Swansea City huffed and puffed but ultimately came away with nothing against a Plymouth Atgyle team who were yet to win away from Home Park this season.
On a miserable, wet afternoon there were plenty of chances created from Luke Williams’ side but a serious lack of clinical edge cost the Swans dear as they edge closer to the bottom three.
Thar wasn’t helped by victories for QPR and Huddersfield Town to bring 22nd place to within just five points. Squeaky bum time? You bet.
What made yesterday feel all so inevitable was that the single goal came from Morgan Whittaker, a player so quickly dismissed by the club, management (at the time) and many fans despite showing his worth on a number of occasions.
You don’t score a hat-trick against any level of team without having something promising to work with but out previous manager quickly shipped him out on loan despite that feat.
Then when he was recalled last January – clearly for the purpose of selling him – when he was in great form, it looked from the outside that he was an unwanted asset despite the serious interest from SPL giants Rangers.
And nothing slaps all involved in the face more than yesterday’s clinical finish from a well worked corner to make Wbittaker the second highest goalscorer in the Championship. What an absolute shocker by all involved at SA1.
Williams will undoubtedly points towards positives despite the defeat yesterday with numerous clear cut chances spurned by misfiring forwards. Jerry Yates in particular should have four goals in the last couple of weeks but has the sum total of zero.
He missed a glorious first half chance which the Argyle keeper Hazard blocked over the bar and whilst it was a fantastic save, the stopper should have had no chance from six yards out after a glorious set up by Ronald.
The Brazilian winger was the star of the show; his pace and intelligence always seemed to pick the right time to set up an opportunity and the poor left full back was torn to shreds.
He also set up Jamie Paterson for a huge opportunity but his target was way off and as Williams said post match, Ronald shouldn’t have been on the losing side and should have had at least an assist to his name.
We also saw fellow debutants Placheta and Sagoe Jr both of whom looked a little raw but do offer pace (perhaps not much else on the evidence of Placheta in his 30 or so minute cameo?).
The day was summed up in the final minute of injury time as Patino found the ball eight yards from goal with markers no where near but his tame shot was held. As the Plymouth keeper Hazard did with everything he faced.
Let’s be clear that Plymouth are not a bad side, but there’s a reason why they haven’t won away all campaign and they do concede a lot of goals. To lose at home to them is a serious concern and hopefully some of the ownership will be having sleepless nights worrying about the prospect of relegation to League One.
Overall the Swans had done enough to get something and perhaps better referring – a penalty award for Paterson in the first half seemed a clear shout – would have brought s different result. But at this time of the season and where we are in the division means we haven’t got enough breathing space to be ruing results which should have been.
Do I think we will go down? No but it’ll be close and with our next four games looking tough to say the least, we could be even closer to the bottom three before we can even attempt to pull away.
Perhaps we need a surprise result at Hull, home to Leeds, Ipswich or away at Sunderland because an eight game losing run by the end of that would send momentum spiralling.
On to Hull next weekend…
MATCH FACTS AND LINE UPS
OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
NEXT UP FOR THE SWANS