It was an afternoon of frustration for Swansea City who were denied a blatant penalty in the first half and had the best of what was an entertaining game between two sides who like to play football the traditional way.
I guess most people will end the game wondering perhaps how the Swans didn’t turn their domination into three points although many will wonder about the previously mentioned challenge on Beattie in the first half that clearly only referee and linesman thought was not a penalty from the 14,700 odd who were in the ground. Surely when an attacker finds his legs taken from underneath him that is a foul, when said foul is in the penalty area area then it’s a penalty. But there we go, the referee thought no, the linesman thought no and bizarrely the referee applauded his linesman for it. Each to their own I guess.
Elsewhere there were good chances for Gower, Butler, Pratley and Beattie as the Swans created openings but rarely produced the best out of a visiting keeper who often watched the ball miss his target from distance. The Swans midfield of Britton, Pratley and Gower gained more and more control as the game went on but it was again the lack of a cutting edge that proved the frustration of a home game – a home game that saw a few wondering if our tactics are better suited to being the away team rather than the home team.
I guess had someone said last Saturday there would be five points available from the nine between Ipswich, West Brom and today most would have taken it but having toppled the league leaders on Tuesday night there was an increase in expectation today – almost ignoring the fact that our visitors started the day in the play off positions in the Championship.
Nathan Dyer was relegated to the bench as Paulo bought back in Butler for a start whilst there was a surprise in Fede Bessone getting the nod ahead of Jazz Richards at left back but it turned into Bessone’s best game for the Swans in the process.
Those changes left the Swans to line up as
Rangel Tate Williams Bessone
Butler Pratley Britton Gower Van Der Gun
Blackpool started the brighter of the two teams but it was around ten minutes on the clock when the Swans started to get on top posession and territory wise. Rangel and Butler were starting to work well on the right hand side whilst Bessone, Gower and Van Der Gun were providing plenty of options on the left hand side of the park. Beattie was a willing outlet at all times although the Swans as a team were guilty of conceding cheap posession during the course of the opening 45 minutes.
However, as time went on they created chances to score and a succession of corners never left Blackpool looking totally comfortable at the back as the Swans went in search of the opening goal. It was from one of those corners that Beattie came close only seeing a low shot well saved by the keeper whilst Ashley Williams headed over a couple of times as the Swans showed a range of much improved set pieces compared to years gone by.
At the back. we were looking comfortable with Williams and Tate continuing their good midweek performance and Dorus showing little signs of being beaten on his 100th league appearance for the club. Indeed with 8 clean sheets in his first 14 league games this season you already get the feeling that Roger Freestone may say goodbye to his 22 clean sheet record at some stage this season.
Half time came and went and the Swans continued to probe the Blackpool defence at every given opportunity. Again, Van Der Gun and Butler were trying to break down the defence and as the game passed by in time then more space was afforded to the Swans midfield which bought Gower, Pratley and Britton far more into the game in an attacking sense.
Dyer replaced Van Der Gun and that seemed to reduce the effectiveness on the left as Butler swapped flank but the ever willing outlet of Dyer was a different threat to Blackpool as he tried to use his pace to cause them further problems. It was from one of Dyer’s breaks that the Swans potentially had their best chance but after two blocked shots, Trundle (on at that stage for Beattie) saw his shot deflect wide for yet another corner.
Pintado was a late introduction for Butler as the Swans went 4-4-2 but to be honest by this point the Swans looked less likely to break through than at any other stage and indeed it was probably the visitors who seemed to be finding the space that caused us a few problems at the back but never really worried De Vries.
Ironically it was Beattie who cleared Blackpool’s biggest threat when he scooped out from under our bar for a corner and agonisingly for the Swans Pratley pushed the ball wide in stoppage time following Bessone’s excellent run and cross.
Yet another 0-0 at the Liberty then ends a decent week for the Swans and the unbeaten run goes on.