Report - Swansea City 2-1 Coventry City
14th September 2010
Swansea City maintained their 100% winning record at home this evening thanks to a 2-1 victory against Coventry City, but we had to withstand a lot of pressure in the second half as Boothroyd's side looked to comeback from a 2-goal deficit.
Darren Pratley gave us a 1-0 lead at half time as he headed home Mark Gower's corner during an excellent 45-minute attacking performance. Our dominance should have got us more goals but thankfully Scott Sinclair doubled our advantage early on in the second period.
This gave us some breathing space, or so we thought, as Coventry showed a big improvement as they looked for a quick response to get them back into the game. Within 10 minutes of Sinclair's strike, Turner lashed the ball in from close range after the defence failed to deal with a corner - and it was game on from there.
Brendan Rodgers welcomed back Darren Pratley to the midfield and he was also joined by Joe Allen who replaced Andrea Orlandi.
Swansea City showed urgency to attack and get forward from kick-off, as wingers Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair in particular were our main threats going forward. Both showed their skill and pace down the flanks and they finding it quite easy to get to the bye-line, but we were never able to get enough players into the box and finish off their crosses.
Brendan Rodgers were entertaining the 12,000 crowd early on with some impressive one-touch passing football and you could sense that it was just a matter of time when our first goal was going to come.
Scott Sinclair had a decent effort on goal early on after Joe Allen picked a loose ball up in midfield before playing it out wide to the former Chelsea winger. He beat a defender and cut inside before firing low at the goalkeeper, but he had it covered.
Despite a dominant start from the Swans, it was Coventry City who had the clearest of the game so far - and it was their only decent chance in the opening 45 minutes. A goal kick was flicked on and it was then played out to Platt on the right wing. His cross fell to Lukas Jutkiewicz at the far post but his scrambled effort from 6 yards out went just inches past the post.
It was a wake up call for the Swans after enjoying heaps of possession beforehand without finding the net. Alan Tate then linked up with Dyer who flicked the ball to avoid a tackle before racing forward into space. He cut the ball back to Joe Allen on the edge of the box who fired just wide with his weaker left foot.
The Swans then got the goal that their attacking play deserved on 19 minutes. We don`t usually see us scoring goals direct from a corner, but Mark Gower`s out-swinging cross found Darren Pratley unmarked and he headed home powerfully past the keeper and into the bottom corner to give us the lead.
Our dominance and chances in front of the Coventry goal continued as we looked to double our advantage before the break. We had two quick shouts for a penalty ignored by a picky referee who gave us very little all evening. Sinclair provided a cross, which was picked up by Dyer, he cut inside and his sliced shot with his left foot looked to have struck a player`s arm. Darren Pratley then made his way into the penalty area and flicked the ball up which also struck a player near the arm, but both shouts for a spot-kick were ignored.
Rodgers` style of play is certainly benefiting the players immensely as their confidence going forward compared to last season is very significant. Alan Tate looks comfortable attacking down the wing and even centre-back duo Garry Monk and Ashley Williams were making attacking runs through the middle.
Nathan Dyer has been given more freedom to attack and cause havoc down the right wing and the visitors didn`t have an answer in the first half to deal with his constant threat.
The Swans ended the first half with a final opportunity on goal as Tate sent in an excellent curling cross, but Pratley couldn`t direct his header on target.
Rodgers` side were very much on top at this stage but we needed another goal or two to gain a comfortable lead and it came thanks to a defensive mistake. A poor back pass gave Pratley the chance to slide with a shot on goal from an acute angle, it hit the post but the ball fell nicely to Scott Sinclair who fired into an empty net.
I`m sure the vast majority of the 12,300 home fans thought we would go on and win this comfortably now, but Coventry boss Aidy Boothroyd made some important tactical changes as they began to get more involved despite facing a difficult task in getting anything out of the game.
The Sky Blues should have scored when Jutkiewicz rounded De Vries, but his effort was well blocked by Garry Monk on the goal-line. It was poor defensively from the Swans as Coventry were able to create an excellent chance on goal with a single pass after playing the ball out from defence. A low diagonal pass was played out to Jutkiewicz as Williams slid in but failed to cut out the through ball. Lukas got the better of De Vries but Monk was there as cover to block the shot.
After going close to getting a goal back, they did from a corner as the Swans failed to clear the cross inside the 6-yard area. Wood challenged for the ball and both Tate and Monk went to ground, as Turner was free to volley home from 5 yards.
Coventry mostly attacked directly with the long ball and while it completely contrasts with Swansea`s method of attack, it worked and caused problems for our defence - making it another nervy end to a home game. A long free-kick was flicked-on to the bye-line. De Vries was out from his goal as the ball was knocked across the face of goal, but luckily only Monk was there to clear the danger.
Coventry City were on the front foot now as we began losing the battle in the middle third. They battled well as they looked to put the scores level but we just about held things together at the back.
Brendan Rodgers then brought on Cedric Van Der Gun and Jordi Lopez in the final 15 minutes to give us more stability and an attacking direction. We found it easy to get forward in the first half but the Sky Blues did well to limit the threat and freedom our wingers had in the first 45 minutes.
After withstanding a good spell from Coventry, we then created a few chances later on to kill the game off. Both Van Der Gun and Lopez were involved before the ball was sprayed out to Tate on the right. His curling cross was only half-cleared to Nathan Dyer, but is low shot was brilliantly saved by the keeper. Dyer then provided a chance for Sinclair - he avoided a challenge inside the box but he couldn`t keep his shot down as he fired well over.
Alan Tate`s post match comments that they "made it difficult ourselves" sums the game up well. In the first half, our attacking play was superb and a joy to watch but we were unable to finish off the good work that our wingers were doing. Coventry then got a goal back out of nothing really and this gave them a boost in confidence and the belief that they could get a share of the points. We held on despite a few scary moments at the back.
Swansea City: Dorus de Vries; Alan Tate, Ashley Williams, Garry Monk (C), Neil Taylor; Nathan Dyer, Mark Gower, Joe Allen (Jordi Lopez, 84'), Scott Sinclair; Darren Pratley, Stephen Dobbie (Cedric van der Gun, 77').
Not Used: David Cornell (GK), David Cotterill, Andrea Orlandi, Albert Serran, Casey Thomas.
Coventry: Keiren Westwood, Richard Keogh, Jordan Clarke (Martin Cranie, 46'), Richard Wood, Ben Turner, Lee Carsley (C), Sammy Clingan, Aaron Gunnarsson, Lucas Jutkiewicz, Danny Ward (Carl Baker, 32'), Clive Platt.
Not Used: Danny Ireland (GK), Nathan Cameron, Michael Doyle, Roy O'Donovan, Luke Bottomer.
Attendance: 12,411 Away: 182