The Jacks Are Going Up!
It was 14 hours between leaving the house and getting back but it was definitely worth watching the Swans winning promotion amongst 4,600 other jacks away at Bury.
It’s certainly been a rollercoaster ride this season, full of ups and downs and it went to the very last game to determine our league status for next season.
Kenny Jackett started his first full season in charge back in August 2004 which didn’t start the way we all had hoped for but it only took a month or so to gain a position in the top 3 which we had maintained until this year when we dropped into the play offs due to a huge dip in a form. At this point, it was far from easy in terms of predicting whether we’d achieve promotion or not this season.
Any of the top four could have gone up and Swansea had to rely on Grimsby doing them a favour against Southend to play League One football at the new stadium next season.
Nearly 5,000 swans supporters made the 4-hour trip north to Greater Manchester and they certainly made it feel like a home game.
The atmosphere at the Vetch was surprisingly poor as nearly 11,500 watched Swansea’s last ever league game at the famous and unique ground but the 4,600 travellers didn’t fail to impress.
Covering two stands of the ground and outnumbering the Bury home fans by 2 to 1, they generated an atmosphere that was second to none and one that will ling long in the memory.
Andy Gurney was dropped to the bench after leaving the pitch early last weekend with an injury so Kevin Austin returned to the back four.
Ricketts maintained his position but he still shows signs of a lack of fitness.
We made a dream start in less than half a minute when a long lofted ball from Kristian O’Leary found Forbes in space on the right hand side. He brought the bouncing ball down with his head before striking the ball low in the bottom right hand corner to send the jack fans into raptures, and some onto the pitch.
Despite the hosts having nothing to play for, they certainly wanted to ended the season with a win as they created some goal opportunities but luckily enough, we were able to cope from the early pressure in the first half.
Prior to this game, we were level on points with Southend and just a single goal separated us both. We knew that we had to better Southend’s result or equal it and score two more goals than them.
Swansea found it difficult to create any clear-cut chances in the opening 45 minutes as we battled away to stay in front with the single goal.
Bury had chances to send in crosses from the flanks all afternoon but many were sent hide and wide over the goal.
No news as yet from Grimsby who were still goalless with Southend at the break.
Again the 2nd half didn’t differ too much and Swansea’s defence looked determined not to concede a goal or let the opposition get any sight on goal and Gueret’s duties were kept to a minimum throughout the 90 minutes.
Bury were tightly marking Trundle who was unable to trouble them in any way as Jackett replaced him on the hour mark for winger, Kevin McLeod. Another striker was also replaced soon after as Thorpe came off for Paul Connor.
As the dying minutes approached, some of the swans fans behind the goal surged forward as some tried to invade the pitch. The match was held up for a few minutes and in danger of it getting abandoned before Lee Trundle came over from the dugout, ordering the supporters to stay off the pitch.
After hearing that Southend had only managed a draw at Grimsby, our 1-0 lead would mean us getting promoted but there was still a few minutes to play and as we all know, anything can happen in football.
We weren’t exactly playing “wasting-time” football as Bury still managed to worry us all but the defence kept solid and blocked off anything the hosts threw at us.
The referee finally blew his whistle for the end of the game as thousands of supporters invaded the pitch and as they celebrated the promotion with the players who stood on the director’s box, Gueret was arrested and accused of swearing at the police.
The police were simply the worst I’ve ever seen at a football match as they didn’t have the situation under control whatsoever. They knew around 5,000 fans were making the trip but still they were lacking in numbers and the way they treated the players and fans was appalling.
Let’s forget this though as Swansea have come on leaps and bounds after some troubling times in recent years and Jackett will soon starting building a side capable of staying in League One.
THE JACKS ARE GOING UP!