Swansea 2 Mansfield 0

Saturday, 16 March 2002, 0:00
3 mins read

Home >Story Index> Swansea 2 Mansfield 0

Caretaker managers Nick Cusack and Roger Freestone were forced into two changes from the side that started last week against Carlisle. Out through injury went both Neil Sharp and Mamady Sidibe with Steve Brodie and Ryan Casey coming into the starting line-up.

Freestone

Phillips Todd O’Leary Howard

Brodie Mumford Coates Casey

Watkin Williams

Another disappointing home crowd enjoyed some rare Swansea sunshine against a team that arrived looking to strengthen their promotion chances as they seemingly battle out with Cheltenham for the last remaining promotion place.
As seems to be the norm at the moment at the Vetch, the first 25 minutes passed without any great action from either side with much of the game played in the middle third with neither side able to take a grip on the game and take it to the opposition.
Swansea were not really troubled by Mansfield and looked comfortable on the ball without ever proving dangerous until the 28th minute when Ryan Casey drove a low shot from about 20 yards out which was saved by Pilkington in the visitors goal. In an almost carbon copy incident then to Fabien Barthez a couple of weeks back, Pilkington fumbled the ball and Watkin was quick to pounce. As he tried to move the ball away from the keeper, Pilkington stuck out an arm and bought him down and the referee moving into the area pointed to the spot. On another day and another referee we could easily have seen a free-kick given to Mansfield but this was Swansea’s day and, once the penalty decision had been given, there was little option but for the red card to be produced and Mansfield were down to ten men.
A couple of minutes elapsed as Mansfield produced their substitute keeper, Michael Bingham and his first job was to pick the ball out of the back of the net as Watkin placed the penalty past him.
Swansea did seem to step up a gear for a couple of minutes after this and Williams was unlucky not to double the Swans lead, Bingham parrying his effort after the front man had broken clear of the stags defence.
There was talk at half time that Swansea could have found themselves 2 or 3 goals to the good but when you look back on reflection a half time lead of 1-0 was about right for the balance of play.
Again, the pattern of recent games was reflected in the second half play with much more openess on the pitch and many chances to add to the scoreline. Swansea, to their credit did not sit back on the lead, a trait certainly of the Hollins era and to a degree of the Addison era and seemed prepared to move the ball around and during the later stages able to capitalise as Mansfield pushed men forward to try and get back on level terms.
Mansfield should indeed have got themselves on level terms when Reddington blasted over when unmarked from six yards out and again you started to believe that this would be our day whatever. Swansea in turn came close from Casey, Mumford and Williams as they looked to put a seal on this performance with a second goal. Some of the football from the home side in the second half was of top quality and there was a visible will to win from the players on the pitch.
Mickey Howard departed during the second half to be replaced by David Romo with Ryan Casey dropping back to midfield and it was Romo who scored Swansea’s second, and decisive goal. Another break which resulted from a Mansfield attack that broke down saw Williams gain the ball on the right hand side of the Mansfield area as he looked to break the ball broke loose to Romo on the edge of the area and he blasted a shot into the corner of the net much to his delight and that of the Swansea faithful.
This was probably what Swansea deserved and they played out the rest of the game without any trouble from a promotion chasing side that looked considerably deflated at this moment in time. As the referee called a halt to the game, several Swansea players punched the air in delight and this was a game that we did deserve to win and were rarely troubled by Mansfield.
Very hard to pick one man of the match performance (certainly from the TV Lounge in the corner of the East Stand) from what I saw there were several good performances and note must go to John Williams and Steve Watkin who played very well as a pairing up front.
If this was Nick and Roger putting together a CV it was not a bad addition to it and may we have more of the same in the weeks to come.

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