Swans Out-Foxed At The Death
25th November 2008, 19:45
A late Danny Fox free kick denied Swansea City all three points after an entertaining encounter at the Ricoh Arena.
Jordi Gomez had given the Swans a 67th minute lead with a sublime curling free kick from 25 yards, but it was outdone by Fox's stunning effort.
Both goals came from debatable free kick decisions from a referee who made some very questionable decisions throughout the evening.
But his performance should not take away from an open and fairly entertaining game in the midlands, where Roberto Martinez recalled Dorus de Vries in goal following his injury, whilst there were also starts for Jason Scotland and Owain Tudur Jones in a rare 4-4-2 formation.
The visitors achilles heel of being seemingly incapable to defend corners nearly handed Coventry an early lead. After somehow scrambling the ball off the line from the initial corner, the Swans defence was then indebted to the linesman's flag for ruling out Clinton Morrison's close range strike.
Martinez's men began to find their feet in the game and were causing the Sky Blues defence problems of their own. Mark Gower was seeing a lot of the ball on the left hand side and the former Southend man came close to scoring after good link up play involving Jason Scotland.
Gorka Pintado had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away by a combination of the referee and linesman before De Vries marked his return to the side with a fine save to his right hand side.
There were anxious moments for the Swans, mainly caused by the ever dangerous Michael Mifsud who caused Fede Bessone all sorts of problems throughout the night. Ashley Williams timely intervention denied Morrison a clean strike on goal, whilst at the other end Angel Rangel got his entry for miss of the season in after somehow managing to volley wide from 6 yards.
After a strong finish to the first half the Swans started the second brightly, with Gomez nearly giving the visitors the lead with a close range header.
The Spaniard then won a soft free kick on the right hand side of the area, and then curled the ball into the top corner to send the 821 travelling Jacks into wild celebrations.
However, victory was far from certain with Mifsud wreaking havoc down the right hand side. A brave block by skipper Garry Monk denied Freddie Eastwood, whilst Morrison was once again frustrated by the assistant's flag following De Vries' fumble.
As the game wore on it became apparent that the referee seemed keen to even things up after awarding Swansea a dubious free kick for the goal, and so it proved as Pratley was punished for, well frankly I have no idea what he was punished for!
Up stepped Fox to curl a fine left footed effort off the underside of the bar and into the goal to earn Chris Coleman's side a share of the spoils.
A draw was probably a fair reflection of the encounter, but having been so cruelly denied by a poor decision it was frustrating for everyone concerned with Swansea City.
Dorus de Vries - 8
Angel Rangel - 8
Garry Monk - 7
Ashley Williams - 8
Fede Bessone - 5
Jordi Gomez - 7.5
Darren Pratley - 7
Owain Tudur Jones - 7
Mark Gower - 7
Gorka Pintado - 6.5
Jason Scotland - 5
Guillem Bauza - 6
Tom Butler - 5