Plymouth 0-1 Swansea City
23rd August 2008
Swansea Ciy fans will be delighted to see tonight`s Championship table as the Jacks go above Cardiff City following this afternoon`s 1-0 win away at Plymouth.
Jason Scotland got the all important strike just before half time after a neat one-two with man of the match winner Darren Pratley. The midfielder lobbed a pass up to Scotland`s run and he finished well from close range.
Roberto Martinez made just the once change from last week`s side who beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium. Angel Rangel returned from injury to replace Matty Collins at right back.
The Swans made a bright start to the game following their kick off and Pratley forced the goalkeeper into an early save within 2 minutes of play. It was neat play from the midfield, Pratley found a bit of space near the penalty area and his rising shot was well saved by the keeper, bringing our first corner of the game.
Ferrie Bodde then kept the Pilgrims` keeper busy moments later with an impressive shot from about 40 yards that swerved over to the keeper`s left but he did well again to palm it away.
The Swans were enjoying the better of the play at this stage and while Plymouth were passing the ball around quite comfortably, they were struggling to get Dorus De Vries into any action within the first half hour.
Ashley Williams and Garry Monk were dealing well with Rory Fallon`s aerial threat and they were receiving a lot of the ball as we seemed happy to pass the ball back in defence in order to maintain possession.
Our patience in our attacking play was finally rewarded as our top scorer last season, Jason Scotland got his first goal of the campaign thanks to an excellent one-two with Darren Pratley. The midfielder made an excellent looping through ball to the striker who did well to strike with his left foot from close range with pressure from Plymouth`s Kouo-Doumbe.
The Plymouth keeper could maybe have done better but it was an excellent finish from Scotland and the lead was fully deserved.
Dorus De Vries never really found himself in much trouble in the opening half but Rory Fallon was working hard up front, winning the majority of aerial battles and laying the ball off well to his team mates but they struggled to get their long range shots on target.
The hosts came back out for the second half with a lot more purpose than they did in the first. Sturrock`s side should have been awarded with an equaliser early on but for some reason the referee disallowed their goal. Fallon again caused problems in the air from a corner , this gave Marcos Seip the opportunity to head into an empty net past Leon Britton but thankfully for us the ref waved for a free kick.
This was a warning to the Swans as despite of our passing prowess we didn`t look like building on our 1-goal lead.
Monk and Williams would have been relieved half way through the second half as Sturrock decided to replace Rory Fallon and Steve MacLean with Jermaine Easter and Jamie Mackie. They added no improvement to the home side`s front line fortunately but you still had the feeling that we needed a second goal to guarantee the three points.
Martinez then made some changes as Spanish duo Jordi Gomez and Gorka Pintado came on to replace Jason Scotland and Darren Pratley who looked to be struggling with an injury.
Swansea`s full backs were getting forward well, especially Angel Rangel. The right back got to the bye-line but his cut-back cross to Butler was well blocked by Stack as we won another corner.
Martinez`s side limited Plymouth to any late chances to share the points as they continued to pass the ball comfortably amongst themselves while they waited for the referee to blow the full time whistle.
It was a second win in 2 games in the Championship as we go above Cardiff City in the league following their 2-2 draw against Norwich. Next up is Sheffield Wednesday at the Liberty Stadium next Saturday.
It was a decent win for the Jacks but again we`re left feeling we need to kill teams off more to guarantee wins. Our performance warranted a bigger victory as Plymouth were unlucky not to net an equaliser early in the second half.
De Vries - 6
Painter - 7
Monk - 7
Williams - 7
Rangel - 7
Britton - 7
Bodde - 6
Pratley - 8
Tom Butler - 8
Gower - 6
Scotland - 7