Lincoln 1 Swansea 0

Saturday, 28 December 2002, 0:01
3 mins read

We can’t wait to the end of the report, so let’s do it at the start. Tonight we can all be proud to be Swans, the team put in a magnificent battling performance.

Ok now back to the normal format. Enforced changes saw Lacey & Jenkins in for Reid and Mumford and Stuart Jones replacing Evans. A £5 admission saw a crowd of 4553 including a surprising 150 Swans fans. Before lining up the team did a bonding huddle and did look determined from the off, and chased and closed Lincoln down at every opportunity.

In fact the first chance fell to us as a long ball over the top saw Richards chase and shoot from the edge of the area, but saved at the second attempt by Marriott.

Lincoln were playing pressure football and got the long ball forward at every attack. From one attack the ball fell inside the six yard box and as everyone froze Rog fell on the ball to be clattered by forwards and defenders alike, the ball being cleared and Rog needing treatment.

Lincoln continued the route one football, which for most of the time was repelled by a stout defence. Anything that did get to Rog were from long range and never threatened danger. Richards had a clear chance to put us ahead as Thomas battled into the area passed to the unmarked Richards who side footed the ball straight at Marriott.

Most of the action was played between the areas with neither goalkeeper being tested. As we neared half time a Swans attack was broken up with Thomas injured on the ground. Lincoln tried a counter attack only for Wood to clumsily challenge a Lincoln player far out on the half way line as he was in full flight. The usual ‘handbags’ took place as 2 to 3 Lincoln players got there first.

The result was a straight red with no bookings for the action of the Lincoln players. With Thomas still down receiving treatment the referee blew for the free kick to be taken before it was pointed out to him. The game had not been the slightest bit dirty, so the referee’s action seemed over the top when a yellow would have been justified. Half time saw us happy at it being 0-0 but more than happy with the performance by the team. Phillips replaced Thomas for the start of the second half. Due to the injury or tactics we don’t know.

The team continued to battle for every ball and kept Lincoln away from goal. There was a big scare on the hour when a volley from the edge of the box had Rog beaten but the post came to the rescue. The 10 men defended like lions not swans throwing everything into preserving the score line.

The pressure mounted, as we had no outlet, a further miss of the heartbeat saw a stretched shot go passed Rog only to clear the post. Evans replaced Lacey who received warm applause from the fans. Full time was nearing, as the luck that hits teams at the bottom duly arrived. A full-blooded volley rebounded off the post only to rebound again off O’Leary into the net. Very very cruel. At this point Flynn replaced Jenkins with Watkin. A strange decision as it had been Williams who had been warming up and who we believe should have replaced Richards with 20mins to go to increase our options .

The 3 minutes of added time ticked away with the Swans upping the tempo only to understandably see the opposite from Lincoln. The final whistle saw the team receive well-deserved applause from the travelling fans and the fans likewise from the players. Comments As with the Bristol Rovers game no individual scores as each player played with a ferocity that has been missing of late. Today they put their bodies on the line and deserved at least a draw.

With lady luck on our side for the chances in the first half, we could have taken all 3 points. All the negative aspects of our report after the Bristol Rovers game cannot be used today. Players doubled up, they played as a team, support play was there.

It was a joy to watch. The football was not pretty, but the commitment shown put some pride back. We have come away with another 1-0 defeat which does not help the league position, but the feelings we have are as far away as you can get from Boxing Day. Today we are proud of our team, the players must take heart from what was a ‘one for all and all for one’ battling display.

It might not save us in the long run, but that flame is burning a lot brighter tonight. As we have said no individual scores but we cannot end this report without mentioning two players. Howard and O’Leary have been the target of criticism over the last few games.

They both played their part in a magnificent rear guard action, with Howard also attacking well down the left putting across many telling crosses. They both deserve a bit of slack, they showed they are committed to the cause Nearly forgot.

Met yet another Exile today, Huw Bowen from Rugby who celebrated his birthday never seeing the Swans lose on his special day. Sorry forgot to wish you Happy Birthday. Finally one for the statisticians from Huw. Are we the first club in history to lose 3 league games in Lincolnshire? Scunthorpe, Boston and now Lincoln.

We must end again with thanks to the team, yes it was another defeat but there is a lot more pride tonight in Coventry when we say we support Swansea City. To the fans that have posted over the last 48hrs that they are walking away from the Vetch, please take our word, think again, after this performance the team deserves another chance.

We left the Vetch on Thursday to the musical sounds of ‘All or Nothing’ today was all definitely not nothing

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