Swansea 4-1 Cheltenham
26th December 2007
Swansea City march on in their bid for automatic promotion after a superb display at home to Cheltenham on Boxing Day.
Swansea Manager Roberto Martinez handed Spaniard Guillem Bauza his first ever league start for the club after Jason Scotland only made the bench following a Stomach Strain.
Just over 14,000 packed into the Liberty Stadium to see Cheltenham Town gift Swansea city 3 points to go back to top of the league.
It was the home side that started the brighter and it was Gulliem Bauza who was to get the first real chance of the match.
The striker turned his marker and unleashed low shot but Shane Higgs got down to his left to deny the Spaniard.
Swansea continued to pile pressure on the heart of a depleted Robins defence. The pressure told on 18 minutes as the home side opened the scoring. Paul Anderson found space to exploit on the right hand side and whipped a well weighted cross into the box. Both Gulliem Bauza and Andy Robinson reached high to latch on to Anderson's cross and it was the scouser who got the vital touch to head home.
The goal gave Swansea a lift and within two and a half minutes Robinson got his second of the game after Dutchman Ferrie Bodde laid the ball off to the midfeilder. The former Tranmere Rovers player clearly growing in confidence following his opener,found space just in front of the box and curled a sublime left footed shot past a stranded Shane Higgs in the Robins goal.
Cheltenham tried in vain to get a foothold in the game but were closed down by a hard working Swansea outfit.
The visitors went into the break 2-0 down as Swansea were well worth the lead.
If the Robins were thinking of a comeback they were to bitterly disappointed just two minutes after the restart. Midfielder Leon Britton starting to find his place in Roberto Martinez's new attacking formation . Britton won a tackle on the edge of the Swansea area and slid the ball to send Ferrie Bodde clean through on goal.
The versatile midfielder unleashed a powerful strike into the bottom left hand corner despite a last ditch tackle by Alan Wright much to the delight of the Boxing day crowd.
Darren Pratley was unlucky not to make it 4-0 after a surging run into a congested Cheltenham penalty area nearly squeezed his effort past Higgs who put the ball out for a corner..
Jason Scotland replaced a hard working Guillem Bauza who saw a headed effort saved just before his subsitution.
With his first touch of the game Scotland fired Swansea into a 4-0 lead to put the light out on any chance of a surprise Cheltenham comeback.
Robins manager Keith Downing turned to the bench for inspiration in the form of Cheltenham's top goal scorer Steven Gillespie as the striker replaced Andy Lindegaard . It was a defensive lapse by Dennis Lawrence as he failed to clear possession after Paul Connor forced Dorus De Vries into action after denying the former Swan.
The cleared ball fell straight to substitute Steven Gillspie and drew a save from De Vries. The keeper made a great save from the initial shot from Gillespie However his save was to be in vain after the striker with his back to goal sent the ball into the back of the Swansea goal after a spectacular overhead kick which had the Dutchman well beaten.
It was to be scant consolation for the 260 or so traveling away fans as they saw their side plummet deeper into relegation places.
The three points gained has set up a mouthwatering fixture on the 29th when Leeds United visit the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The win also sent Swansea 2 points clear of Nottingham Forest who could only muster a 0-0 draw against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.
Photos and reaction to follow.
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