Swansea 2 Brighton 1
21st April 2007
Swansea City extended Brighton`s losing streak to four games today after coming back from a goal down to win 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.
It proved to be a huge victory for the Martinez`s side as we now go level on points with Oldham who occupy the final play-off place in 6th.
The visitors took an early lead from a set piece but on-loan striker Darryl Duffy struck another brace at home to hand us all three points.
Roberto Martinez made two changes to his side, Alan Tate replaced Richard Duffy at right back and Andy Robinson returned to the starting line-up after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Kristian O`Leary nearly opened the scoring for the Swans in the opening minute of the game but his powerful low drive flew just wide of the far post.
It was a game where the Swans made plenty of errors, they made things difficult for themselves throughout the game, conceded possession far too often and were sloppy in defence.
However, Izzy Iriekpen was impressive at the back and was making advancing forward runs from the back whenever possible.
The visitors took a rather surprising lead after 14 minutes though as Andy Robinson conceded a needless free-kick out on the right flank. It was a good cross from Sam Rents and Alex Revell was there to head the ball home past Willy Gueret. Yet again, it was poor defending at a set piece and Revell was given a free header to put Brighton in front.
We nearly equalised straight from the restart though as the referee allowed us to kick off while the visitors celebrated. Trundle went close and his shot was headered off the line.
Seven minutes after Brighton took the lead, Darryl Duffy got his third goal for the Swans as his looping header went over 'keeper Scott Flinders and into the net.
We then had a few chances to take the lead. Trundle did well down the left flank to get a cross in, Britton headed the ball back at the far post but Robinson`s shot was cleared for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Izzy Iriekpen headered just over from Robbo`s cross.
Just a few minutes from the break, Duffy scored his second of the game with a superb individual effort out of nothing. He controlled the ball well, turned before sending an unstoppable shot into the bottom left hand corner.
At the start of the second half, Williams replaced the injured Marcos Painter. The game restarted with a long boring spell which the Swans just pass the ball amongst themselves without really creating anything in front of goal.
Brighton then finally managed to win back possession and dominated the goal chances for 10-15 minutes as they tried to get an equaliser.
Trundle went close though and he may have done better hadn`t he tried to lob the keeper.
Martinez then made his second change as he took off Robinson and brought on Kevin Austin as Williams pushed up into midfield.
Dean Cox provided a scare with around 15 minutes remaining as his swerving shot hit the post from just outside the area.
Brighton continued to press and Gueret made a couple of saves to deny Elder and Ward as Martinez`s were hanging on to their win.
The crowd tried to lift the team`s spirits to kill the game off but the Swans never do things the easy way and we defended the game until the end to claim 3 very valuable points.
It was far from a vintage Swansea performance but it was the win that counts which now closes the gap on Oldham as only goal difference separates us from the Latics in 6th.
Those who stood out today I thought were Kristian O`Leary, Izzy Iriekpen and of course Darryl Duffy once again. Izzy looked calm and calculated at the back (apart from their goal) and O`Leary seemed to have covered every blade of grass in the second half.
I definitely think we should try and sign Duffy in the summer. His finishing was excellent today and I`m confident he could get us at least 20 goals next season if he does sign on a permanent basis.
Swansea: Gueret, Tate, Iriekpen, Painter (Williams 46), Lawrence, O'Leary, Britton, Robinson (Austin 63), Craney, Trundle, Darryl Duffy (Abbott 87).
Subs Not Used: Oakes, Amankwaah.
Goals: Darryl Duffy 21, 41.
Brighton: Flinders, Mayo, El-Abd (Ward 65), Butters, Rents, Hart (Elder 84), Rehman, Bertin, Cox, Savage (Robinson 15), Revell.
Subs Not Used: Kuipers, Elphick.
Goals: Revell 14.
Ref: R Olivier (W Midlands).
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