Darlington -The Fans View

Wednesday, 14 August 2002, 0:00
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Home > Story Index >Darlington 2 Swansea 2 – The Fan’s Views

Match Report by Andy Donaghue

A game of contrasting styles provided the Swans with a well deserved point. The early exchanges didn’t look to good with the agile Conlon and the pacey Matt Clark pushing the swans rear guard to the limit only the pace of Terry Evans kept the scores level. The first real chance fell to James Thomas when a looping header from a David Smith cross crashed against the crossbar which was followed by a Jamie Wood effort which just missed the post.Darlo’s predictable route one football still stretched the Swans defence and long range efforts from Wainwright, Betts and Madison all went close.

The second half opened up with the play switching end to end. Conlon and Clark were a continued threat but it was the Swans who broke the deadlock on the hour when David Smith right footed a curling shot into the corner from a failed clearance. Darlo responded well and a Conlon flicked header sent the unmarked Clark away to beat Freestone at the far post. The Swans fans, around 130, looked on as the home side continued to pressure and resulting a corner provided Darlo’s Liddel with a diving header past the unsighted (again) Freestone after Liddel had lost his marker. By this time Cusack had replaced Wood with Williams and in a attempt to salvage the game switched to 4-3-3 with Sharp replacing the run ragged Jason Smith and Watkin for Paul Reid. This saw a transformation with Watkin being able to hold the ball up by bringing Williams and Thomas into the game and Darlington started to defend deeper to preserve their lead. Rundle could have sealed the win for Darlo after a breakaway which saw his 25yrd goalbound shot tipped over by Freestone. The Swans pressured to the final whistle when Williams sent in a curling far post cross and Watkin headed past the stranded Porter.

We do appear to be struggling with these big forwards, Lowe on Saturday and Conlon tonight but there is a pattern of play which can retain the ball and with the different combinations of strikers available we can also change our style to combat the opposition. Ihave to praise Cusack’s tactics/subsitutions, like a Swans fan said next to me, what would have a previous manager have done from a few season’s back?……………….probably nothing!!!

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