Bristol R 2 Swansea 0

Saturday, 23 April 2005, 0:00
4 mins read

KENNY JACKETT did a good job of hiding his frustration after he saw Swansea’s automatic promotion bid stall badly across the Severn Bridge.

The Swans surrendered a vital three points to Bristol Rovers in their promotion chase and saw midfielder Andy Robinson sent off for a head-butt towards the end of the first half of a bad-tempered clash.

It was Robinson’s second red card of the season for the same offence but he can count himself unlucky after Rovers’ midfielder Ryan Williams made a meal of an innocuous clash.

Swansea now cannot afford a slip as the promotion race goes down to the wire and the dream of playing in Division One at the new Morfa Stadium is right in the melting pot.

Jackett put a brave face on following his side’s display and admitted the Swans now need to win the last two games of the campaign against Shrewsbury and Bury to clinch automatic promotion.

But the Vetch supremo admitted he will be taking a long hard look at what action to take against Robinson, who will miss the rest of the season.

“I thought it was a harsh decision,” said Jackett. “I have had a look at it again and I don’t think either player followed through with their heads.

“It was one of those incidents when both of them could have gone or neither of them. But I am disappointed with Andy. They were eyeball-to-eyeball but nobody followed through with their head.

“Andy didn’t need to do that, he has come from a long way to get to the player and he has to learn not to put himself in that situation.

“He feels harshly done by and says he didn’t follow through and he is really upset by it. I am just disappointed with him and people will target him. They know they can wind him up and he is the only one who can break that cycle.”

BRISTOL R

Clarke
Anderson
Bass
Edwards
Elliott
Hunt
Ryan
Savage
Williams
Agogo
Walker

SWANSEA

Gueret
Austin
Iriekpen
Monk
Ricketts
Martinez
O’Leary
Forbes
Robinson
Thorpe
Trundle

REFEREE

M Cowburn

ATTENDANCE

7,433

Jackett’s opposite number Ian Atkins claimed he hadn’t witnessed the clash between Robinson and Williams

“I didn’t see it,” he said. “My head was turned at the time so I cannot comment on it. Until I see the incident, I won’t comment.”

But Atkins still believes Jackett’s side are good enough for promotion from the division and what’s more, he personally wants to see them move up a level.

“Swansea can still go up,” said Atkins. “But we are a difficult side when we are in that kind of mood. On our day we can beat anybody.

Goals

“They are still a good side and I would love them to go up just to see them out of the way.

“They have a new stadium and I wish them well. I hope they get in the top three.”

For Atkins, this victory was sweet revenge following the first meeting between the sides when a disputed penalty, which had to be taken twice, was the difference at the Vetch back in November.

Rovers really bullied the Swans and tore into them from the first whistle and didn’t let them settle for a moment.

And that aggressive style knocked the visitors off their stride. The Swans never came to terms with it and before they knew where they were, Jackett’s men were 2-0 down and a man down at half-time.

Bristol R
Walker 14
Agogo 26
Swansea
None
Booked
Bristol R
None
Swansea
Thorpe 42
Connor 68
Sent Off
Bristol R
Hunt 89
Swansea
Robinson 45

Goalkeeper Willy Gueret was at the centre of a defensive mix-up after he failed to clear his lines and only a poor finish by Rovers’ striker Agogo saved his blushes.

That seemed to give the home side the impetus they needed. They started to win the 50-50 challenges and the Swans appeared happy to let them.

But when it came, Rovers’ opening goal was a comedy of errors with the visitors unable to clear their lines twice. The second clearance by Lee Thorpe sliced into the path of Richard Walker who made no mistake from short range.

The Swans were 1-0 down and only had themselves to blame and ten minutes later they were on the wrong end of 2-0 when the impressive Agogo headed Rovers further ahead from a John Bath cross from the right. Rovers had decided that they could rough up the Swansea side and the game then exploded into life with referee Mark Cowburn’s decision to send off Robinson for a head-butt on Rovers’ debutant Williams on 44 minutes.

Robinson certainly made a movement with his head but Williams made a right meal of it and it looked like the referee had fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book.

But the Swans were in dire straights and were still fuming at the half-time whistle, with Williams jostled as he headed to the dressing room for the break.

Jackett altered things for the second half and the Swans did pose more of a threat than they had in the first half.

The introduction of Paul Connor off the bench gave Lee Trundle, who had a quiet game by his standards, a foil in attack. Connor’s first act after joining the action was to get booked for a foot-high challenge on Rovers’ skipper James Hunt in another incident that threatened to boil over. Izzy Iriekpen did produce one chance of note for the visitors when his powerful header was pushed on to the bar by Rovers’ keeper Ryan Clarke.

And Connor should have done better after he combined well with Trundle on the edge of the area but his shot flew past the Rovers’ left-hand post. The home side soaked up the pressure as the Swans went searching for a goal but saw skipper Hunt sent off for a petulant kick at Iriekpen in the dying moment. However, this was a game Jackett would rather forget and he knows his sides need two wins out of two to avoid the play-offs.

REPORT: WALES ON SUNDAY

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SHREWSBURY (HOME)
SATURDAY APRIL 30 2005, KICK OFF 3.00pm
Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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