Elsewhere – 7th March

Friday, 7 March 2003, 0:00
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Teamtalk
Swansea boss Brian Flynn has ruled out Lenny Johnrose, Kieron Durkan and Terry Evans for the trip to Torquay. Midfielder Johnrose (calf) and winger Durkan (Achilles) are still struggling with their injuries, while defender Evans remains out after aggravating a knee problem. But tough-tackling midfielder Kristian O’Leary should be okay despite suffering a dead leg during the goalless draw against Boston. Flynn has been boosted by the news that defender Leon Hylton has extended his contract with the Swans to a second month. Keeper Roger Freestone is still two or three weeks away from returning from a back injury.
South Devon Herald Express
Torquay United boss Leroy Rosenior faces some of his toughest selection posers of the season before he sends his side out against lowly Swansea City at Plainmoor tomorrow (3pm) – and it’s definitely not because he has an embarrassment of riches. Down to his last 15 fit pros, Rosenior must still decide whether to change the 4-5-1 system which grittily earned that vital 1-0 win at Cambridge last weekend. Local boy Matt Hockley is favourite to take over from the suspended Lee Canoville at right-back, and loan signing Craig Taylor from Plymouth Argyle will make his home debut after an impressive first appearance at centre-back seven days ago. But United will be without midfielder Jason Fowler (hamstring) again. Although defender Steve Woods is back in training, he hasn’t played for seven weeks because of knee trouble, and Sean Hankin (ankle) and Paul Holmes (lack of match-fitness) are both still unavailable. Rosenior, who dropped both leading scorer David Graham and right-winger Tony Bedeau at the Abbey Stadium, is hinting strongly that he will revert to a more attacking formation tomorrow. “We’ve got to try and get the three points, and we won’t do that by being negative,” he said. “We will be playing the way we usually play at home.” That points to a return to Rosenior’s favoured 4-4-2 and, with Graham back in training after missing a day to rest his back earlier in the week, the spotlight is on United’s top striker. Rosenior made a point at Cambridge of saying how well Graham and Bedeau had responded to their omission, and the Scot in particular knows how much United’s promotion hopes could rest on him. Through a combination of suspension, injury and dip in form, he has scored only once since November 23. But one of his 14 goals this season was the winner when United beat Swansea 1-0 away back in September. Tomorrow is the first of two successive home games – promotion rivals Scunthorpe are here next Saturday – but Rosenior is not falling into the trap of seeing the Iron as tougher than the struggling Swans. He watched Swansea’s 0-0 draw with Boston on Tuesday night, describing them as “very direct, and solid and comfortable at the back”. He added pointedly: “The results of other clubs this week tell us again that you can’t take anything for granted in this division.” Bury (0-1 against Bristol Rovers) and Oxford (0-2 against Leyton Orient) both suffered shock home defeats against clubs they were expected to beat. It’s taken City manager Brian Flynn and his ex-Wrexham No.2 Kevin Reeves most of the winter to turn around a team which slumped to the bottom of the table and looked to be heading into oblivion at one stage. But only two defeats in nine games has geed them up, and their disappointment now is that, because all their rivals are fighting as hard as they are, they are still only a point off the drop-zone. At Vetch Field this week they couldn’t break down a Boston side reduced to ten men for the last half-hour and nine men for the last dozen minutes. “In the dressing-room after the game, it felt like we had lost,” said Flynn. But after the way nine-man Bury held out for a 1-1 draw at Plainmoor a month ago, United know how that feels. City are still without their talisman goalkeeper Roger Freestone because of a back injury, so Stoke’s Neil Cutler, one of six loan signings in the squad, will continue in his place. Another loanee, Blackburn’s Marc Richards, will miss out tomorrow because of suspension. But Flynn is in the process of extending Aston Villa full-back Leon Hylton’s loan for another month, and he has forward Lenny Johnrose and Kieron Durkan on the way back from injuries. Flynn has been pretty consistent with his team selection of late, not least up front where former Orient, Plymouth and Cardiff striker Kevin Nugent, 33, and the much-travelled John Williams, 34, form an experienced and, both 6ft 1in tall, physical duo. Elsewhere in Division Three, leaders Hartlepool take on Bury (4th) at Victoria Park tonight, while tomorrow United will keep an eye out for results from Wrexham-v-Rushden, Bournemouth- v-Darlington, Hull-v-Oxford, Southend-v-Lincoln and Scunthorpe-v-Macclesfield among others.
Soccernet
Torquay United’s influential midfielder Jason Fowler faces a late fitness test ahead of the home game against relegation-haunted Swansea City.

