Report - Swansea City 1-1 Hull City
12th April 2011
Swansea City failed to keep their home momentum going after Saturday's excellent 3-0 win against Norwich City as Hull City held us to a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium this evening.
With a disappointing away record lately, Brendan Rodgers' side have been relying on their consistent home form to keep us challenging for an automatic place, but tonight we struggled against an organised Hull City side who defended well in numbers.
The Swans didn't create many clear cut chances until Mark Gower produced another amazing shot from outside the area. He created enough space to fire at goal and he unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top right corner of the net.
Hull City hadn't played that much attacking football up until that point in the second half but the opening goal sparked the Tigers into life soon after. Swansea City weren't ahead for long, as the home defence failed to clear their lines, a low cross from the left was only half cleared and it eventually fell to Evans to net past the helpless de Vries.
Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers made no changes from the side that beat Norwich City 3-0 on Saturday so that meant Dobbie kept his place in the attacking midfield role with loanee Fabio Borini up front.
There wasn't much to report on in the first half. The Swans took around half an hour to settle into the match and create some half chances as Hull City were very organised and made it difficult for us to create openings in the final third of the pitch.
Stephen Dobbie turned towards goal and struck a powerful low shot from distance that went just past the far post, while Dyer and Rangel were also linking up well on the right.
Fabio Borini had our two best chances of the half though as he looked to get his 4th goal in 3 games for the Swans. The young Italian went through on goal thanks to a pass from Dobbie but his shot was off target.
Our best chance came just 2 minutes before the break as Gower, Rangel and Dobbie linked up and his cross deflected towards goal. The ball was cleared off the line just before Scott Sinclair had the chance to net from a yard out.
Swansea City needed to step it up a gear in the second half as passing attacking play wasn't as free-flowing as it can be at home. Hull City had a very disciplined line of 5 defenders - blocking a path through to get in behind them as Scott Sinclair was kept quiet on the left, while Dyer wasn't making more of an impact on the opposite flank.
The goal did finally come though and with the way the game was going - you just knew it was going to take some individual moment of brilliance to break the deadlock as Hull City proved why they lose very few games on their travels.
Mark Gower netted his second goal in 4 days and it was just as good as the one he fired in on Saturday. He cut in onto his right foot, and created the space to shoot at goal and he found the bottom corner of the net with a fantastic strike that lifted the fans' spirits.
The goal barely helped our cause though, as Hull City suddenly burst into life and began to play some attacking football for the first time in the second half.
At 0-0, Hull City seemed happy enough to sit a bit deeper than they did in the first half and let Swansea have the ball without threatening in the middle of the pitch, but after the goal they had nothing to lose as they looked to get a goal back. Suddenly, the hosts lost their shape, started making unforced errors and gifted Hull possession far too often. Joe Allen was guilty of this not to mention Angel Rangel who had a poor night defensively. Substitute Jay Simpson made a quick impact after coming on as his cross wasn't dealt with. An attempted clearance went straight back to the opposition and the ball eventually fell to Evans, whose shot deflected off Taylor and in the net past a helpless De Vries.
Sinclair was next to gift Hull possession and they nearly got a winner from it, but Simpson couldn't find the target. Chester then went close with a header that went just wide of the post, and all of a sudden a point wasn't looking safe for the Swans.
Robert Koren then had a great chance when he went clean through on goal. The fans shouted for an offside but the assistant's flag stayed down. With just de Vries to beat, Koren tried to round the Dutch goalkeeper but he did brilliantly to palm the ball away for safety to keep the scores level.
Rodgers then made a double change and brought on strikers Tamas Priskin and Luke Moore to try and boost our chances of getting a winner. Craig Beattie also came on later in the game.
Despite all 3 subs being strikers, it looked like Leon Britton and Darren Pratley might have been more effective, as we struggling to get into good positions to help provide the strikers with goalscoring opportunities.
The Swans looked for a late winner as we entered the final few minutes. Luke Moore went close as he did well to control a long ball in the penalty area, but the goalkeeper was alert to block his attempt.
That was about it as Swansea City had to settle for a share of the points, but they missed a great opportunity to go joint 2nd-place with Cardiff City and a point ahead of Norwich City. Instead we drop to 4th, 2 points behind Cardiff and 1 adrift of Norwich.
Considering our poor away form recently, it was absolutely vital to our automatic promotion hopes that we won our 3 remaining home games. Instead we dropped 2 points, but it was a fair result as we didn't create enough clear chances, while Hull City went close at least 3 times to get a winner.
Swansea City: Dorus de Vries, Angel Rangel, Neil Taylor, Garry Monk (c), Ashley Williams, Joe Allen, Mark Gower, Stephen Dobbie, Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair, Fabio Borini. Subs: Alan Tate, Darren Pratley, Craif Beattie, Luke Moore, Yves Ma-Kalambay, Tamas Priskin, Leon Britton.
Hull City: Matt Duke, Andy Dawson (c), Jack Hobbs, James Harper, Matty Fryatt, James Chester, Robert Koren, Anthony Gerrard, Corry Evans, Liam Rosenior, Aaron McClean. Subs: Mark Oxley, Richard Garcia, Tom Cairney, Jamie Devitt, Jay Simpson, David Amoo, Tijani Belaid.
Ref: R J Booth