Swansea 2 Torquay 2

Saturday, 20 April 2002, 0:00
3 mins read

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Swans boss Nick Cusack was forced into changes in his line-up with the injuries to both Ryan Casey and Leigh De-Vulgt and placed a starting line-up on the last day of the season as follows: –

Jones

Phillips Sharp O’Leary Howard

Brodie Cusack Mumford Coates

Watkin Williams

A reasonable sized crowd (compared to recent games) headed into the Vetch and those I spoke to before the game were certainly of the opinion that this was one season that they would be glad to see the back of – was it really two years since we were celebrating promotion from this division?
But it was a perfect start to the game as Swansea looked to bury the memories of last week’s 7-1 humiliation at Hartlepool. Andrew Mumford broke from midfield and placed a shot into the corner of the net inside the first minute and Swansea were off to a flyer. Mumford’s celebration showed clearly what this meant to him as he turned to take the accolades of the North Bank and Swansea looked to be going out on a high.
And within twenty minutes the score was 2-0. Mumford and Coates stood over a free kick on the corner of the Torquay box and as Coates put the ball into the area it was Kristian O’Leary who headed the ball into the net and thoughts were of one of those days when we turned it on. Swansea were well in command, 2-0 up and memories of that 6-0 against Brentford in a meaningless game at the end of last season came flooding back.
But as it turned out this was as good as Swansea got. The warning signs were there with Jason Jones forced into a good save soon after and then confusion between him and O’Leary almost let in Torquay again. This about summed up the afternoon for Jones who made several sharp saves but his positioning was suspect for most of the 90 minutes and this is why he seems certain to be someone heading for the exit door come the end of the season.
Torquay soon pulled a goal back through as Marcus Richardson took advantage of some confusion (again) in the Swansea defence and stabbed a shot under Jones into the net to throw the visitors a lifeline.
And from then on in it was Torquay’s game really to win. Swansea struggled to hold onto the ball, found it in the air too soon when they did get possession and once again we found players lacking when it really mattered. The problems that we have at the moment – and the ones that face Nick Cusack all too evident for the fans watching the game.
The only bright spot for Swansea was the fact that Torquay were no better than average and, as showed last week, a decent side would be ripping us apart. The lack of confidence in the defence in Jason Jones was all to evident in the second half and balls that you would expect Roger to come for had to be played out for corners or throw-ins, the offside trap was not played because of fear of getting it wrong and the ball all too often was coming straight back because of the numbers we were defending in.
But, as I said, Jones made good saves when called upon and credit must go for that but that is all I can give credit for on this performance. In truth we could have lost this game with another 7 goals against at times and it was no real surprise that Torquay snatched an equaliser when Bedeau headed over Jones who found himself caught between staying on his line or coming to meet the ball and Torquay were level. Chances continued to come and had they got a winner I would imagine you would find many excuses coming from the corner of Cusack who has a big rebuilding job ahead of him this summer.
Sponsors Man of the Match went to Mumford (if all else fails pick Mumford is the scenario these days) and Mumf did play well but I would go for one of Steve Watkin or Neil Sharp. Watkin was one of the few who held the ball up and tried to get it back on the floor and Sharp made some superb tackles at the back. If pushed, Sharp just about edged it for me.
One more note – hero worship for Sidibe? The bloke is average at best and one good trick near the corner flag does not warrant hero worship. Another classic case of luxuries that are not needed in the 3rd division and Sidibe was summed up for me when he fell over the ball in the first half (no contact he did literally fall over the ball) and stayed down for five minutes injured. Someone else I won’t shed too many tears over if we lose him in the summer.
That was the end of the 2001/2002 season and thank god that it is over at long last. 2002/2003 can only be better. Can’t it?

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