Rochdale 2 Swansea 0

Saturday, 26 January 2002, 0:01
3 mins read

The start of what we hope will be a new era for Swansea City began today under the part ownership of the fans. After many years of saying ‘we’ or ‘ours’ when we talk about our team became true at Spotland.

After a journey, which started in heavy rain with thoughts that the game could be in doubt, the match was played in dry but blustery conditions. The away fans are allocated the mid section of the new stand, which runs the length of the pitch, a far cry from the poor terracing of previous visits. Watched by a 2800 crowd containing about 120 of us.

The team picks itself at the moment, the only absentee being Colin Addison who missed the game due to a stomach complaint. In what was a swirling wind, the Swans played the first half into it and were under constant pressure for the first 15mins due mainly to being unable to clear their lines and keep possession for more than three passes.

After seeing out this early pressure we did get more into the game, but until the half hour mark it was mostly played between the penalty areas although Brodie did cause some problems with late runs into the box. Both teams had chances to score but in the Swans case lack of composure and confidence limited the chances on goal, whereas Rochdale seemed more lively up front and were the more likely to score. With half time drawing near the chances of a 0-0 were blasted away by a volley by Oliver from the edge of the box passed Rog in a blink of an eye into the net.

This came about from poor marking from a throw in and not attacking the second ball after an initial clearance. With thoughts now of getting to half time and regrouping, we were dealt another blow when Sharp under no threat sliced a clearance over Rog and into the net.

We did nearly pull one back a couple of minutes before half time when a header was brilliantly tipped away by the Rochdale keeper when it was destined for the top corner. So half time came, and with us not having played well the scoreline was hard to take as Rochdale were not that good a side, which confirms what many have said about the standard of football in this division.

Peter Nicholas must have read the riot act as the players came out for the second half a good 5 mins early. Our expected early onslaught was brief and Rochdale took control and without at least 3 good saves by Rog, 2 from 1 on 1 we would have been buried. The fact that we were still in the game allowed 2 substitutions, the first saw Todd replace O’Leary after he had been booked and later Lacey replacing Mumford who had by then been moved into midfield.

We did have a short rally but it was based mostly on hopeful flicks and lobs. With about 10mins to go and the game dying on its feet there was a slight commotion at the back of the home stand behind the goal, after being shouted at, a medical team did attend, we hope it was not serious.

We have said that the standard in this division is poor but we would have had no complaints if we had been on the end of a more convincing scoreline and although Rochdale were the better team our poor display did make life very easy for them. Although some players put effort in, others have to look at their input and commitment as only Freestone Cusack and Brodie come away from this game with any credit.

The performance today was played by 11 individuals with no support play or movement off the ball and a to make things worse Rog seemed to be hobbling for most of the second half, which makes the saves he made even more remarkable.

On the journey home Peter Nicholas was interviewed on Radio Wales and implied that they had taken the current squad as far as they could and an influx of new blood is needed, and that within the next few days will be talking with the new owners in the hope that the transfer embargo can be lifted. His thoughts were echoed by people sitting around us today, as many had come to show their support but left totally frustrated by what they had seen.

There was also an interview with John Hollins, who was his usual confused self, but reading between the lines he is very bitter over his sacking, lets hope that this is not the next financial problem to bring the club to its knees. The roller coaster of emotion that is supporting the Swans continues, with both highs and lows over the last couple of days. Let’s hope that the events over the next few days allows us to see the other side of the team against Kidderminster next Saturday.

With all the disappointment of today, we will be there, lets fill the ground and have a belated New Year party… we all deserve it.

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