Swansea v Scunthorpe United

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Football League One

Swansea0 (0)Scunthorpe United2 (1)

Sharp 3, Beckford 71

Swansea :
Gueret, Richard Duffy, Iriekpen (Tate 46), Lawrence, Painter, Robinson, O'Leary, Craney (Pratley 46), Butler, Akinfenwa (Abbott 46), Trundle
Subs not used:
Oakes, Austin

Scunthorpe United :
Murphy, Mulligan, Crosby, Foster, Ridley, Taylor, Hinds, Goodwin, Hurst (MacKenzie 52), Beckford, Sharp
Subs not used:
Lillis, Foy


by Dave Farrell at The Liberty Stadium

IN light of my wife’s unfathomable desire to swap the Sunshine State for the Sunless State, this constitutes a home game for me now.

What better way to reacquaint myself with my first love than a trip to Swansea on a wet Tuesday night in February!

Given the circumstances – first game since my return from Australia, my father-in-law’s first-ever match, top of the table following a great set of results the previous weekend (a 1-0 defeat if ever there was one) – the short drive along the M4 was a fairly anxious one.

Parking on an unlit gravel car park in the middle of nowhere on the outskirts of Swansea (‘Park and Ride’ apparently) did nothing to improve my mood.

Nor did arriving at the Liberty Stadium. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic ground but I can’t help feeling that this is what we should be playing in every week; the Liberty makes Glanford Park look like Quibell Park.

The view from the away end was great and, at only £15, cheaper than Glanford Park. I know the oval ball game plays there and helps subsidise the Liberty but if all we can offer is a possible seated extension above the Donny Road end, we’re going to struggle any higher up the divisions. I know folks will say we can’t fill what we’ve got but to paraphrase Wayne’s World: “If you build the seats, they will come.”

Anyway, with pint in hand, a quick scan of the programme introduced us to those well known Welshmen Adebayo Akinfenwa and Izzy Iriekpen and the exciting prospect of seeing the Welsh National Dive Champion, Lee Trundle, in action.

Oh yeah, the game. A scrambled early goal from King Billy after a strong penetrating run into the box from Beckford, who looks a useful boy, helped to settle my nerves.

The ensuing domination of the first-half by Swansea –shades of ‘99 – helped to completely shatter them again. To be fair, the defence handled everything well and Murphy only had one save to make from Trundle. Akinfenwa’s sole contribution was to back into Crosby at every opportunity; that and getting stretchered off on half-time.

Crosby and Foster looked especially solid but the midfield looked like my four-year-old running around trying desperately to get the ball and hold it for more than a few seconds.

The second-half was much better. The three half-time Swansea substitutions seemed to unsettle them and an Adkins massage/team talk seemed to calm the Iron.

The passing was much crisper – actually there was some passing, unlike the first-half. A goal from Beckford after the ‘keeper had failed to hold a stinging shot from MacKenzie made the game safe. So, nothing fancy, just a solid win away from home.

The journey back along the M4 was a much happier affair, broken only by my father-in-law’s questioning.

Any thoughts on the Iron’s position? Yeah… “How the hell am I going to get from Cardiff to Sunderland on a Tuesday night in February?!”