The Swans put in another excellent display this evening to earn themselves a point at the Brentford Community Stadium and take our unbeaten league run to five games.
Another strong performance was rewarded with an Andre Ayew goal in the second half to cancel out a first half Brentford strike from Toney which came totally against the run of play.
Steve Cooper’s plans for the game were dealt a blow in the pre-match warm up when Ben Cabango was ruled out with an injury meaning that Kyle Naughton was back in having originally been rested for this game. Ryan Bennett took his place in the centre of defence as well having missed out on the weekend win over Blackburn.
The Swans went into the game on the back of two straight home wins and the confidence showed right from the start with some good passing and movement across the whole team causing visible concern in the home side’s defence.
Ayew spurned an early chance to score but it was Naughton who came the closest to opening the score in the early minutes when he struck a first time shot from the edge of the area which had to be turned away by the home side’s keeper. It wasn’t the only action the keeper was to see in the first half as he was later called into action to keep out a strong Ayew shot after a superb Swans move that went from end to end before the shot came in.
The Swans were by far the better side at this point and it looked just a matter of time before they would open the scoring but it was the home side – against the run of play – who opened the scoring. A good move through the middle saw the Swans sitting back as the attack built and as the cross came in from close range by Jensen it was Toney who was on hand to open the scoring.
In recent times this goal may have deflated the Swans but not today and we ended the first half in search of the equaliser and definitely unlucky to go into the interval a goal down.
The Swans started the second half in a similar vein to how they started the first and Lowe had the first chance of the second half beaten away by the keeper as Steve Cooper’s side went in search of the equaliser that would reflect the balance of play much better.
Cooper was also not afraid to make a change and a double sub came just past the hour as Matt Grimes and Kasey Palmer came onto replace Jay Fulton and Yan Dhanda who both presented a threat to Brentford but with games coming thick and fast the need for a squad game becomes more evident.
The Swans continued to push forward and the home side were left with just the occasional venture forward and you always felt at this stage even that there was a goal in the Swans. And it could have come from another substitute as Gyökeres (on for Lowe) found himself bearing down on goal but his shot was parried out of play for a corner when Ayew was well placed and a square ball may have just been the better option.
Ayew though was to get his chance soon enough and he took it with open arms when it came. Some superb work from Matt Grimes to firstly win and then keep the ball in play down the right hand edge of the area saw the Swans captain play the ball across for Ayew to put into the back of the net and draw the Swans level. It was the least we deserved from a very good evening’s work to that point.
It was clear though that we were not settling for just a point and we continued to push forward with Palmer and Ayew a constant thorn in the side of the Brentford defence although chances were at a premium by this stage. The Swans dominance was summed up for me by some real niggly fouls coming in from the home side as they looked to break up our passing game.
And it was from one of those fouls that the game came to a close with a foul on Smith causing some concern as he limped back to his position. And a perfect delivery from Roberts looked to have won the game for the Swans with Ayew meeting it with a perfect header but the quick raising of the linesman’s flag ruled out the Swans celebration and meant it was just a point.
Another very strong performance from the Swans and now it is onward to Norwich on Saturday with every belief that we can pick up another positive result.