.

And then it got worse. Lee Jenkins crumbled to the floor under a challenge from a Rochdale player and with Richie Evans signalling for the stretcher, Swansea sent on Craig Draper for Mumford. And as Jenkins departed on the stretcher, Swansea played out the last four minutes with just 10 men. I have watched 25 years of football at the Vetch and never seen anything like that couple of minutes.

Jenkins has ligament damage and could be out for anything between two weeks and two months – it will be a couple of days before we know for certain.

The Kangaroo taking penalties against Cyril at half time went down like a lead balloon – no welcome and the Rolf Harris music in the background was plain embarrassing. A poor game tonight from Swansea – my pick for Man of the Match would be Mumford.

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