Dimi became an instant hero on his Swans debut when he kept out Paul Heffernan’s spot kick with just five minutes to go – the penalty given for an alleged foul by Darren Pratley who was voiceful in his protests at the award.
It capped the end of an impressive start to his Swans career for the on loan Coventry goalkeeper who commanded his area with some ease and dealt with everything that Doncaster could throw at us.
In truth this was a poor Swansea performance. They never really got out of the blocks bar having the best of the opening twenty minutes or so. All too often the passes went astray and possession was conceded too cheaply which led to Doncaster attacks and in the end you almost sensed that the Swans were happy to leave the Keepmoat with a point under their belts.
It was a contrast of a performance to that of Tuesday night where the Swans took the game to the league leaders with some style and were unfortunate to lose but you will always get days where what you want to achieve doesn’t quite come off. They always maintain that the sign of a good side is one that gets points/wins when they don’t play well. Today we got the point and we know from what we have seen this season that we are a good team.
Roberto’s only change to the side that started against Wolves was that of Dimi for Krysiak leaving the Swans to line up as follows
Rangel Monk Williams Bessone
Gomez Britton Bodde Pratley Gower
As mentioned earlier, the Swans had the better of the early exchanges and forced three corners in the opening five minutes or so. At this point it looked as if they may have just been ready to carry on from where they left off on Tuesday night. Rangel almost opened the scoring soon after as he burst through from his own half, played just a quick one-two and burst into the area but his shot went agonisingly wide.
Leon Britton also went close when his shot went just wide into the side netting during a first half where the Swans tried to apply some pressure but as the game went on it was the defence that was called into action more and more. Not helped by the midfield uncharacteristically giving the ball away cheaply and the sight of Ferrie Bodde and Leon Britton both having an off day in the same game will not be something you will say too often this season – if indeed you say it again.
Half time came and went and you just felt that somehow Roberto would get the extra out of the side that would be needed to get the goal that the Swans would desire but it was not too be. The second half took a pattern that was all too familiar in the first half. Doncaster were gaining in confidence and caused some concern in the Swans defence who again on too many occasions failed to clear their lines in the way that was needed.
As the game wore on, Roberto started to ring the changes. Bussy stripped and waited ten minutes to replace Britton whilst Pintado came on later for Scotland as the Swans hoped to make the change. Bussy had a late shot tipped over by Sullivan but that was as close as either came to making an impact although I did think that Bussy’s movement worried Doncaster more than Scotland had managed.
The penalty itself seemed on first glance to be harsh and for nothing in particular when the referee pointed to the spot following an infringement by Pratley although I cannot say for certain what that infringement was. Pratley was booked and had to be pushed away by Monk to save a second yellow card. But Dimi saved well from Heffernan and easily gathered the second effort to earn the Swans a point on their travels and keep up Roberto’s record of not losing two league matches in a row (at least not in the same season!)
The point lifts the Swans up to 9th in the league which in itself is a result and we can be rest assured that it is almost guaranteed that we will play better against Watford a week tomorrow.
Man of the match for the Swans will quite obviously end as Dimi and probably deservedly so.