Scotland Double Keeps Swans In Play Off Hunt

Saturday, 11 April 2009, 19:55
3 mins read

Scotland was on target for the 19th and 20th time in the league this season to ensure he became the first Swansea man to hit that target at this level for a quarter of a century.

And despite the tight scoreline the visitors to the Liberty could have had little complaint had it been much more comprehensive with the Swans playing some of the best football they have put together in the last few weeks.

Such was the brilliance of the Swans at times that Scotland's double could not even earn him the man of the match award – that went to the shoe-in for young player of the year in Joe Allen who was instrumental in almost everything that the Swans did on the afternoon.  Allen controlled midfield, chased down almost every ball and to cap it all almost single handedly won the Swans the penalty by chasing a ball that most would have given up for dead.    This lad is just getting better and better and we – along with Wales – are lucky to have him.

Having said all of that, Norwich deserve some credit for the way they came to the Liberty and played – very much living up to their pre-match promise of attacking the Swans and pushing for the victory they need to escape their relegation battle.    That helped lay the foundations of what was an excellent game to watch and a fantastic advertisment for Championship football.

Roberto handed a rare start to Andrea Orlandi whilst Allen was back in the side for Pratley as they looked to build on the two away draws in the last two league games.   Fede Bessone was also back in the side as the Swans missed Angel Rangel through injury.  This left the Swans to line up as follows

Dorus

Tate    Monk     Williams     Bessone

Orlandi     Britton     Gomez     Allen     Dyer

Scotland

Swansea started promisingly and there were early signs of the good play to follow as both Dyer, Orlandi and Bessone got to the byline and seemed prepared to spend the afternoon taking on the Norwich defence and ensuring that there would be a tough test for them.   Gomez, Allen and Britton were all too happy to spread the ball wide on all occasions and at the back the Swans looked composed even if Ashley Williams was to give us our usual heart in mouth moment which required a miss from Norwich to keep the Swans level at 0-0.    Norwich in turn were grateful to the joint between bar and post which was rattled by a thunderous effort from Garry Monk

It was just before the half hour mark that Jason Scotland opened the scoring with a great solo effort.  His first touch can be infuriating at times but when he received the ball from Orlandi he had it under control straight away and as he turned away from the defender he curled a shot from the edge of the area past the keeper to give the Swans a lead.

At one nil there was a hope that the Swans could push on but instead they soon found themselves pegged back with a soft goal.  A cross from the Norwich left was headed towards goal by former Cardiff man Alan Lee and into the corner of the net much to the bemusement and disappointment of the Swans defence.

The Swans had the best of the remainder of the first half but never looked like taking the lead further.   A half time break came and went but there was little in difference with the two halves as the Swans enjoyed the lion's share of possession and pushed hard for the goal that would put them back into the lead.

And that goal wasn't long coming as Allen chased a ball that looked as if it was heading out of play before turning and beating his defender before feeding Scotland in the box.  The striker pushed the ball on and was felled by the defender before picking himself up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot.  

The Swans looked to push on and Allen's involvement in the goal spurred him on to greater things whilst Bessone in particular was always prepared to help Dyer on the left hand side in Swansea attacks.

We had our share of worries at the back as Norwich pushed on for an equaliser but it always seemed more likely that the Swans would score again if there were to be another goal.

Gomez, Pintado, Orlandi and Scotland all came close but it was not to be although if Roberto is right about 5 wins taking us into the play offs it is now a case of one down and four more to play.

Onwards to Barnsley.

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