Swansea 0 Wrexham 0

Saturday, 1 March 2003, 0:00
7 mins read

Home >Story Index> Swansea 0 Wrexham 0

Phil Sumbler
Brian Flynn handed a debut (unsurprisingly!) to loan goalkeeper Neil Cutler as well as restoring Leon Hylton to the startling line-up at the expense of Michael Howard. Injured goalkeeper Roger Freestone elected to stay at home and listen to the match on Radio Wales which he tells me did his nerves no good whatsoever.
A heavy shower before the kick off made for a slippery surface at the Vetch and Swansea were put under early pressure when a run from Hector Sam saw Jason Smith clear for a corner. Sam stayed down under the challenge and it appeared to be a hamstring injury as he was stretechered off – his afternoon lasting just three minutes.
That though was Wrexham’s best opening in the first half hour as Swansea controlled the midfield and several breaks down the right saw John Williams put in some testing crosses. Andy Dibble in the Wrexham goal was less than commanding and Swansea had several corners none of which though managed to create a clear cut chance.
Indeed for all their possession Swansea were not creating anything by means of real goalscoring opportunity – a credit to the organisation shown by Wrexham in the back line. All too often they put in telling challenges to deflect the ball and managed to get a foot in on al least two occasions when Kevin Nugent looked all set to pull the trigger.
It was somewhat against the run of play that Wrexham had the best chance of the first half when Roberts (?) headed wide from a corner when gifted a free header by the Swansea defence.
Talk behind the centre stand at half time was one that we were certainly the better side but Wrexham surely would come at us second half. In short though, they didn’t with any more conviction then they did in the first half. Swansea were given plenty of possession but again were lacking in real chances for the same reason – the stout defending offered up by the Robins.
Smith had a similar header to Roberts in the first half and saw it wide and late substitute Thomas hit the post with most of the centre stand already celebrating a late winner for the Swans. Richards saw a shot beaten out by Dibble but this was just not our day.
Players that stood out for me today were Williams who played well – especially in the first half and Martinez and Mumford who worked tirelessly all afternoon. Britton was slightly quiet today but a chat with Phil Dillon at the Post confirmed that he looked the winner of the PFA player of the month – although the PFA do not announce this until the 4th March.
Neil Cutler stopped a couple of long range efforts well but in truth had little to do in the Swansea goal and 0-0 was a result that flattered Wrexham more than us. Results elsewhere see us slip one place down the table but we have to look on this as one point won rather than two dropped and a performance at the same level on Tuesday should see us take three points off Boston.
A good performance again at home – shame the result did not match what we really wanted.
Clive, Gareth and David Hughes
A happy St David’s day to all. The result didn’t quite cap the day, but a good performance overall. Wrexham came to the Vetch with one of the best away records in the league, so things weren’t going to be easy. The game was played in a mixture of heavy rain with a swirling wind and bright sunshine in fact just an ordinary football day in west Wales. A minutes silence was impeccable kept by the near 6,500 thousand crowd with slight noise from behind the North Bank which quickly stopped on the assumption that people realised that the show of respect had started.

Another debut in Neil Cutler and our 35 the player this season. Hylton replaced Howard and O’Leary replacing Evans. With the following line-up.

Cutler

O’Leary, Tate, Smith, Hylton.

Britton, Martinez, Mumford

Williams, Nugent, Richards.

A very hesitant start by both teams in driving rain saw Wrexham settle first and started to play some neat football with the Swans chasing shadows, things looked ominous, but to their credit the team pulled themselves into the game and Wrexhams dominance had lasted only 5 minutes. The longer the first half went on the team grew stronger and stronger but dangerous build ups floundered against a well organised Wrexham defence and also from players wanting one touch to many. Wrexham offered very little in attack but this may in part be due to Hector Sam only lasting a couple of minutes before being replaced after what looked like a hamstring injury. Both teams put effort into an entertaining first half with the Swans desperately looking for the goal their possession deserved but there was very little goalmouth action at either end. Cutler saw very little action, with Wrexham playing on the break whereas Dibble in the Wrexham goal had to be on his toes on more than one occasion, but never had to make a serious save. So half time came with, so near but yet so far. Yet another half time talk of would we be made to pay for not taking advantage of our dominance. Wrexham have always been recognised as a footballing team, but the first half also saw a few cynical challenges from behind, which were dealt very leniently by the referee.

Cutler came out during the half time interval for an early warm up.

Wrexham had the first chance of the second half, with Cutler pulling off a save from Jones but as in the first half the Swans soon got on top. Within 10 minutes of the restart Williams’ legs seemed to have gone in the strength sapping conditions. A shame as most of our attacks came his way. The first from a through pass into space from Nugent which saw him move in on goal from the corner of the area, but allowed a defender time to tackle when a much sharper response was needed. Constant Swans pressure saw a flurry of hopeful crosses and corners but again no end result. One attack did find Dibble pick up the ball on the penalty area line as two players came down on him. The fans were incensed as it did look as if it could well have been just outside the area. On the hour Richards had the ball in centre field and with Williams in acres of space hesitated in giving him the pass and the chance was gone. If anyone who saw the rugby last week, this incident ranks up with the try that never was, with the whole ground shouting for the pass. Richards did manage a snap shot on goal but within a minute saw replaced by Thomas, a very surprising substitution, as it was very clear to everyone that Williams had very little left to offer. Smith received a yellow for a debatable tackle from behind when he seemed to get the ball, but reflecting on what had been allowed by the referee in the first half was very harsh. Thomas seemed to have given us that much awaited goal when he raced clear on the left into the area sending a shot past Dibble towards the bottom right hand corner. With half the ground in the air shouting goal the ball rebounded off the post, hitting Carey and away for a corner. The Swans were now throwing everything at Wrexham but that elusive goal would not come. In the final seconds after 3 minutes of added time had been played we had a corner. Mumford ambled across to take it with the crowd shouting that the seconds were ticking away. The delivery met by a Smith header just past the post.

It was a very good team performance especially with many changes to the line-up.

Cutler had very little to do, but does seem an adequate replacement for Rog.

O’Leary had a very solid game at right back

Tate, a much better game of late. Very commanding, hardly put a foot wrong.

Smith again a solid performance

Hylton, seemed lost on many occasions and positioning let him down, but it was his first full game.

Martinez, not as influential of late, but did play an effectual holding role in front of the back four.

Britton, buzzed around but the conditions did not help his style of play.

Mumford, put in the effort but found the ball between his feet when more composure was needed.

Williams, effectual in the first half, but a spent force and a mere passenger in the second.

Nugent, battled well but overall a quiet game.

Richards, battled but didn’t have the killer touch to build on his 2 goals against Cambridge.

Thomas on for Richards very late on.

Against a team going for promotion/play-offs, a draw is a very creditable result especially with their strong away record. In reality it was a game of 2 points lost, as we should have come away with all 3. This is not to get downhearted as this was yet another performance that shows how far we have come from the team earlier in the season. This performance was far superior to what would be expected for a team in our league position. If only the goals would return, we would soon move to safety, as it is we can look forward with confidence but still looking over our shoulders.

With a crowd of just under 6,500, with around 300 from Wrexham, coupled with reduced prices again on Tuesday, lets hope for another bumper crowd giving excellent support as today with just the addition of goals in the six pointer against Boston.

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