Swansea 0 Macclesfield 1

Saturday, 19 January 2002, 0:01
2 mins read

Swansea made two changes from the side that won comfortably at Newport in midweek with Steve Brodie and Neil Sharp coming into the side for Damien Lacey and Chris Todd respectively.

Freestone

Evans O’Leary Mumford Sharp Howard

Coates Cusack

Brodie

Watkin Williams

Swansea started brightly enough and the first chance of the game fell to Jonathan Coates whose run into the box ended with a shot that was parried by Martin in the Macclesfield goal and the loose ball was scrambled away by the visiting defence.

Michael Howard was booked for a tackle from behind that looked as if he won the ball in the first of a series of inconsistent refereeing decisions that was to blight the course of the match.

These decisions continued when Howard deflected the ball 90 degrees for a corner but much to the bemusement of both sides and the watching crowd of 3753, the referee gave a goal kick.

Macclesfield were becoming a physical side and despite a series of free-kicks being given for holding or climbing, the referee seemed reluctant to get the yellow card out again for persistent fouling against the Macclesfield defence. Had he done so, maybe the course of the game would have changed with the visitors less likely to keep continuing to make these tactics.

Steve Watkin saw his shot on target saved by Martin with what seemed a tame effort compared to the space and position that he enjoyed at the time. Swansea started at this point playing into Macclesfield’s hands with a series of long and high balls that rarely troubled the defence who were taller and stronger in the air than Swansea’s front two.

Despite more possession, Macclesfield should have gone ahead just before half time when Glover scooped over from just in front of goal when it looked easier to score and the sides headed into the interval locked at 0-0 with that looking the more likely result at this stage.

Addison responded by sending on Damien Lacey for Williams at half-time and moving Cusack up front to partner Watkin with Lacey in midfield with Coates.

However, it was Macclesfield who took the lead after 51 minutes as Freestone appeared caught in no-man’s land as the cross came in from the right and it was Byrne who looped a header up and over him into the empty net to give the Silk Men a possibly undeserved lead.

A series of Macclesfield attacks followed but Roger was rarely troubled and the next chance of the game fell to Sharp who headed a Mumford free-kick wide of the post when presented with a free header.

Addison sent on Ryan Casey and Gareth Phillips in place of Coates and Howard and moved Sharp upfield as a third striker as they tried to get the equaliser that they so desperately needed.

It was my MOTM, Nick Cusack who came the closest to that equaliser as he fired one shot from the edge of the area low into the corner which was well saved by Martin and as the ball came back to the Swansea captain he hit the next one towards the top corner only to see it come agonisingly back off the bar and away to safety.

At this point you just suspected that Swansea were not going to score and it was with some disbelief that Ryan Casey was scathed down at the end of the game and yet again the referee decided fit not to produce a yellow card which just about summed up his ineffectiveness on the day.

A disappointing Swansea display today and one that must be improved on on Tuesday night at Bristol Rovers if we are to continue moving up the league table.

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