Date:Saturday February 2 2008
The Liberty Stadium
Swansea City marched on at the top of league one with a nervy 2-1 win over a resolute and well drilled Oldham Athletic side that frustrated Roberto Martinez's side from the off.
The Spaniard brought in youngster Joe Allen after Paul Anderson sustained a thigh strain against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening. Martinez also changed the formation from 4-5-1 to a 4-3-3 with Jason Scotland spurring on the Swansea attack.
It was the visitors that started the brighter and looked composed on the ball and pressed and probed a uncharacteristic untidy Swansea side. In a lacklustre opening passages of play Welsh International Craig Davis keen to impress the onlooking Wales manager John Toshack crossed into the Swansea penalty area but no Oldham player could connect to the ball. Lewis Alexander had a golden opportunity to put the visitors ahead as he found just enough space to unleash a shot low into the bottom left hand corner of Dorus De Vries's goal. The 151 Oldham fans thought the midfielder had put them ahead but Alexander's shot only rippled the side netting much to the relief of the home fans.
Niether side could gain the upper hand as they cancelled each other out but it was Swansea who were to get the final chance of the half as Andy Robinson sent a delightful ball into the Oldham box but no player in white was attacking his cross and went out for a goal kick.
John Sheridan's came out after the break searching for an opening but could not produce the telling pass to cut open the Swansea defence. It would be his counterpart Roberto Martinez who made the first change of the game brining on Guillem Bauza for Joe Allen who struggled.
The Spaniard made a immediate impact as a sublime piece of skill on the edge of the area baffled Hazell and Stam in the heart of the Latics defence. Quick out of feet Bauza played a cutting pass into the Oldham box to Jason Scotland but the Trinidad striker could not latch onto the pass as the chance drifted away from him. The pressure from the league leaders grew and their paitent build up was rewarded on 66 minutes as Jason Scotland crossed into the penalty area only to see Gary McDonald bundle the ball into his own net from 1 yard out.
Sheridan's side got back on level terms on 75 minutes as Ferrie Bodde sent Craig Davis sprawling on the deck inside the Swansea penalty area. Up stepped the Welsh international to equalise for the visitors.
Martinez looked to the bench for the winner and found it when Fabien Brandy's trickery in the Oldham box sent a shot clean past Crossley in the Oldham goal
Swansea hung on to secure all three points despite a last minute Latics corner.
Reaction,stats and pictures to come...
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Date:Saturday February 2 2008
|4. Man Utd||12||5||4||3||4||19|
|6. West Ham||12||5||3||4||4||18|
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