Fowler (hamstring) missed the 1-0 win at Cambridge and did not train at the start of the week.

Striker Martin Gritton has shrugged off a knock and is fit for selection, but top scorer David Graham (back) is another doubt.

On-loan Plymouth central defender Craig Taylor is set for his home debut after impressing at Cambridge.

Swansea boss Brian Flynn has ruled out Lenny Johnrose, Kieron Durkan and Terry Evans.

Midfielder Johnrose (calf) and winger Durkan (Achilles) are still struggling with their injuries, while defender Evans remains out after aggravating a knee problem.

But tough-tackling midfielder Kristian O’Leary should be OK despite suffering a dead leg during the goalless draw against Boston.

Flynn has been boosted by the news that defender Leon Hylton has extended his contract with the Swans to a second month.

Keeper Roger Freestone is still two or three weeks away from returning from a back injury.

Torquay v Swansea Division Three Comparison
Key: Torquay Swansea
Matches Played Table Position Points
34 9 52
35 21 33
Goal Differential Goals for Goals against
1 1.9 1.3
-19 0.8 2.0
Torquay Division Three Form
Last 10: W L L W D L W L D W
Last 5 home: L W D W W
Last 5 away: W L L L D
Swansea Division Three Form
Last 10: D D L W L W W D W L
Last 5 home: D D W W W
Last 5 away: L L W D L
Torquay Division Three Top Scorers
David Graham 14
Martin Gritton 10
Alex Russell 8
Tony Bedeau 5
Jason Fowler 4
Swansea Division Three Top Scorers
James Thomas 7
Marc Richards 3
Kevin Nugent 3
Jason Smith 3
David Moss 2
ic North Wales
They don’t all add up for Swansea

Mar 7 2003

By Mark Currie, Daily Post

SWANSEA City face possible disciplinary action from the Football League after naming six loan players in their 16-man squad for last Saturday’s Welsh derby against the Drag-ons, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Recently-introduced regulations allow no more than five loan signings per match but former Race-course boss, Brian Flynn, over-stepped the mark by introducing new goalkeeper, Neil Cutler, signed 24 hours before the game as replacement for Roger Freestone.

His other loan players were Leon Hylton, Alan Tate, Leon Britton and Marc Richards, who were all in the starting line-up, and Craig Stiens, who was on the bench.

Confirming that an inquiry was under way, Football League spokesman John Nagle said: “We have contacted Swansea and asked for their observations. Once they speak to us the metter will be discussed further.”

It is believed to be the first time that the rule has been breached and the outcome is unlikely to have any effect on Wrexham’s promotion bid. If found guilty Swansea will probably be fined, although a heftier punishment could be a deduction of points

Nationwide
Swans wait on loan probe

Swansea City are waiting on a Football League investigation after naming six loan players in their squad for the 0-0 draw with Wrexham.

League regulations allow for only five loan players in a matchday squad of 16, but the Swans are hopeful of avoiding serious punishment as the mistake was spotted by the club before kick-off.

Swans secretary Jackie Rockey told the club’s official website: “We did have six players named in the 16 last Saturday, but this was a genuine mistake which was picked up by the club ahead of the kick-off.

“The teamsheet had already been handed in to the referee so under League rules we were unable to amend the squad in any way, but Brian Flynn was made fully aware of the situation and knew that he could not call on Craig Stiens during the match.”

Flynn had already included Leon Britton, Neil Cutler, Leon Hylton, Marc Richards and Alan Tate in his starting eleven.

Rockey continued: “I informed the Football League of this error first thing on Monday morning to explain the circumstances fully, rather than waiting for them to highlight it themselves and they were grateful for this.

“They were unable to offer any guidance on the matter, as the situation is unprecedented due to the introduction of new rules this season.

“We hope that the Football League will accept our stance that we have not gained any sort of unfair advantage.”

Most of the South Wales Evening Post, Western Mail and Wales on Sunday articles are reproduced on Dai Smith’s site or the Message Board here on JackArmy.net.

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