FT: Port Talbot 0 Swans 2
Full report now online thanks to Murton_Jack.
The Swans succeeded in keeping their first clean sheet of the pre-season this evening at Port Talbot's Remax Stadium. Kenny Jackett used the first half to field the likely starting line-up against Cheltenham on Saturday:
Amankwaah- Izzy- Monk(c)- Williams
Robinson- Pratley- O`Leary- Butler
The Swans were quick out of the blocks, creating a chance within the first minute. An excellent run from new signing Tom Butler, beating three players before playing a one-two with Leon Knight, found Butler free to the left of the area, but his cross towards Fallon found the Port Talbot keeper.
Swansea were looking lively, and Fallon & Knight are really starting to look like an excellent partnership. Some good link-up play between the two strikers created a couple of decent chances for Knight, but on both occasions the keeper saved well.
The breakthrough came with just under ten minutes played. Knight was brought down on the edge of the area, and Robinson stepped up to float the free-kick home. There was very little pace on the free-kick but the keeper was caught flat footed as the ball flew into the top corner.
Port Talbot's only half-chance came when their striker was threaded through, he rounded Willy but could only find the side netting from a difficult angle. I thought Willy did quite well in rushing out and forcing him wide, but if the Port Talbot player had shown a bit more composure they could well have found themselves level.
Willy wasn't really tested but dealt with a couple of easy crosses comfortably. The back-four was looking pretty solid, I though Amankwaah did well, he's strong, quick and has a good leap, but he did look a bit uncomfortable at times. Pratley & O'Leary dominated in the middle, and Butler impressed with his pace & agility, but I do understand the concerns over his end product as he skied a couple of shots & and gave a few crosses straight to the keeper. Robinson was given a good reception by the crowd, but his only real contribution was the goal.
Jackett made 10 changes at half-time including blooding a few youth team players:
Holland- Watt- Austin(c)- ?
Britton- Butler- Tate- McLeod
Youngster Nicky Holland was given an opportunity at right-back, and Jackett experimented with Butler & Tate in central midfield. Somebody who I assume was a youth team player played left-back, but I didn't catch his name when they announced the teams.
Butler didn't last long in central midfield, as he was replaced by youngster Chris Jones. Wearing bright yellow boots, Jones played right-wing which meant Britton moved inside. Jones wasn`t afraid to have a go at goal, flashing a shot wide soon after coming on.
Jones's shooting paid off soon after as the Swans doubled their advantage. The ball found Jones on the right-hand side of the area, where he drilled it back across the keeper and into the top corner.
The only other major incident in the second-half was when the Port Talbot number seven lunged in on Leon Britton, sparking a mass brawl between the players. Bayo was in the middle of the pushing and shoving, whilst the ref tried to control the situation. Once it had calmed down, instead of sending the number 7 off, he asked for him to be substituted.
Like Willy in the first half, Oakes had little to do. Again the back-four looked solid, and youngsters Holland & the left-back looked comfortable. Britton was lively and now looks as if he's fully fit, Tate also did well in the centre, but McLeod was out of the game for most of the half. Trundle & Bayo did ok upfront, with Bayo holding the ball up well, and Trundle threatening with a couple of runs & shots.
A clean sheet at last, although Port Talbot were probably the worst team we've faced so far. But still it's a boost mentally, and hopefully we`ll see another on Saturday. C'mon the Swans!