Date:Saturday February 16 2008
Swansea City`s promotion steam train continued as the Liberty Stadium outfit secured a 2-0 win over league one basement club Port Vale but had to survive an early scare.
Roberto Martinez plumped for a 4-4-2 with Thomas Butler dropping to the bench after Spaniard Guillem Bauza was drafted into the Swansea forward line to partner Trinidad striker Jason Scotland. Port Vale manager Lee Sinnott named Craig Rocastle on the bench after returning from loan from Gillingham.
It was the Valliant`s who were to start the brighter and forced Swansea into action with just 5 minutes gone. The visitors had to scramble the ball clear in the box after Chris Herd`s 25 yard shot was saved by Dutchman Dorus De Vries. Quickly after Luke Rodgers had an excellent opportunity to see Vale go 1-0 up. Jason Talbot`s cross was not cleared but was picked up by Rodgers in the area but his shot did not trouble Dorus De Vries and sailed over the bar.
It was the former Shrewsbury man who nearly unlocked the Swansea defence moments later, only to see Angel Rangel steer the ball out for a corner. In the resulting set piece Herd had another opportunity to try and break the deadlock as he headed towards goal but De Vries was equal to his effort.
Andy Robinson could not unleash a shot after Rangel`s cross and were left backtracking after a swift counter attack by the home side. Herd made his way near the Swansea box but his cross was put out for a corner by Marcos Painter. Danny Whitaker had an opportunity but fired his shot wide of the Swansea goal.
Swansea had a chance to break the deadlock after Andy Robinson was hacked down on the edge of the Vale area by Dave Mulligan. Bodde fired in the shot but was deflected out for a corner but could not make good the opportunity. Swansea were finally starting to assert themselves over Port Vale but could not break the Valliant`s defence. The league leaders were given another opportunity to take the lead as Guillem Bauza was fouled just shy of the Vale penalty area but Robinson saw his effort well saved by Joe Anyon.
It was Swansea who started the 2nd half the brighter after Andy Robinson had the chance to make it 1-0 but saw his shot again well saved by Anyon.
Perry had the chance to feed the ball through to Rodgers but Marcos Painter cleared the danger. Robinson mounted a swift counter attack and saw Bodde clear in space butc ould not pick out a Swansea player in the Port Vale box.
In a tactical change Roberto Martinez switched the formation from a 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 bringing on Thomas Butler for an ineffective Guillem Bauza.
Swansea were handed a golden chance to take the lead from the penalty spot after Andy Robinson earned a penalty after Mulligan was adjudged to have committed a foul by referee Ray Lee. Jason Scotland stepped up to convert from the spot much to the protestations of the Vale Park faithful.
Robinson`s trickery in the box managed to find Scotland but his shot on the turn sailed over the bar. Vale thought they had won a penalty after Rangel was thought to have upended Kyle Perry in the box. Lee turned down their appeals; Britton quick to capitalise on this surged forward into the Vale box but Bodde could not convert his shot. Not to be short-changed the Dutchman got the vital touch as Butlers initial shot ricochet off the bar but the ball made contact with Bodde and had enough on it to put it past Anyon in the vale goal.
Martienz and Sinnott rung the changes with Andy Robinson making way for Fabien Brandy Sinnott made three substitutions bringing on Danny Glover for Luke Rodgers , Craig Rocastle for David Howland and Justin Miller coming on for Jason Talbot.
Swansea continued to press for the 3rd goal but had to be content with a 2-0 win over a Port Vale side that threatened to cause an upset in the first half.
Martinez`s side have gone into a 11 point gap over 2nd placed Doncaster Rovers as their clash with Leeds United was postponed due to a frozen pitch at the Keepmoat stadium.
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Date:Saturday February 16 2008
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|13. Hull City||28||8||6||14||-5||30|
|16. Crystal Palace||28||8||3||17||-19||27|
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