Date:Saturday December 4 2010
4th December 2010
Swansea City came back from a goal down to beat a struggling Ipswich Town side 3-1 at Portman Road in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Craig Beattie bagged a brace and Joe Allen scored the other as they cancelled out Andros Townsend`s opener early in the second half.
Both sides really needed a win for different reasons. The Tractor Boys were looking to avoid their worst run of form for 15 years and to release some of the ever-growing pressure on manager Roy Keane, while the Swans needed to get their promotion chase back on track after failing to win in the last 3 games.
Brendan Rodgers made a couple of changes to the side that lost 2-1 at home to Portsmouth. Neil Taylor was given his first start since the end of October as he replaced Albert Serran, and Darren Pratley was dropped after a disappointing performance against Pompey - in came Andrea Orlandi to join Joe Allen and Mark Gower in central midfield.
For the opening half-hour it was all Swansea, and the possession told the story early on was the visitors had at least 60-40% dominance early on as Ipswich were struggling to get the ball off Rodgers` side - who were looking confident and composed on the ball.
Despite a promising spell early on, we created few goal opportunities while Ipswich Town ended the half much the stronger side and created 4 or 5 clear-cut chances in the final 15 minutes.
Craig Beattie had the best chance early on. Angel Rangel sent in a high cross to the far post but the Scot could only direct his header straight at former Swan keeper Brian Murphy.
Scott Sinclair also fired a low shot at goal that Murphy had covered, and that was basically it for our first half opportunities in front of Ipswich`s goal.
Jason Scotland then started the home side`s response as he the former Swan got himself into a great shooting position after fending off two challenges on the edge of the penalty area. De Vries however, managed to get the slightest of touches to the shot and the ball flew just inches past the post and out for a corner.
Like Portsmouth identified in their win at the Liberty Stadium last Friday, the Swans were looking weak at defending set pieces and Ipswich had at least two opportunities to score with free headers. Troy Brown would have scored had it not been for absolutely stunning save from De Vries. Brown directed a strong header goalwards that looked certain to find the net, but the Dutchman has reacted instantly and somehow managed to palm it away to safety.
Priskin was also given an opportunity with a free header, but his was a poor effort that fell straight to de Vries for a simple save. The striker then saw a shot fly just past the post after doing well to beat a few Swansea defenders.
Considering a few lucky escapes towards the end of the opening half, and the number of clear-cut chances they created, we were fortunate to go in at the break still goalless, despite dictating the opening half-hour of the game.
Ipswich Town came back out for the second half with the same momentum and confidence they ended the first half with. The game had been turned on it`s head really as it was the Swans that looked like controlling the match with their patient passing style of play.
The hosts punished us though for our lack of threat on goal during our best spell of the game as they took the lead just 5 minutes after the restart. In this League you have to create and take your chances when you have them and that`s exactly what Keane`s side did. Townsend got the better of Angel Rangel at the far post and he headed the ball home at the far post to give the Tractor Boys a deserved lead.
Ipswich were in control now and there looked to be only one winner, as the Swans did very little with the ball for the next 10 or so minutes. We were level though 14 minutes after going behind as Craig Beattie nodded home Mark Gower`s free kick wide from the left. Beattie gave a defender a little nudge to give him a yard of space, and he flicked the ball in despite what looked like a foul on the goalkeeper by the striker. It even looked like some of the Swans players weren`t sure if the goal was given, but thankfully it was and a delighted Craig Beattie raced over to the dugout to celebrate the equaliser with Brendan Rodgers and co.
6 minutes later and Swansea City had somehow turned this game around - and back in their favour. Ipswich gave us an easy opportunity to go in front after their defence failed to clear the danger as the ball bounced around inside the penalty area. Joe Allen had a shot blocked following a cross, Tommy Smith took a touch before trying to clear the ball and this gave Allen the opportunity to find the net from close range.
Ipswich looked to get themselves back into the game but the Swans were able to maintain possession better - much like they did early in the first half. Our lead was looking quite safe as we approached the final few minutes, but then it looked like they were going to get a penalty and the chance to put the scores level again. Previously, Joe Allen had a similar penalty appeal rejected after being brought down inside the box. Mark Gower brought down Carlos Edwards, but again Andy D`Urso ignored big appeals for a spot-kick. We looked very fortunate to get away it as it looked like a certain penalty, but it was justice maybe for Joe Allen not getting one moments earlier.
Craig Beattie then put the game beyond any doubt straight after the penalty shouts with an awesome strike from just outside the corner of the penalty area. With no option to him, he went for goal and the ball flew over Murphy and went in off the edge of the far post.
That minute proved to be the big controversial moment of the game. The home side had what looked like a certain penalty rejected, and then the Swans go straight to the other end and make it 3-1.
D`Urso then gets a barrage of abuse from the home fans and stewards then protect him after the final whistle.
Overall, not the best performance by the Swans, and on another day we could have lost, but we got the rub of the green and for a change, it`s not us to suffer from a poor refereeing decision.
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Date:Saturday December 4 2010
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