Swansea 4-0 QPR

Sunday, 18 November 2001, 0:01
2 mins read

This was Swansea City at their very best there is no doubt. I personally don’t remember an atmosphere like this at the Vetch since the Exeter game in the championship season and it reminded me very much of the atmosphere when we beat Millwall at the Vetch three years ago in the same competition.

Colin Addison made three changes to his starting line-up from last week, bringing in Kristian O’Leary, Damien Lacey and John Williams for Neil Sharp, Gareth Phillips and Nathan Tyson respectively.

Freestone

T Evans O’Leary Smith Bound S Evans

Lacey Cusack Coates

Williams Sidibe

There was a rousing atmosphere at the Vetch for the start of the game, despite a lower crowd than predicted and it was Swansea that were first off the blocks in the sixth minute.

Sidibe collected the ball at the near post in front of the East Stand and as he turned to shoot, he saw Williams in a better position than him and crossed for him to slot the ball into the empty net to send the home crowd wild and revive memories of cup runs past.

And that, in fairness was the goal that won Swansea the game as QPR, despite plenty of possession were unable to trouble a Swansea defence that looks far more solid with the influence of Jason Smith in the middle.

Kristian O’Leary was a rock at the back for most of the night, as soon as he had made a sliding tackle to prevent QPR making a dangerous break and he won just about everything there after.

It was 2-0 at the interval as Nick Cusack stole in after a flick on from Mamady Sidibe and poked the ball past the veteran keeper Fraser Digby who looked far less composed than someone of his experience should be.

Sidibe himself almost capitalised on another piece of Digby indecision but the ball went for a corner and Swansea left the field to a well deserved standing ovation at the interval.

The next 15 minutes were spent watching Cyril taking penalties against an ever expanding Neville Southall as well as hearing reports of Mike Lewis making another appearance in the Harry Griffiths bar – will he ever learn?

The second half was tending to follow a very similar pattern to the first half as Swansea found themselves with less possession but the better chances – a point emphasised by Coates testing Digby to the limit within three minutes of the re-start.

Swansea’s vocal support was a credit to the faithful that had turned up and the players were responding in similar fashion. Gareth Phillips was booked for one of the fairest tackles I have seen before Sidibe chased a long ball and headed the ball over the advancing Digby and walked the ball into an empty net to prompt a few fans to stray onto the pitch in celebration.

Now it really was party time as the crowd cheered the home team home until the final whistle but still left themselves enough time to see a suspiciously offside Steve Watkin put the fourth in as the cock passed 90 minutes from a Terry Evans cross.

The players suitably celebrated at the end of the game as the supporters basked at last in the music of “What a Beautiful Day” – this truly was Swansea at their very best and, make no mistake, beating a side from a higher division by four clear goals deserves every praise that you can heap on them.

Sidibe was my clear Man of the Match with special praise for O’Leary but to a man, tonight they are all heroes. Forest Green or Macclesfield anyone?

“Addison’s Barmy Army”

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