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Swansea Lose On Penalties

MK Dons
0 - 1
Swansea City


25th February 2008

Attendance: 9,757


Swansea City and their fans miss out on a trip to the new Wembley Stadium after going out of the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy on a penalty shoot out.

After putting us level in the tie from the spot in the first half, our top scorer Jason Scotland missed his second penalty to send Paul Ince`s men through to the final.

Roberto Martinez named a stronger line-up for the second leg, bringing in Darren Pratley and Jason Scotland as both were rested last Tuesday. Thomas Butler also started on the right wing and Febian Brandy partnered Scotland up front.

Ferrie Bodde and Leon Britton were both missing as they picked up injuries during Friday`s 1-0 home win against Luton Town.

MK Dons started off much the better of the two sides. Ince`s side looked comfortable in possession and were always looking to play the ball along the floor. Monk and Tate were given plenty of work to do in the opening 20 minutes or so but they remained solid and dealt with everything that came their way in the final third.

Our first chance came via Robinson as he managed to get a shot on goal but Gueret got down well to make a comfortable save.

3 minutes later we were dealt a blow as Marcos Painter was forced to leave the field with an injury, Austin came on to replace him.

2 minutes later though and we brought the aggregate score level. Robinson again linked up well with Scotland on the edge of the box, he ran through onto his pass but was tripped by Keith Andrews. No arguments with the decision in all fairness as contact was made. Scotland added to his tally and sent Gueret the wrong way from the spot.

It was all to the play for then with the sides level. The Dons went looking to get an instant goal back as they went forward down the left flank. De Vries was forced into a save before made an excellent block to deny Jemal Johnson from getting his second goal in the tie.

The Swans were really on the back foot at this stage. We seemed to be giving them far too much space on the edge of the final third. We defended too deep and sometimes invited them to attack us.

Luckily for us the home side`s final ball was often poor and easily to deal with.

There wasn`t much going for us in attack. The only time we managed to get forward was from a mistake from the opposition. We weren`t linking up and counter attacking as quick as we can do and in the second half we needed to involve the two strikers a lot more.

Early in the second half, Febian Brandy went close to doubling our lead in the game. Scotland found him in acres of space on the right hand side, he was clearly on side but Gueret was quick to narrow the angle and made a straightforward save.

The Manchester United youngster then had a penalty appeal turned down after being blocked as he attempted to get past Swailes. D`Urso waved play on, contact was made but it did look like Brandy was looking to gain the second spot kick of the game.

MK Dons had the better of the play in the first half and although Swansea started the better in the second half, they were now starting to get back into the game. Darren Way seemed to go missing in the second period after a decent performance in the first.

De Vries was forced into making a great save midway through the half as a shot was deflected off Austin but the Dutchman was able to palm it away for a corner.

The Dons also had a penalty appeal turned down. Gallen broke into the box but Tate managed to get a toe to the ball while the Dons` fell to the floor appealing for a penalty.

Scotland then linked up with Rangel who burst forward, ran onto his pass into the penalty area but his shot lacked any power and rolled calmly into Gueret`s hands.

More good work from Scotland gave Robinson a chance. Our top scorer did well near the byeline, using his strength to fend off his marker, his low cross was met by Robbo but his shot deflected out for a corner.

From the resulting set piece, Robinson sent the cross in, MacDonald found some space at the back post but he fumbled his shot as it flew over the bar.

Duffy came on late in the game to replace Brandy. He had a great chance out wide on the right, getting past his marker but MacDonald missed from his pulled-back pass inside the box.

The game was a lot more open than in the first half and it was mostly end to end stuff from here on in. At one end, Gallen somehow missed the target with a header just yards out while at the other Scotland couldn`t find Duffy in the box. He raced forward and whilst you hoped he had a strike at goal with his left foot, he pulled it back towards Duffy but it was beyond him.

Time was running out and the referee signalled the end of the 90 minutes. MK Dons were impressive in possession and played football the way it should be played - on the floor. They gave us the run around but their final ball was very poor and usually our defence were easily able to clear inside the final third.

The Swans meanwhile lacked something up front in the first half and we didn`t seem to have many numbers going forward.

Penalties it was to be then and there wasn`t an optimistic feeling that we`d win the shoot-out. We missed a number of penalties this season, Gueret saved a few for us and De Vries is yet to even go near one.

Robinson and Monk were successful, so to were Andrews and Dyer for the Dons. Scotland then stepped up for his second of the game, he placed the ball in exactly the same place as the first, low and just off centre - giving Gueret an easy save.

Rangel and Duffy scored theirs but De Vries was unable to keep out Broughton`s effort as they go through to the final, winning the shootout 5-4.

MK Dons: Gueret, Lewington, Andrews (c), Diallo, O'Hanlon, Gallen, Cameron, Dyer, Navarro, Johnson, Swailes.
Subs: Stirling, Broughton, Carbon, Abbey, Baldock.

Swansea City: de Vries, Rangel, Painter, Tate, Monk , Robinson, Pratley, Way, Butler, Scotland, Brandy.
Subs: Austin, O'Leary, Duffy, MacDonald, Knight.

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Date:Monday February 25 2008
Time: 11:28PM

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2nd let down of the season, anymore ?
26/02/2008 10:36:00
14 points clear at the top and you're picking out the let-downs this season, very few.
26/02/2008 11:57:00
It would take a monumental effort to throw automatic promotion away! 14 points clear, 14 games left! Can't see it happening!
Our Kids Dad
26/02/2008 15:16:00
Only chance we'll have of going to Wembley again in the near future is play off final because we won't be in this competition next year. It really is an opportunity missed! First leg lost it for us!
26/02/2008 17:02:00
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