Swansea City 1 Derby County 1
16th September 2008
Swansea City claimed a point against Derby County tonight at the Liberty Stadium thanks to a headed equaliser from record signing Ashley Williams.
The Welsh international cancelled out Pearson`s 63rd minute opener after heading home Gomez`s corner kick.
Roberto Martinez and his side were looking to bounce back from Saturday`s poor defeat away at Crystal Palace as The Rams arrived on the back of their first League win of the season.
The Swansea boss went with an unchanged line-up, keeping his rather unproven 4-5-1 formation with Scotland leading the attack, or lack of it.
After the defeat at Selhurst Park, Leon Britton bemoaned the team`s poor performance, and tonight`s display didn`t get the fans excited either.
The Swans dominated large periods of the play but they struggled throughout the game to create any clear cut chances in front of goal.
Most of what they managed were long range efforts, Ferrie Bodde had the first try of the evening but he fired over within the first 5 minutes.
In one of his rare attacking moments, Jason Scotland did well near the byeline to turn away from his marker but his low cross was missed by everyone.
The hosts dominated the opening 20 minutes or so but we found it difficult to test Rams goalkeeper Roy Carroll. We tried the get the ball out wide often but Mark Gower`s crosses were always easily cleared by the Derby defence who outnumbered us in the box while Butler tried cutting in from the left to create something.
The visitors had their first chance mid-way through the half and they really should have taken the lead. Our attempts at catching Derby offside were lacklustre as two Rams players were free to meet a cross from the right, but somehow Villa`s attempt went wide after sliding in.
It was a let off for the Swans and a wakeup call for us as we gave them far too much time and space whilst they were in possession.
Ferrie Bodde was looking to impress after the on-going transfer saga in the Summer and he was making some superb long range passes all evening to spread the ball to the flanks.
After a rather actionless first half from the Swans in terms of goal opportunities the 13,500 Swans fans were hoping for a give improvement after the restart.
We didn`t have to wait long for us to create our first chance as we got forward with a good attacking move within the first minute. Pratley linked up well with Butler before feeding the ball to Gower, but the former Southend winger dragged a shot wide.
10 minutes later, Carroll at last had to make a save in the game from a superb long range effort from Bodde. His curling effort was heading for the keeper`s top left corner but the former Manchester United shot stopper made an excellent diving save to tip the ball around the post for a corner.
Mark Gower went even closer to giving us the lead as his powerful effort struck the post, it came back to substitute Gorka Pintado but his effort was easily picked up by the keeper. Also arriving along with Pintado was fellow Spaniard Jordi Gomez who replaced Darren Pratley and Mark Gower.
Moments later we got caught out at the back as Derby County broke quickly. Our defence failed to pick out Stephen Pearson as he had the simply task of slotting the ball past De Vries from close range to put Jewell`s side in front.
You couldn`t say their lead was deserved but regardless of that, they showed in the first half their capabilities to score against us. We were punished again for our lack of quality in the final third but our attacking play did improve in the second half and with the arrivals of the Spanish duo, Gomez and Pintado.
The goal gave Derby a boost in confidence but the Swans went on search of a quick equaliser. Bodde fired over the bar from long range and Pintado should have done better when he headed Butler`s cross well over the bar from just outside the 6-yard area.
he Swans finally got the goal they had been craving for all game, and it was the first time in many a game we had scored directly from a corner! Gomez delivered an excellent in-swinging cross into the box from the right and Williams towered above Derby`s defence with a superb powerful header, giving Carroll no chance.
We went in search of the winner but Derby`s point looked safe enough. Pratley`s departure effected us as we didn`t look as solid as were in the middle of the park when he was on. Leon Britton battled long and hard throughout the game and deservedly won the official man of the match award, Bodde also performed well and made some superb long range passes throughout the game.
The referee blew for full time after 4 minutes of injury time. Martinez said he was pleased with the performance but it was a rather frustrating one to watch. We dominated a lot of the game but lately we are struggling to create any decent chances in front of goal. 4-5-1 doesn`t seem to be working but Roberto doesn`t look like he`s going to make changes to his side in the near future which is a shame.
Photos to follow...