Date:Tuesday October 11 2005
White Rock Stadium
Roberto Martinez secured a point for the Swans today as they drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest.
It was Swansea's worst home performance this season as they didn't show any of the balance and pace we saw against the likes of Bristol City, MK Dons and Walsall. Nottingham Forest were nothing special I thought and we had the quality and nearly 18,000 jack supporters behind us to come through the game with all three points but it wasn't to be.
The best chance for us came late in the first half when Akinfenwa went through on goal, but he scuffed his effort wide on a straight forward one-on-one with the keeper. At this point you wondered whether Forest would punish us in the second half for not taking such aa easy chance before the break.
It was also surprising to see Britton retain his place on the right hand side. Robinson replaced him when he was out suspended and scored 2 in 2 games but he found himself on the bench for today's match. However, I thought Britton was a contender for man of the match for his battling performance, he caused problems throughout the game with his pacy runs.
Fans around me weren't happy to see Marcus Bean in the side ahead of Robinson and it was no real surprise to see him replaced by the scouser on the hour mark as we needed an attacking boost to the midfield if we were going to get an equaliser. Within 10 seconds of coming on he received the ball from Martinez and his low drive went just wide of the right hand post.
The defence especially today were below par which led to an easy goal for Forest to take the lead. Ricketts and Monk were especially poor while Tate was probably the best out of the lot. The midfielders were out of position on several occasions which gave the opposition plenty of space to attack but we weren't punished, not in the first half anyway!
We really needed a boost in confidence and it could have come minutes before the break when Trundle put Akinfenwa through, it looked like a simple one on one with the keeper but somewhere he scuffed it well past the right hand post.
At this point the first team to score looked like favourites to win as both teams weren't creating many clear-cut chances in front of goal.
We've seen it before when the Swans have been rather poor in the opening 45 minutes but they're usually capable of recovering after the break and we certainly needed to today. The second half wasn't much different from the first as we were still making errors. The visitors then took the lead within 10 minutes of the restart. Willy Gueret made an excellent from a close range shot but Lester was there to easily slot home the rebound into an empty net.
There wasn't much confidence before the goal surprisingly and the Swans needed a huge kick up the backside if we were going to get back into the game. Robinson then came on 6 or 7 minutes later as we needed more attacking options in midfield. We didn't look too urgent to get the ball up the field and we spent too much time knocking it around at the back. Trundle will still be unhappy with his performances as he had a hard time against a tight Forest defence and was given no time and space to shot at goal.
15 minutes left and we started to create chances. Corners were being won although the keeper was catching them all. Robinson went close with a free kick just outside the penalty area and Akinfenwa went even closer at scoring but his shot hit the woodwork. Numerous attempts from distance as well as in the box were going well wide but at least we were playing at the right end of the pitch!
Roberto Martinez was the hero of the day with a superb individual effort that grabbed a point for us although it was looking as if we were heading to our second home defeat of the season. Overall it was a poor performance but we still managed to get something out of the game when it looked as if we'd forever to score. Forest did their homework on us and marked our danger-men well. Trundle didn't really cause problems and Akinfenwa didn't look fully fit with an awful miss late in the first half, scoring at that stage could have changed the whole game. Bean doesn't seem to be much use and Robinson should be starting the centre while Britton was excellent on the right.
We're still top of the league but a vast improvement is needed when we face Bournemouth and Blackpool next week. Before I forget, today's referee was absolutely pathetic. Both Martinez and Monk recieved bad blows to the head but the guilty players got away with it while O'Leary got sent off was a similar offence. He interrupted play far too often with petty decisions and missed the obvious ones.
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Date:Tuesday October 11 2005
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