Brandy Tonic Retains Swansea Lead

Saturday, 2 February 2008, 16:55
3 mins read

The Swans unbeaten run was extended to thirteen league games and the home record reads eight league wins from eight since Huddersfield were the last side to take maximum points off us back in November.

And whilst this wasn’t one of the fluent passing, clinical displays of recent weeks it showed a further strength to the team that Martinez has put together – a team that was also missing Paul Anderson and Darren Pratley.   This was a result that we ground out and we never let our head drop and eventually we got our reward and the three points that keeps the expanse of daylight between us and the chasing pack.

Indeed, you could claim that the Swans have stretched their advantage as they moved 12 points clear of the non automatic promotion places thanks to results elsewhere and more people will now believe it is a case of when this side wins promotion rather than if they do.  But let’s concentrate on the job in hand for now.

With Anderson and Pratley missing there was again a chance for youngster Joe Allen who lined up alongside Ferrie Bodde and Leon Britton in the centre of midfield as Roberto selected a side that looked like this

Doris

Rangel     Monk     Lawrence     Painter

Britton     Bodde     Allen

Butler     Scotland     Robinson

The first half was pretty much a non affair as the Swans battled to try and get something from a mean looking Oldham midfield who chased much down and, unusually for the Swans, we found ourselves second best in going for loose balls in the centre of the park.   Joe Allen appeared to be finding life difficult and was guilty on more than one occasion of giving away cheap possession but in fairness he was not alone as Oldham harried the Swans into mistakes and looked to form their own counter attacks from the scraps.

They were cheap scraps though and there was never really a serious threat on Doris’ goal although the side netting was moved once by a snap shot from an Oldham attacker but it was always the Swans who looked more likely to break the deadlock in a first half that was probably devoid of serious goalmouth chances.   Well, pretty much anyway.

The second half appeared to be taking a similar pattern when Roberto decided a change was due and Bauza replaced Allen to revert to a 4-4-2 formation.

Bauza’s impact was immediate and the Swans instantly looked more dangerous with Scotland not running a lone battle up front to try and retain possession.   Swansea had their best period of the match with some nice touches in midfield and some space finally opening up in the Oldham defence.  And it was from this space that they finally took the lead around halfway through the second half.   The ball was played through to Scotland who saw off pressure from the defender to be able to lay the ball across goal where MacDonald pushed it into his own net under pressure from Bauza.   The Swans were ahead and the sigh of relief around the Liberty was there for all to hear.

The lead though lasted less than ten minutes as Ferrie Bodde was deemed to have fouled Craig Davies in the box and the same man picked himself up and sent Doris the wrong way for the equaliser – Oldham’s first shot on target throughout the whole match?

Swansea could have taken the lead five minutes later when Scotland again played the ball across the box and Robinson looked all set to score but somehow the effort missed the goal and went wide.  Scotland stayed down and after brief treatment he was replaced by Brandy whose impact was more immediate than that of other substitute Bauza.   Robinson and Bauza combined on the left and the ball was worked through to Brandy whose shot appeared to maybe take a slight deflection (I may have made that up!) but found the back of the net with some power to give the Swans an advantage that they were never to relinquish.

This wasn’t, as was said at the start, the Swans at the best of their form but at the moment it appears that whatever form we have is good enough and, at the third time of asking, Roberto has a win in his first game since a managerial award.  And with a set now of winnable looking fixtures in February who is to say that he won’t have another one in 28 days time?

But for now, the Swans remain the clear leaders of the division and with games slowly running out for the chasing pack, the promise of second tier football for the first time in almost 25 years is coming nearer fruition.

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