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Swansea City secure a gritty win with a Ryan Manning screamer !
Saturday, 22nd Jan 2022 22:17 by David Cornish

Russell Martin looked delighted with his sides 1-0 win at the stadium today. It was a hard fought win, which was much needed by the swans with a wonder goal which secured the points.

Despite carving out some excellent chances to score the swans huffed and puffed at times against a well drilled Preston defensive unit. Pace isn’t a thing that Swansea have in abundance, in fact it isn’t in any abundance at all. However, slow patient build up play earned an opportunity for Cyrus Christie at the far post, and Olivier Ntcham who was substituted at half time came close and should have done better, For all the usual domination it was Preston’s Ched Evans who missed a header on twenty minutes when it really looked easier to score.

Flynn Downes again looked majestic in midfield, sweeping from the back and pulling the strings. He was also getting forward linking in with Ryan Manning and Matt Grimes which produced numerous opportunities for the swans. It was always the lack of pace within the starting eleven that let the home side down.

One Ben Hamer error nearly led to Preston taking the lead, he smiled afterwards after supplying Daniel Johnson with a clear shot at goal. Fortunately for Hamer he it messed up. The half ended with the swans kicking themselves for not going in at least one up.

The second half was brighter, Cyrus Christie a strong and athletic right wing back made two excellent opportunities for himself. Matt Grimes had a shot blocked and Joel Piroe looked a yard short of pace with excellent balls played in to the box. He has really done well this season but he hasn’t got the anticipation to poach a goal as he displayed on two occasions this afternoon. With new loanee Hannes Wolf replacing the injured Ntcham at half time the swans looked more threatening. He looks lightweight but certainly does possess some strength on the ball.

It was a gritty performance by the swans, not least with Ntcham leaving the pitch earlier than anticipated which meant Wolf’s introduction to life on the pitch for the swans was brought forwards. Korey Smith doesn’t have huge amounts of admirers but he fought as hard as anyone in defence of the swans goal as their Lancashire opponents tried to steal an equaliser towards the end of the game.

The persistent fouling, and it has to be said exceptionally poor refereeing ensured the home crowd were constantly aggravated throughout the second half. It was left to Ryan Manning to score a superb winner. Cleverly latching on to a slide rule pass he struck a left footed drive which was still gathering pace as it hit the back of the Preston net. He tried the same thing a few minutes later which Preston keeper Iversen saved well. It was no more than the swans deserved, it wasn’t the classic that many were expecting but it’s three points in the bag and as the second half of the season gets underway Russell Martin will be delighted.

Swansea City: Hamer; Cabango, Naughton, Manning; Christie (Fulton 84), Downes, Grimes (C), Latibeaudiere; Ntcham (Wolf 46), Smith; Piroe (Joseph 74).

Subs not used: Fisher, Bennett, Obafemi, Walsh.

Goal: Manning 51

Yellow cards: Manning 12, Latibeaudiere 88

Preston North End: Iversen; van Den Berg, Bauer, Cunningham; Rafferty (Sinclair 64), Browne (C), Whiteman (Ledson 84), Johnson, Barkhuizen (Olosunde 35); Riis, Evans.

Subs not used: Ripley, Lindsay, McCann, Maguire.

Yellow cards: Cunningham 64, Evans 88, Bauer 90+1

Referee: Joshua Smith 4/10 Awful.

Attendance: 16,842

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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