FA Cup Report - Swansea City 1-2 Leyton Orient
29th January 2011
A late Alan Tate own goal gave Leyton Orient a shock FA Cup 4th round win at Swansea City to knock Rodgers' side out and set up a attractive tie at home against Arsenal.
Yet again Swansea City were punished for dominating possession but not converting it into goals, as we struggled throughout to find a way through a League One side who defended well in numbers to keep the scores level at 1-1.
Makalambay didn't do himself any favours in trying to earn himself a more regular first team role, as he failed to claim a cross from the right and Smith headed into an empty net to give the visitors the lead on 35 minutes. Pratley then helped to get us the equaliser, as his clever, chipped ball into the box was headed in at the far post by Cedric van Der Gun.
As expected, Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers made more changes to his team. Daniel Alfei returned at right back and it was also a surprise to see Andrea Orlandi at left back. He's hardly the most physical of players but in all fairness to the Spaniard he had a decent game, until he went off with a recurrence of his thigh injury.
In midfield, Nathan Dyer was rested, which was a shame as we missed his trickery on the flank. Van Der Gun was back for the Cup tie and Agustien was given a rare chance to show us what he can do in the centre of midfield. There's been rumours circulating recently that his lack of games is because he's not willing to stick to instructions during games, but he always looks assured, composed and gives us extra strength in the middle third. After he was brought off in the second half we were lacking something.
Luke Moore kept his place up front, but he is still finding it difficult to get chances to scoring his first goal for the Swans since his move from West Brom. He didn't have a lot of service from his midfield colleagues, but he did look somewhat disinterested and lacking confidence.
In comparison to our 3rd round win against another League One side - Colchester, we started far better and created some chances early on. Against Colchester, most of the first 25 minutes of football was played by the Swans in their own half, but at least there was a bit more urgency to get forward against Orient.
Scott Sinclair was our most lively player early on and the one most likely to score for us in the opening half. He looked desperate to score and was always to cut inside from the left and get a shot at goal.
Kemy Agustien also tried his luck a few times from distance but saw shots go just off target as the Swans continued to look for the first goal in front of around 6,000 fans. The Dutchman showed his frustration with himself for not finding the target with a few attempts with his weaker left foot.
Orient didn't trouble Makalambay in the Swansea goal for the first 35 minutes but they only needed 1 set piece out wide on the right to find the opening goal. An inswinging cross was sent in, and the goalkeeper decided to come more than 6 yards out to try and claim the cross. There was no need to as Smith was marked by skipper Alan Tate, but Smith did well to rise high and header the ball into an empty net.
The Swans looked to put things right straight from the restart and we only had to wait 10 minutes for the scores to be level again. Sinclair pulled the ball to Pratley on the edge of the area, his chipped cross was flicked on by van der Gun at the far post who found the net to put the scores level at half time.
Rodgers side could have been in front before the break as Scott Sinclair volleyed the ball goalwards, as it looked like going in, Pratley got a touch on the goalie and the linesman raised his flag for offside. There looked no need for him to be involved, as it looked like Sinclair was going to score with a well placed volley from the corner of the penalty area.
The second half was more of the same from the host team as they looked to go on and win the tie. They continued to dominate and dictate play, but chance after chance was being wasted still as we struggled to find that clinical edge to our decent passing build-up play.
Cedric van der Gun tried his luck after cutting in from the right but his low left left-footed shot hit the side netting.
Rodgers then had to replace Orlandi for Rangel as he suffered a recurrence of his thigh injury, and Stephen Dobbie also came on to replace Kemy Agustien.
Dobbie looked to make a quick impact but he too failed to find the target from distance.
As the game looked like heading for a replay at Orient, something we didn't want to interrupt our League priorities even more, Orient got a surprise winner with just 2 minutes remaining of normal time. A draw would have been a fair result. Orient battled hard and defended well although they didn't show much attacking quality. Swansea meanwhile were doing all the forward play but yet again so many chances were wasted and we had no one who could convert a decent opportunity into a goal.
Alan Tate was red faced when he completely miss-kicked a clearance in front of goal, and the ball came off the outside of his left boot and into the net.
The game was a big disappointment and frustrating to watch as far too often we are controlling games with lots of possession and chances but not winning them. Orient were far from a great side, but they took full advantage of two big mistakes to progress to the 5th round where they'll lost Premier League high-flyers Arsenal, and good luck to them. One positive is that there are no distractions for us in the league, but the negatives mean less money coming in from the FA Cup, plus the fact that again we can't put chances away.
Swansea: Yves Ma-Kalambay; Daniel Alfei, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate (C), Andrea Orlandi (Angel Rangel, 63'); Kemy Agustien (Stephen Dobbie, 69'), Joe Allen, Darren Pratley; Cedric van der Gun (Nathan Dyer, 87'), Scott Sinclair, Luke Moore.
Not Used: Dorus de Vries (GK), Albert Serran, Mark Gower, Craig Beattie.
Orient: Jamie Jones; Andrew Whing, Terrell Forbes, Ben Chorley, Charlie Daniels; Matthew Sping, Jimmy Smith, Stephen Dawson (C) (Adam Chambers, 64'), Dean Cox; Scott McGleish (Jonathan Tehoue, 46'), Alex Revell (Paul-Jose M'Poku, 80').
Not Used: Lee Butcher (GK), Elliot Omozusi, Tom Carroll, Harry Kane.
Referee: S Attwell (Warwickshire)