Date: 14 April 2007
With less than ten minutes on the clock, and Bournemouth 2-0 up, a few Swansea supporters started slipping away. “We can see you sneaking out”, the home fans sang. Within minutes, it would be the Swansea supporters making all the noise: “2-0 and you f***ed it up!” In the end, they would be the ones standing and cheering their team as we sloped away in embarrassment and frustration - while the only thing giving us a wry smile was the thought that some of the Welsh supporters had missed both their team’s goals. (The jury is still out as to whether it would have been even funnier if Swansea had scored three and their fans had missed all of them!)
Until then it had all been going so well. I won’t say we were “comfortably” ahead, because a draw would more accurately reflect the balance of play, but who’s complaining when you need the points so badly? We’d made the minimum possible number of changes from Monday’s team, simply bringing back the rested Fletcher (who explained in the match day programme that he can no longer cope with two matches 48 hours apart) for Walker whose loan period had come to an end (without me getting the chance to see him play). I think we would have benefited from Monday’s substitutions - Vokes and Pitman - later on in this game, but on paper there wasn’t much wrong with the starting line up.
Fletcher, though slowing down later, played a good game, and has improved greatly during Bond’s time as manager - maybe because he knows his place in the starting line-up is no longer guaranteed? McGoldrick was in form up front as always. Wilson, as well as Anderton, was given a deep midfield role but got forward to assist the attack often. Hayter did his best despite being out of position. Summerfield didn’t seem to get anything right in the first half, but not only improved greatly after the break, but also began to split his time between the two wings - being especially effective whenever he switched to the right. Purches and particularly Cummings didn’t seem to get forward much, again especially in the first half. It may be that they were needed in defence, but where are the forward runs we’re so used to from Cummings? Young and Gowling were as dependable as ever; the latter has had an outstanding few months since the turn of the year. Moss made some vital saves in both periods.
Our first-half goal followed a corner kick at the open end of the stadium. The cross found Wilson, who cheekily headed home to turn a game that seemed to have been going Swansea’s way until then. In the second half, a dashing run from Hayter on the right saw him unable to shoot at goal himself, so he selflessly sent a square ball in the direction of Fletcher and McGoldrick who were standing close together on the edge of the area, and McGoldrick fired home. There were also shots from Anderton and Summerfield. The crowd (not so large a number as at recent games, the only full stand being the away supporters’ one) wanted to see Pitman and/or Vokes come on - maybe for Fletcher - and put the result beyond doubt. But the first substitution had to be Hollands for Anderton who’d strained his groin. Anderton had been playing so well (and was a contender for man of the match if he’d played the full 90 minutes) that he was sorely missed. Pitman finally came on (for McGoldrick, surprisingly) seven minutes from time, and in their next kick Swansea scored. Broadhurst came on for Summerfield in an imprudent attempt to shore up the defence two minutes from time, and again in their very next kick Swansea scored. The remaining minutes of the game saw some frayed tempers on the field as well as off.
Gowling injured his hand in the first half but played on. Cummings spent longer off the field injured in the second half, having lain still without moving for some time, but eventually played on. We need all players fit for the final three matches of the season, because we’re not safe from relegation yet.
The starting line-up (with my scores out of ten) was :
Purches (6), Young (8), Gowling (8), Cummings (6);
Hayter (7), Wilson (7), Anderton (8), Summerfield (5);
McGoldrick (7), Fletcher (7).