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Swansea City clinch a win in London but will Martin be happy ?
Saturday, 23rd Jul 2022 17:14 by Swansea Independent

Russell Martin chose a more recognisable line up for the game in London against Charlton Athketic. In an attempt to give his squad more of a match day feel Martin started with a strong eleven. However, it was the home side who were far more industrious in the first half.

Defensive errors gave Charlton early chances, and one glaring howler from Harry Darling saw him pass the ball in to the back of his own net to give Charlton the lead. The game had a competitive edge but once again we saw a pretty slow moving Swansea City failing to get set piece crosses in to those dangerous parts of the home sides area. Joel Latibeaudiere and Matty Sorinola were pushed forwards in attack as the first half wore on, but it was Charlton who pressed high disrupting any chance the swans had to build from the back.

Joel Piroe and Michael Obafemi saw little service with balls being played forwards finding Charlton players. When they did have a chance a hopeful flick on by Jay Fulton saw Piroe blast his volley in to the home stand. Harry Darling looked far too casual on eighteen minutes and was nearly robbed of the ball on the edge of his area as Fisher came rushing out. The swans defence most certainly under scrutiny this season. And on this first half showing looking as vulnerable as ever.

The pattern of the half saw the swans far too casual on the ball and failing to find their own players, and Charlton pressing the away side creating the more dangerous chances. Another chance to score for the Addicks was blown by Taylor after yet another misplaced Swansea pass. Swansea looked tired and pressured, the Addicks seemed surprised the game was going so well in the heat.

On twenty five a lovely ball forwards from Nathan Wood found Obafemi who in turn found Grimes but his deflected shot went wide. Again the corner was taken but nothing materialised. Taylor was having a dream time against Latibeaudiere on the left, causing him all manner of problems with his pace. Another chance saw Stockley waste what looked like a clear second goal. Fisher managed to parry the shot and the swans survived again.

As the half wore on Charlton continued to be by far the better side and the lack of pace anywhere on the pitch for the swans was glaringly obvious. If it wasn’t for poor possession and decision making by the likes of Taylor and Leaburn for Charlton the score could have easily doubled. Everything seemed so slow for the swans and whatever their restart coaching has achieved it wasn’t in evidence for the seven dead ball set pieces they had in the first half. Indeed at any point where the ball is up for grabs.

Obafemi was flagged for being offside after a long ball forwards, he finished well after a turn of pace. Darling had an opportunist effort saved by the Charlton keeper as the half drew to a close. Our highlighted danger an Steven Sessignon has blistering pace and the on loan Fulham wing back blew a very decent chance late on. It has to be said any dangerous opportunity for Swansea was slowed to walking pace, and the obvious pass not only dismissed but worryingly not even seen.

The half finished at 1-0 to Charlton Athketic.

The second half from the time the players took to the pitch with Charlton doing warm up sprints whilst Swansea players stood still hands in hips looked as though it would go the same way as the first. Fulton was the first to make a mistake as Stockley robbed him in midfield but was brought down in retaliation. The ensuing free kick was fired in to the swans wall, Stockley had the first chance of the half but blasted his shot over.

The swans persisted with their slower style of build up play but faltered in their possession and passing, so much so Charlton decided to join in. A more broader defensive line up saw Naughton put in to the centre of defence so the swans could manage the wide threats presented by Charlton. Obafemi started to look livelier in a more attacking display by the swans. He earned his side a corner and from the set piece Wood headed down for Piroe to shoot in to the back of the net. Maybe, just maybe set pieces of this nature can work ? Either way the slight upping of the games tempo by the swans saw immediate dividends.

The game definitely increased in its intensity after the swans goal, and a more withdrawn Grimes assisted the defence when pressured. Paterson looked a bit lost in this game, ponderous at times and robbed of the ball on numerous occasions. A defensive error by Charlton saw Obafemi in on goal but he fluffed his lines when it looked easier to score. His end of last season sharpness betrayed him. Two corners followed, both well defended by Charlton but Fulton passed on any chance to create an opportunity.

Ntcham replaced Paterson and Manning came on for Latibeaudiere on seventy minutes. This saw the swans more industrious then linking play immediately and looking more likely to score. Charlton changes saw the threat of Taylor and Sessignon replaced which would have been a relief for Martin. Had they been on their whole game this afternoon the Addicks would have scored more.

Lovely link up play by the visitors saw a super shot from Piroe but his shot was saved by Wallacott. Ntcham made an immediate impact on the game but he joined his team mates in failing to produce a decent cross when in the position to do so. To at last see more effort from the away side was refreshing. Another howler in the Charlton defence saw Grimes presented with an opportunity to score but his strike lacked power and was saved.

Joel Piroe on the score sheet again

Cameron Congreve sneaked on adding more of a threat up front Andy Fisher saved Darlings blushes after another forced error with a superb rush tackle to keep the scores level on eighty five. The threat of Congreve saw the swans score their second. His dazzling run in to the Charlton box after receiving a pass from Sorinola found Manning to tap home. Compared to the first half this was a vast improvement on the first sixty minutes. Congreve continuing to prove his worth to Russell Martin this season.

Once again though we saw Swansea City’s defending in question failing to clear the ball having had three attempts to do so which left Charlton with a corner. Nothing came from it and seconds later Ntcham burst forwards delivering a precise pass to Piroe who didn’t possess the lace to finish. The game finished on time and the swans just about deserved this 2-1 away win. Russell Martin will be pleased with the last thirty minutes if the second half but surely cannot be in any way happy with his sides performance up until that point.

How did the new boys play ?
Harry Darling. Seems to have a few mistakes in him at this point, doesn’t look a natural baller at all on this showing, took his goal really well giving Andy Fisher no chance.

Matthew Sorinola. He is quick but very lightweight. Supplied a decent pass for Congreve to assist the winning goal. Easily bullied off the ball throughout.

Nathan Wood. Tall and imposing and has an eye for a forward pass. Looked the better of the new signings but leggy at times and slow in possession. His header down for Piroe to score was definitely off the training ground.

Match day viewpoint
This wasn’t vintage Swansea nor for us looked like the way Russell Martin wants to play with the season only a week away. Yes, it’s only a friendly but the swans manager can’t be happy with this performance. It was far too casual and ponderous overall and littered with mistakes. It’s only a rough guide as to what we will see this coming season, but it was rough and if it is a guide, the season could easily become a struggle.

Swansea City: Andy Fisher; Nathan Wood, Kyle Naughton, Harry Darling; Joel Latibeaudiere (Ryan Manning 72), Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain), Matty Sorinola (Lincoln Mcfayden 87); Joel Piroe, Jamie Paterson (Olivier Ntcham 72), Michael Obafemi (Cameron Congreve 81).

Unused Substitutes: Steven Benda, Liam Cullen, Ollie Cooper.

Charlton Athletic: Joe Wollacott, Steven Sessegnon (Richard Chin 73), Eoghan O'Connell, Jayden Stockley (captain), Albie Morgan, Conor McGrandles (Jack Payne 46), Scott Fraser, Corey Blackett-Taylor (Daniel Kanu 74), Ryan Inniss, Sean Clare, Miles Leaburn (Aaron Henry 74).

Unused Substitutes: Nathan Harness, Nazir Bakrin, Jeremy Santos, Deji Elerewe, Euan Williams.

Attendance: 3,345 ( 372 away )

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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