Date:Friday November 21 2008
21st November 2008
Swansea City lost their unbeaten home run tonight thanks to a defensive howler from Ashley Williams that gifted Birmingham 3 points at the Liberty Stadium.
Veteran striker Kevin Phillips came on to score a 4-minute brace to turn the game on its head with just 11 minutes remaining.
Martinez's side failed to take their chances after a dominant first half performance which saw us go in at half time with just a slim 1-goal advantage.
The Swans boss made just the one change to his side, as Scotland was benched after playing in an international match the day before. Gorka Pintado replaced him up front in our usual 4-5-1 formation.
We made the perfect start after just 90 seconds as Bessone provided the low cross from the left for Gomez to fire the ball home.
We maintained that early momentum and dominated a very good 30-minute spell as the visitors struggled to create any goal scoring opportunities.
The Swans didn't though and we really should have been 2 or 3 goals up by half time. Gorka Pintado had two excellent chances to score, his header from Bessone's cross hit the post and he forced Taylor into an excellent save after getting into a one-on-one situation.
The Swans were then dealt a huge blow on 33 minutes as Ferrie Bodde was stretchered off following a challenge on his own goal-line. His departure affected us instantly as we began to lose our shape in the middle third, and Birmingham were let back in the game just 9 minutes later.
The ball was fed out to the right to the unmarked Hunt, his cross was met by Marcis Bent at the far post who had the easy task of heading into an empty net. The marking was poor to say the very least, Rangel lost the ball near the half way line and was way out of position.
The travelling supporters, just 700 of them, were silenced again though just a few minutes later as we regained the lead just before the break.
Rangel surged forward with a superb run which started in his own half, he beat the full back and his cross was deflected in, creeping just over the line to be awarded as a goal.
It was nothing less than we deserved after another excellent display from the Swans, but we were left to rue our missed chances as super-sub Kevin Phillips gave McLeish's side all 3 points in the second half.
With Bodde missing from midfield, we struggled to create chances like we did in the first half and Birmingham looked the better side following the restart.
Phillips was brought on with 25 minutes remaining to ruin Swansea's evening.
It was a perfect example of superb finishing and the fact that you have to take your chances when you get them in this League. He only had two but that was enough to bag a brace in just 4 minutes.
Martinez's side conceded yet again from a cross, McFadden provided it from the left and Phillips headed past Konstantopoulos. The marking was lacklustre as neither Monk or Williams dealt with the Phillip's 5 foot 7 aerial threat.
Williams had a night to forget as his error led to Birmingham's winning goal. We were passing it back and for in our own half pointlessly, Birmingham pressurised us and Williams' attempted clearance was blocked. Kevin Phillips received the ball just outside the area before unleashing a superb shot from around 20 yards.
It was hugely frustrating for the 16,000 home fans, losing our unbeaten home run, and losing a game we really should have won. We should have had the game won at half time but poor defending gave Birmingham an easy win.
We struggled when Ferrie Bodde left the field and Leon Britton's substitution made things even worse as 2 minutes later we conceded the first of 2 goals.
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Date:Friday November 21 2008
|9. West Ham||27||10||9||8||6||39|
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