Swansea 0 Hartlepool 1

Friday, 23 November 2001, 0:01
2 mins read

Colin Addison was forced into one change from the side that started at York with captain Nick Cusack unable to take his place in the line-up, replaced with a first home appearance for new boy Steve Brodie.

Freestone

T Evans O’Leary Smith Bound S Evans

Lacey Coates

Brodie

Williams Sidibe

Much of the talk around me was the formation with Brodie seeming to fit in in front of the midfield duo of Lacey and Coates but behind the forward line of Williams and Sidibe.

This formation seemed to take much out of Swansea with the Evans boys, normally keen to advance down the wings, seemed to sit a little further back for much of the first half meaning that the team played more narrowly and resorted to long balls over the top as opposed to the passing game that worked so well against QPR.

This led to a very scrappy game with chances at a premium, and what chances that there were fell very much to Hartlepool as they too looked to continue their good recent run of form.

A fussy (and seemingly blind) referee also didn’t help the game as any pattern of play was not evident and neither side at times looked like one looking to make an impression on the play-offs.

Hartlepool’s goal came after 20 minutes when a shot flashed across the Swansea area and Lee was on hand to provide the deflection with his head that took it past the helpless Freestone in the Swansea goal.

Swansea’ s only real attempt on goal in the first half was a high and wide shot from Kristian O’Leary and boos echoed round the ground as the teams went off for half-time.

Swansea produced a marginally better second half display but lacked the killer instinct although, in fairness Hartlepool sat back in numbers. The pressure seemed to increase after about an hour with the introduction of Watkin and Phillips for Smith and Lacey and Swansea found themselves attacking more but always subject to a dangerous looking counter attack as they reverted to a straight back three of Bound, Terry Evans and O’Leary.

Sidibe came close before Steven Evans hit the bar from a superb Bound cross and Watkin should have done better with a free header but it did not seem that Swansea were going to score.

Kristian O’Leary compounded the misery with his third red card of the season five minutes from time from what seemed to be a fairly innocuous challenge (although I will confess to only half watching the challenge in the first place!) – A second yellow was followed by the compulsory red and Kris surely now faces a lengthy ban.

John Williams had one more chance before the end but bar Roger heading up for a corner there was little more excitement to come and the poor referee blew at the end of the 93rd minute to move Hartlepool into 8th place.

Very hard to pick a Swansea player for a decent game tonight although I would have to say that I thought Boundy played a better game than he has done recently and nobody anywhere near me was impressed by Brodie.

We haven’t turned the corner just yet but remember, this is just one game and basically it’s part of the roller coaster ride that is Swansea City.

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