Date:Saturday December 23 2006
23rd Dec 2006
After last week's 5-0 thrilling win, Swansea City were unable to maintain that level of performance as we needed a last minute equaliser to gain a point against Rotherham at the Liberty Stadium today.
Alan Knill and his side have worked wonders so far this season, already gaining 23 points after today's game - quickly getting rid of their 10 point deduction at the start of the season.
Kenny Jackett was forced into making one change from last Saturday as Andy Robinson had to sit out with a one match ban. As expected, Tom Butler was given the nod ahead of Williams to replace him on the left side of midfield.
Both sides made a good start to the game as the Swans quickly got former Swan Neil Cutler into action in the Rotherham goal. Ian Craney tested him early on whilst Fallon went close as his shot looked to be heading for the top corner.
Knill's side started to get into the game a bit halfway through the first half after a good opening spell from the hosts.
Unlike last week where Austin and Lawrence formed a good strong partnership at the back, today they looked uncomfortable, slow and particularly prone to silly mistakes.
Lawrence especially looked very poor with the ball at his feet but Gueret was quick out of his line to pick up the loose balls.
Martin Woods was by far Rotherham's most impressive player and was involved in every attack as they started to create some chances. The midfielder had an excellent chance to open the scoring after 24 minutes. His pace got him beyond his marker but Gueret rushed off his line, narrowed the angle and produced an excellent save.
Britton was again playing out of his skin, and no thanks to the back four he was making several tackles to win back possession in the opening 25 minutes or so.
Lawrence then had a great opportunity to put is front. Cutler managed to clear Trundle's corner but the ball fell to the centre half but volleyed the ball over the bar from 8 yards out.
The Swans were still showing glimpses of good passing play, mostly involving Britton, Pratley and Craney but this was hardly causing problems for the opposition. We still resorted to long balls up to Fallon at times as the Kiwi striker seemed to struggle to get into his stride throughout the 90 minutes.
HALF TIME - SWANSEA 0-0 ROTHERHAM
The sides came out for the second half hoping to make more of their chances after wasting a few in the first.
Rotherham were the side to break the deadlock though 11 minutes in. We were inviting them into our own half and Our reluctancy to close them down meant Eugen Bopp had the time and space to have a crack at goal from long range, his shot took a deflection, re-routing it past the helpless Gueret and into the net.
Swansea were now hoping to bounce back straight away as we were quickly back in our opponents penalty area. Cutler made another good save, tipping Lawrence's header over the bar.
Woods again though had a superb opportunity to double their lead but Gueret denied him again with a great save.
Lawrence had a couple of chances during the game and he really should have scored during the second half but somehow he put the ball over from just a few yards out.
As the fans called for Akinfenwa to make an introduction, Jackett opted to take off Butler instead to bring on Tommy Williams. The former Hartlepool player wasn't having that bad a game but it was obvious we needed some more crosses into the box from that left flank.
Williams did make a difference though, quickly getting some crosses into the box.
The 12,300 Swansea fans finally got their wish as Akinfenwa replaced Painter as Jackett went with 3 up front to try and get an equaliser. Despite a few moans around the ground as Fallon remained on the pitch, I thought this was a good move to get more numbers in the box.
Time was running out but just before the injury time board went up to tell us of 4 added minutes to be played, Akinfenwa popped up with a crucial goal. Alan Tate crossed from the right and the big striker headed the ball home at the far post. There were then calls for a penalty in injury time as 'Bayo' was pulled to the ground in the penalty area, but the ref ignored claims on the pitch and around the ground and waved play on.
In summary then we seemed to go backwards from Saturday's superb showing. Despite playing most of our football on the floor, it was hardly causing the opposition many problems. We weren't getting enough players in the box for crosses, Trundle surely isn't on form at the moment and the defence went back to being slow and disorganised.
Still it was a fair result, a deserved draw in the end really but we must improve and show what we're capable of, just like we did last week.
Click here for photos
Match stats here
Swansea: Gueret, Painter (Akinfenwa 79), Tate, Lawrence, Austin, Britton, Pratley, Craney, Butler (Williams 69), Trundle, Fallon.
Subs Not Used: Oakes, Amankwaah, Iriekpen.
Booked: Painter, Fallon, Pratley, Williams, Trundle.
Goals: Akinfenwa 90.
Rotherham: Cutler, Wiseman, Worrell, Sharps, Robertson, Partridge (Brogan 83), Cochrane, Bopp, Woods, Facey, Hoskins.
Subs Not Used: Montgomery, Hibbert, Newsham, King.
Booked: Sharps, Wiseman.
Goals: Bopp 56.
Ref: D Whitestone (Northamptonshire).
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Date:Saturday December 23 2006
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