Swansea 2 Kidderminster 1

Tuesday, 12 February 2002, 0:01
3 mins read

Colin Addison made two changes to the line up against Orient on Saturday – one tactical and one forced on him. Lee Jenkins came in for the unfortunate Terry Evans and Gareth Phillips came in for Steve Watkin. Phillips slotted into the midfield berth while Brodie moved into the attack alongside Mamady Sidibe.

Freestone

Todd Mumford Sharp

Jenkins Phillips Cusack Coates Howard

Brodie Sidibe

This game was to prove one of those that very much was a game of two halves. Swansea started brightly enough but always looked troubled by a Kidderminster side that threatened several times to break the Swansea offside trap during the first half.

Despite the extra man in midfield compared to recent games, Swansea struggled to control the midfield at all and generally they could be described as everywhere, bar of course where they should have been! Confusing were the mixed shouts for Richie Appleby, some seemed hell bent on welcoming him back to the Vetch, others were more accurately remembering what a waste of a talent he was while he was here.

Swansea’s first half chances were initially limited to long range efforts although Coates’ early strike was deflected and tipped round the post while Gareth Phillips crisply struck shot was off target.

Kidderminster though were threatening and Swansea’s back line looked anything but safe as the visitors looked to thread through the ball to break down the last line. And it was Richie Appleby that was to find the killer ball after 20 minues as he sent Henrikson through to slot the ball past Freestone into the bottom corner of the net to send Harriers into a 1-0 lead.

Swansea looked a ragged side at this moment and several Kidderminster attacks followed but rarely was Roger’s goal threatened as the final ball from Molby’s side was often lacking. And because of this, Swansea were allowed back into the game when truly it was Kidderminster’s for the taking.

The equaliser though was to come from the unlikeliest source as a long ball picked out Howard on the left of the penalty area and his header back across was powered into the net by Chris Todd advancing into the area. Todd’s delight at his goal was evident and his team mates gave him all the accolations that he deserved for a finish that any striker would have been proud of.

Instead of building on this, Swansea seemed to sit back as the half time interval approached and could have easily found themselves two goals adrift at the break. First, a ball broke the offside trap again and as Roger advanced from his goal, the attacking player (don’t know who!) took the ball round him. With credit to Roger he realised he was beaten and let the attacker go but fortunately he had pushed the ball too far wide and the danger passed as Swansea covered their lines.

And less than five minutes later, Kidderminster were faced with a better opportunity as a slip by Mumford let in three Kidderminster attackers with only Todd defending but strangely the Kidderminster man with the ball wanted to pass it and a brave challenge by Todd cleared the danger.

Addison was clearly not happy with his formation first half and bought Watkin on at half time to replace Coates, moving Brodie back into midfield and it paid dividends for the Swansea manager. Straight away it was evident that the forward balls that first half had no target had one in Watkin and he was an able man to hold the ball up and let his team mates join the attack.

This seemed to kill the effect of the Kidderminster counter attack as the ball was not coming back towards the Swansea goal as quick and the game soon became more even.

Shots on target though were few and far between as it looked more and more likely that one more goal would have proved the difference between the two teams and the home crowd, albeit small, were very hopeful that it was the home side that were to end their depressing run.

And, as with the first goal, the winner came from an unlikely source. A ball into the area was hit goalbound by Chris Todd but Neil Sharp, standing in front of the goalkeeper flicked it past him to put the Swans ahead and subject the North Bank to the sight of Sharp’s torso.

This proved to be the end for Kidderminster as they pushed forward at times to no avail and Swansea looked more than capable of keeping out anything that was thrown at them.

Despite the three minutes of added on time, Swansea held out for the win, their first in the league of 2002 and moved themselves 10 points clear of the bottom of the league.

The sponsors this week gave their man of the match award to Chris Todd and in fairness it is hard to disagree with them. The substitution of Watkin for Coates at half time changed the pattern of the game and although we possibly didn’t play as well as in recent games, this time the ball ran for us and the three points were well deserved.

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

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