Swansea 0 Plymouth 1

Tuesday, 5 February 2002, 0:01
3 mins read

The Swans, as expected bought Mamady Sidibe back into the side at the expense of John Williams and Chris Todd was also recalled into defence leaving the formation looking like

Freestone

T Evans Mumford Todd Sharpe Howard

Coates Cusack

Brodie

Sidibe Watkin

Swansea went into the game on the back of four straight defeats and looking to pull themselves away from the foot of the table against the best that Division 3 is offering at the moment.

Plymouth started the better of the two teams as Swansea failed to get into any sort of shape in the first 15 minutes but the defence was looking strong as despite several attacks from Argyle, Roger’s goal was never threatened. As this first danger period passed, Swansea were slowly getting into the game and some neat passing and play from Jonathan Coates and Steve Watkin saw Sidibe have a couple of half chances, one being parried by the Plymouth keeper.

This saw the home team grow in confidence and they started to move the ball about well and an upset looked on the cards. Coates was playing one of his better games for the Swans but Plymouth seemed happy to let them pass in the midfield area but defend well from the 18 yard line back to their goal.

Swansea’s best chance of the first half fell to Terry Evans as he picked up a Sidibe knock on but his header was parried away by Larrieu in the Plymouth goal. And, as you always find with Swansea City, posession needs to be turned into goals or you get punished and so it proved five minutes before half-time. A corner from the right bobbled around in the Swansea area and despite having chances to clear it, they allowed Blair Sturridge to come in and blast the ball past Freestone to put the visitors ahead, much to the delight of the 400 or so away fans on the West Terrace.

And two minutes later it could have been worse as only a deliberate handball from Mumford stopped Mickey Evans running clear on goal and only the retreating Neil Sharp was enough to persuade the referee, rightly so, that a yellow card was the maximum punishment applicable.

The interval came with the Swans 1-0 down, but possibly slightly unfairly and there was a degree of hope that they could come back in the second half. They did start brightly after the break, and a series of corners caused some panic in the Argyle defence but we were unable to find a header or a shot on target with Plymouth invariably first to any kind of loose ball.

But the Swans continued to apply pressure with Sidibe looking dangerous at all times, and paid the compliment of two men on him for most of the second half. Brodie had a snap shot just wide of the upright and Sidibe saw a cross come shot roll agonisingly across the goal line and you began to wonder if this just was not to be our night.

Addison bought on Jenkins and Williams for Coates and Watkin and this led the game opened up dramatically in the last 20 minutes with Swansea pushing forward and leaving gaps at the back for Plymouth to try and expose. It was one of these counter attacks that should have bought Plymouth a second goal as Evans ran clear for a one on one with Roger but tried to take too many touches and his eventual shot was blocked by Roger’s dive.

Andy Mumford had a low drive blocked by Larrieu’s legs and Sharp hit the post with a header before Evans again broke clear and this time saw his shot fly high and wide.

Swansea’s night was summed up when a late clash of heads involving Nick Cusack saw the Swansea captain come off the worst and he headed down the tunnel presumably for a stitch or two as Damien Lacey came on to replace him.

By this point Plymouth were more than happy to settle for the win and two bookings for time wasting summed up their tactics at the end and sent the home crowd home frustrated.

A couple of things to think on tonight. Steve Watkin is an alleged striker but seems scared of the goal and wasted a couple of opportunities with this tactic. Praise tonight for, as ever Nick Cusack, Mamady Sidibe and Coates who did play very well in the first half (for Coatesie anyway!)

No win in seven for the Swans with just 4 goals scored makes worrying reading at the moment and things have to change soon. There is daylight between us and the bottom but that can soon change. Leyton Orient Saturday anyone?

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