Boston – The Fan’s Views

Thursday, 19 September 2002, 0:00
3 mins read

Home > Story Index >Boston United 1 Swansea 0 – The Fan’s Views

Match Report by Peter Charles

There is little to report from the match. All the action surrounded the managerial coup, which unfolded before our eyes, starting with the appearance of Brian Flynn and Kevin Reeves in the car park about an hour before kick off – which seemed to confirm the rumours of the imminent take-over. This was further confirmed before the game by Nick Cusack himself, who informed us that the new partnership would be taking over in the morning, and that his and Alan’s futures were very much in the balance. Indeed, he seemed doubtful that his services would be retained, even as a player. I do hope he is wrong.

The whole business generated an expected warm response for Cusack and Curt from 250 or so Jacks who gathered in this Lincolnshire outpost tonight. Both were applauded before the game, and at the conclusion, Cusack was beckoned over to join the fans in a commiseratory hug, and was unanimously cheered off the field by the travelling faithful. One or two of the other players mistook this as being for themselves, and also trotted over to applaud the departing crowd. Kris O’Leary must have been very confused by the ovation.

The situation also brought a rather unreal feel to the game itself. Rather than being fired up to impress the new manager, the entire Swans team (Cusack apart) played as though the wheels had come off…which is not far from the truth. The first half performance was completely devoid of passion, commitment and flair, and there seemed to be no particular pattern to our play, other than to get as many men behind the ball as possible. A 5 – 3 – 2 formation had the effect of stiffening the defence a little, but this was against one of the weakest attacks we are likely to face.

For the record, we lined up with Cusack, O’Leary and Theobold as centre backs, Howard and Evans as wing backs, Reid, Murphy and Lacey in midfield, with Wood and Thomas up front. Good old Rog was between the sticks, but even he seemed out of sorts, and will not have been pleased with his near post lapse of concentration which allowed Weatherstone to sneak a first half goal which was the only event to speak of during the entire 45 minutes. Frankly, our display was shocking – we did not fashion a single chance, and our only strike on goal was a weak late effort from Evans. Only a couple of scrambled clearances in our box prevented the damage from being worse.

The opening to the second half was a little better, at least there seemed to be a bit more drive and energy about the team. And this brought a couple of early chances for the Swans, with Murphy curling one effort just wide, and Thomas missing our best chance of the game on 52 minutes, heading wide after some excellent approach work from Lacey. In between, Boston nearly doubled their lead when a close range effort was fired wide. And it wasn’t long before the journeymen of the home team re-established their routine domination of possession.

The Swans tried to force their way back into the game with a double substitution – Reid and Murphy giving way to Jenkins and Moss – and this did generate a little pressure, but with no clear cut chances created. Then when Jamie Wood was red carded for what looked like a clear elbowing incident (pity his name isn’t Beckham) this pretty much ended our attempted recovery. The home side should have double their lead on 70 minutes when a clear penalty was won, but Roger redeemed his earlier error with a good save. Late in the game, Thomas produced his only real moment of flair when he skipped past a couple of defenders before rifling a shot straight at the keeper, but this was far too little too late. We managed to pick up a couple more bookings along the way – Reid and Phillips – to round off a performance which most observers agreed was pretty much the worst they had seen from a Swans side.

In short, we looked like a team lacking in belief. We had no penetrative ability up front, there is no pace in the team, there are no wide players who can beat a player and cross the ball, there are no creative influences in midfield, and the defence is operating in panic mode. This really looks desperate, and Brian Flynn will need all the luck he can get. Can I finish on a positive? Only that the managerial changes are being made early enough in the season to give us a chance to pull out of it. It is only September after all! Oh, and the fish and chips were excellent!

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