Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Swansea City – Swans take a point but can count themselves fortunate

Friday, 29 March 2024, 16:56
5 mins read

Swansea City will be bringing a point back from South Yorkshire this afternoon but it can probably be considered a fortunate point after a display that never reached anywhere near the heights of performance we saw two weeks ago against Cardiff.  Jamal Lowe scored from point blank range in the second half to cancel out a home side opener in the first half.

After that afore mentioned derby victory by some comfort two weeks ago the Swans made just one voluntary change from the starting line up against Cardiff with Jay Fulton in for Joe Allen presumably with one eye on the fact that we have two games in four days – surely we will now anticipate Allen starting on Monday against QPR?  The other change of course was Josh Key coming in for the injured Kyle Naughton as the first real time to see how he and Ronald link up together.

The Swans were under pressure in the opening moments of the game as Wednesday started as they hoped to go on and a first minute header was covered by Rushworth at the near post as it went wide of the target but it was an early warning for the Swans that the afternoon was going to be far from easy.

After the frantic nature of the opening few minutes were navigated by the Swans the next period saw us maintain plenty of possession but largely without a purpose bar one shot from Placheta from outside the area that got the keeper to make a save but one of the easiest saves he will have this season as the Swans tried to take control of the game.  Possession for the Swans at the twenty minute mark reached as high as eighty percent but it was much closer to the one seen at Bristol City compared to the one that downed Cardiff.

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Swansea’s possession without a purpose was caught out with five minutes of the first half remaining when  free kick from the right hand touchline was touched in at the far post by Cadamateri.  Unfortunately after the highs of the game against Cardiff this first half was as typical as anything we had seen from Swansea City this season and it was no real surprise that the home side had taken the lead into the interval.   73% possession and one shot at goal in the opening forty five minutes tells you all you need to know.

The Swans response at half time was to introduce Jamal Lowe into the fray at the expense of Placheta as Williams looked to change things around but it should also never be overlooked that a midfield that contains Grimes and Fulton together always appears to be more ineffective than any other midfield we have available.   With Joe Allen and Charlie Patino on the bench then surely it should only have been a matter of time until the midfield was shaken up a little?

Jamie Paterson can consider himself unlucky not to have pulled the Swans level early in the second half when his strong shot from the edge of the area was tipped over the bar but it was the first real sign of attacking intent from the Swans in the match.   From the resulting corner it was Paterson again who saw his shot deflected away for a second corner which the Swans player himself took resulting in a shot from Darling going wide.   Ten minutes into the second half and the Swans already had three times more efforts at goal than they had done in the opening forty five – had the words of Luke Williams at half time been heeded?

The Swans were definitely more attack minded at this point and from a third corner of the half a header from Wood failed to see any firm connection on the ball and it was easily gathered by Beadle as the game approached the hour mark.  The game was opening up as a result of the Swans showing more purpose and Rushworth was called upon shortly after to make a sharp save to prevent the home side doubling the lead with the home players claiming a penalty from the resulting clearance, appeals that the referee rightly waved away as quick as they were made.

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The Swans second change of the afternoon saw Jerry Yates replace Liam Cullen.  Yates first involvement in the game resulted in a yellow card for both him and Diaby as they showed each other their respective handbags at ten paces.  The presence of Josh Tymon on the left hand side was creating more concern for the home side defence and he combined well with Jamal Lowe to cause more worry for them to deal with as the Swans prepared to make a third change of the afternoon.

That third change saw Joe Allen replace Josh Key whilst Aimar Govea made his league debut for the club at the expense of Jamie Paterson with Luke Williams hoping to force the all important equaliser with just over twenty minutes left to play.  Just two minutes later though it could have been too late as a good Wednesday move saw the shot from Ugbo crash back off the crossbar with Rushworth well beaten.   Could it be the lifeline that the Swans needed?

The answer was yet as with fifteen minutes to go Jamal Lowe bought the scores level.  A corner from the left from Tymon was met by the head of Darling.   Hie header was going wide of the goal as it hit Jamal Lowe who gratefully turned and hammered it into an empty net to bring the Swans level as soft appeals for offside were made by the opposition.   From the lifeline question we had now moved to whether either side could go on and take the three points to start their Easter weekend off in the perfect manner.

The Swans last change of the afternoon saw Ronald replaced by Patino the Brazilian being disappointingly quiet for most of the afternoon and unable to make the impact that he had done in previous games.  With three minutes to go the home side wasted a great chance to try and secure the three points when Valentin pulled his shot well wide when free in the Swans penalty area.   Another lifeline for the Swans?

A signal of six minutes of stoppage time coincided with Matt Grimes receiving treatment off the pitch and the Swans playing with ten men for a period – a period that saw a deflected shot well saved by Rushworth as the home side finished stronger and looked by far the most likely to hit a winner.  The Swans were not hanging on as such but they were definitely very much on the back foot in the closing stages and certainly had never shown any signs of capitalising on that equaliser scored by Jamal Lowe.

The reality of this game is that it never reached any of the levels of performance that we saw against Cardiff.   Too many players were anonymous on the day and whilst a point on the road can always be considered a good result there was a strong suggestion that we were almost settling for that from the early stages of the game and that is frustrating, more so for those who had made the trip to South Yorkshire.    The Swans now have just 72 hours to turn around ahead of the next home game when QPR are welcomed to the dot com on Monday afternoon and a step up in performance has to be expected.

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

Phil Sumbler

Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

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