Swansea 2 Macclesfield 0

Friday, 25 March 2005, 0:00
4 mins read

Four-three-three was a formation much lamented during the reign of Brian Flynn but tonight it was proved that a non lop sided version of the formation with the right people in the side can make a difference as Swansea turned on the style and made Macclesfield look distinctly ordinary at the Vetch tonight.

After a dismal two months of form, few who entered the Vetch tonight could have expected such an easy ride with Swansea in control pretty much from start to finish and leaving Macclesfield with ten men after the frustration got too much for Jon Parkin and he will face a three match ban into the bargain.

It was a slightly surprising line up for the Swans with Andy Robinson and Roberto Martinez both recalled to the starting line up and Lee Thorpe joining Connor and Trundle up front as the Swans looked for the win that they had to produce to keep touch with the leading pack.

Gueret

Gurney Iriekpen Monk Austin

Robinson Martinez O’Leary

Connor Thorpe Trundle

Subs: Murphy, Anderson, Britton, McLeod, Forbes

Macclesfield’s one and only decent chance came in the opening minutes when Tipton (?) could only shoot at Willy from close range but from that moment onwards it was one way traffic and, to any neutral watching, you would have sworn that the recent run of results was the opposite way.

Swansea’s three man midfield, although deep was penetrative and with Robinson back in his preferred position of central midfield was becoming more and more of a threat as he combined with a forward line that was having much aerial success through Thorpe added to the creation of Trundle and the work rate of Connor.

Despite their superiority, the Swans were the victims of some strange refereeing decisions and before they took the lead Izzy was already in the book for a nothing challenge and O’Leary and Connor were soon to follow for seemingly winning the ball.

But that was a side issue as the Vetch came to life on 25 minutes when Thorpe towered above the Macclesfield defence to head home an Andy Robinson free kick from the right – awarded for a foul on Trundle. This was a set piece well rehearsed and delivered with pace rather than the floated version we have seen too often. A pace delivery means just having to meet the ball and Thorpe managed it with perfection for his first Swans goal at the Vetch.

Robinson was the creator again seven minutes later as his inch perfect through ball split the Macclesfield defence and Connor just beat Trundle to the ball and lifted it over the advancing keeper to double the Swans advantage and put a scoreline on the board that couldn’t have been expected half hour before.

From here on in, the script would usually say we sit back and defend but tonight it went out of the window as the Swans went for it, knowing they had their opposition beat.

SWANSEA

Gueret
Austin
Gurney
Iriekpen
Monk
O’Leary
Martinez
Robinson
Thorpe
Connor
Trundle

MACCLESFIELD

Fettis
Barras
Carragher
Morley
Welch
Harsley
McKenzie
McIntyre
Potter
Parkin
Tipton

REFEREE

A Marriner

ATTENDANCE

9,809

The frustration was showing in the Macclesfield side and it was Parkin who was already feeling it most and he was booked just before the interval for a late challenge on the impressive Roberto Martinez who, after much criticism, it has to be said was delivering one of the performances he used to with regularity. Let’s hope that continues for a long time.

Parkin and Tipton were getting no change from a Swansea defence that was led by Izzy who was a tower at the back all night and between him and Monk there was nothing but crumbs for the forward two.

Goals

A double change from the visitors at the break but it made little difference as they came under more pressure from Swansea attacks with the pattern for the second half set within 20 seconds when Robinson fired low at the goalkeeper.

Connor could, and should have made it three when he broke clear but as he placed his shot past the keeper he also saw it evading the post as the Swans looked for the goal that would kill the game completely.

Gurney, Robinson, Trundle, Thorpe and Connor all rained shots on the Macclesfield goal as the game went on and with the Swans midfield pretty much in control of everything, Willy was finding himself more and more of a spectator as the game wore on.

Both Potter and Robinson found themselves needlessly in the referee’s book for dissent – Robinson only after complaints from Macclesfield which seemed a bit odd.

Swansea
Thorpe 25
Connor 32
Macclesfield
None
Card Count
Booked
Swansea
Iriekpen 17
Connor 26
O’Leary 29
Robinson 63
Forbes 83
Macclesfield
Parkin 45
Potter 60
Sent Off
Swansea
None
Macclesfield
Parkin 81

Up front, Parkin was boiling more and more as he was penalised for a few offsides and it was no surprise when he finally cracked. Losing out on the ball to both Martinez and Izzy, he found himself tangled with Izzy on the floor with both players looking to get back to their feet. As Izzy rose, Parkin swung a boot and connected leaving little option but to see the referee presenting the red card and damaging his side’s promotion prospects into the bargain. It was a rash decision by the striker and one he may regret in the run in but really this was there to be seen early on and maybe Horton should have reacted to it as well?

Trundle came off to a standing ovation to be replaced by Forbes whose first action should have been his last as he challenged late on the goalkeeper but the inconsistency of the referee left it at just a yellow card when few would have complained if it had been red.

O’Leary was next for the standing ovation as he was replaced by Anderson and Swansea finished the 90 minutes plus the four of stoppage time on the offensive for what ended up a very comfortable three points.

Very very hard to single out an individual today from the performance. Willy was a spectator as the four in front of him were in so much control whilst the midfield three were simply awesome both as a unit and individually. Martinez as mentioned earlier was back to his best, Robinson was a constant thorn in the side of Macclesfield and O’Leary just wins almost anything in the tackle these days. Thorpe was superb in the air and assisted much in the attacking play as did Connor and Trundle. I will single out Robinson for the two assists on the night and also a sharp lesson to Kenny that here we have a central midfielder and when he is there, a damned good one as well.

This was the first of eight cup finals between now and May 7, quite simple if we produce the same again seven times then we will go up automatically. Simple message to the team for Monday and it’s same again. We showed tonight that we are capable of it, what we need to do now is to show that it wasn’t a flash in the pan.

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NEXT UP FOR THE SWANS

CHELTENHAM (AWAY)
MONDAY MARCH 28 2005, KICK OFF 3pm
Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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