THE JACKS ARE GOING UP!
KRBS Priestfield Stadium
12th April 2008
Swansea City finally secured passage to the Championship with a 2-1 win over a Gillingham side now on the verge of relegation to League Two.
The victory today has handed the Swans promotion to the second tier of English Football for the first time in 24 years.
That prospect has seen the away tickets sold out as 1,500 Jacks should give Martinez's side a good vocal support today.
Three points would also put the newly installed championship club seven points ahead of second placed Carlisle who lost 3-2 at Leeds earlier this afternoon.
Roberto Martinez was boosted with the return of Paul Anderson and Marcos Painter who both start today along with striker Guillem Bauza, who replaced Febian Brandy.
Stockport County loanee Ashley Williams keeps his place in defence after making his début at Brunton Park in mid-week.
The Gills now face an uphill battle to avoid the drop to the 4th teir of the leauge pyramid.
The Liberty Stadium outfit started well and were awarded a free kick early on. Upsteped Andy Robinson to chip into the box but Guillem Bauza could not direct his header goal ward.
It was poor defending that nearly cost Swansea so dear as Gillingham created a great chance to score after around 10 minutes when Oli's pass found Jackson but he blazed his shot over the bar.
Moments later, Leon Britton found himself in Clive Penton's book for bringing down Dennis Oli must to the protestations of the Swansea players who felt a challenge on Andy Robinson out on the far side warranted the same.
After a decent start, the Swans began to struggle, as former trialist Dennis Oli was causing some with his aerial advantage but did not manage to draw a save from Dorus De Vries.
Mark Stimson's side then broke the deadlock midway through the first half. Oli turned Dennis Lawrence in the box to send a low drive to De Vries right hand side but the Dutchman could not get his finger tips to it.
The hosts nearly made it two shortly afterwards but Jackson couldn't find the target from the first corner of the game.
The Swans showed their first decent attack, Scotland teamed up well with Robinson but his shot blazed way over the bar.
Scotland then had a golden opportunity to equalise but his snap shot failed to trouble Stillie in the Gillingham goal.
Just a few minutes before the break, the Swans got the equaliser. Stillie was at fault as he spilled the ball and Guillem Bauza was on hand to fire home from close range.
Gillingham had barely enough time to compose themselves when a minute later, Bauza picked the ball in the box and unmarked drilled the ball low past Stille.
The Spaniard sent the 1000 plus away fans into raptures.In truth Gilligham could not recover from the sucker punch just before half time.
It would be the home side that started the first half the brighter and laid siege to the Swansea penalty area as the Swans soaked up the pressure.
Unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after Marcos Painter was upended in the box.Swansea surged forward and for his troubles the former Birmingham player found himself in the book.
Martinez made his first change with around 20 minutes remaining as Butler came on for Andy Robinson, who failed to really make an impact in the second half.
The second change was made shortly afterwards as Scotland made way for Brandy.
Gillingham pushed for an equaliser and asked a lot of questions to a resolute defence piling bodies in the way of any shot.
Jackson had another chance to level the scores as the defense were caught out but he could not manage to connect with the cross.
Jackson yet again had another chance to equalise following a mistake by Lawrence but his shot went wide and across the goal.
The Gills piled the pressure on but this also enabled Brandy to break with pace but chose to retain the ball and with Anderson streaming to his right saw the counter attack break down.
Inspired Jackson had another chance to get an equaliser in injury time but he could only see the ball go into the stands.
Swansea survived the late Gillingham charge and as Clive Penton blew his whistle Jubilant scenes erupted as Swansea's 24 year exile from the 2nd teir was at an end.
THE JACKS ARE GOING UP! now are you going to believe us.