Swans Pay The Penalty….

Monday, 25 February 2008, 22:25
2 mins read

It was though heartbreak for Scotland as he missed the only penalty in the shoot out to see the Swans beaten 5-4 in that part of the night’s proceedings and send MK Dons to Wembley where they will meet the winners of the Northern Final – Morecambe or Grimsby.

Whilst many may argue that the Swans have bigger fish to fry there was little doubt that the players wanted to have their afternoon at Wembley – maybe more so with the league seemingly so much under control with that huge fourteen point advantage.    Andy Robinson, Garry Monk, Angel Rangel and Darryl Duffy were all on target from the penalty spot but it was Scotland who saw his effort saved low down to Willy Gueret’s left.

It came after an entertaining match that saw MK Dons dominate for large periods but the Swans have plenty of goal chances of their own as they fought to overcome the one goal deficit that they travelled with.   As expected both Ferrie Bodde and Leon Britton missed the game through injury but barring that it was just about full strength for the Swans with Darren Way falling in alongside Darren Pratley in the centre of midfield as Roberto returned to a 4-4-2 formation.

Doris

Rangel     Tate     Monk     Painter

Butler     Pratley     Way     Butler

Scotland     Brandy

Mk Dons made most of the early running in a first half that had few serious goalscoring opportunities although Garry Monk was called on on more than one occasion for a desperate block to keep the scoreline blank whilst at the other end Tom Butler seemed intent on keeping up his good form of late with good supporting roles from Robinson and Brandy in particular.   However, one of our strongest areas this season – central midfield – was giving the ball away cheaply and for long periods of the game Darren Way appeared to be conspicuous by his absence for long periods of the game.

However, it was from a good move down the left that the Swans took the lead midway through the first half.   Robinson played a one two with Scotland and moved into the area where he was blatantly tripped and Andy D’Urso had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.  Jason Scotland struck the penalty with some ease past Willy and the Swans had cancelled out Johnson’s goal from six days previous to haul themselves back level.   If the fans thought that would be a spur to kick start their performance they were wrong with the Dons probably the better side for the remainder of the first half without ever looking as if they were ready to even things up on the night.

Kevin Austin was on early in place of the injured Marcos Painter but that was the only change in the first forty five minutes as the two sides went in with the Swans a goal up on the night but with the two teams locked together on aggregate.

The second half was possibly a more open affair with both sides having periods of dominance and chances to seal their fate in normal time.  Kevin Gallen wasted easily the best chance that the Dons had when he pulled a free header wide whilst Shaun Macdonald – on for Butler – missed probably the Swans best chance when he fired well over when free from a corner.  Jason Scotland also amazingly chose not to shoot when racing clear in stoppage time and the game ended with the penalty shoot out many had predicted – sadly it also ended the way many predicted it would do.

This was never high priority for the Swans this season but the disappointment is there that we have gone out so close to a day out at Wembley but the good news is we shouldn’t be back next season to compete in the competition and we can now get on with the real business at hand which is turning that fourteen point advantage into a league one championship trophy.  And if all goes to plan then that could even be before MK Dons take their place at Wembley on March 30.

Disappointing but we all knew it was the sideshow to this season.  Didn’t we?

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