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Swansea City 1 v 1 Coventry City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 19th August 2023 Kick-off 15:00
That defining pass is missing as the Swans draw with Coventry City
Saturday, 19th Aug 2023 18:30 by Liam Walters

The third midlands team of the season took on the Swans this afternoon, nothing odd in that except it was only the third game of the campaign for both sides. Coventry hadn’t won in Swansea since 1950 and their last win in the league was back in 1981. Nearly seventeen thousand enjoyed the afternoon’s entertainment.

Two evenly matched sides went at it in the first twenty minutes, not so much as feeling each other out than aggressive in their recovery. Jay Fulton (below) looking dogged in midfield and going forwards. With Captain Matt Grimes playing his passes forwards wherever possible, but Jerry Yates was somewhat isolated early on. Two decent crossing opportunities were wasted by the Swans in the first ten minutes. Sadly the script for the game.

Coventry had a snap shot from Wright which whistled four yards wide before that, but it was clear these two teams were player for player on par. Charlie Patino made his home debut, but he too found opportunities at a premium despite his work to provide something positive for his side. The first corner of the game came for the Sky Blues on twenty four minutes, Latibeaudiere wrestling Ashby in the six yard area as a headed opportunity went wide of Carl Rushworth’s right hand post. The warning sides were there with a busy Tatsuhiro Sakamoto causing issues in the centre of the park.

The poor crossing continued from the Swans continued, this time Ashby playing the ball far too deep and out for a throw in. However it did lead to the Swans first corner on twenty seven minutes. Patino put a lovely ball in and Harry Darling connected with the ball on goal, the Swans were looking a threat from set pieces again. On this occasion the Coventry keeper gathered easily. A foul on Josh Key was a straight forward yellow but in true fashion referee Bobby Madley decided against it. Thirteen yellows in two games were not added to. The delivery from Patino was poor and again Ben Wilson in the Coventry goal gathered easily.

The Swans were looking sharp but the final delivery it has to be said was exceptionally poor.

The Swans dogged attitude saw Key clear on thirty minutes but his poor pass inside rescued the visitors, had he executed it better the Swans would have been in with a goalscoring chance. Joel Piroe urged by his manager in midweek to be more involved in the game looked slow as the final third of the half commenced. The Swans press worked with Yates pressing on the Sky Blues defence, however they managed to play round the concerted efforts of the home side. A lull in the game saw both sides exchange neat inter passing but creating little.

The midfield would decide this game. If indeed that was to be the case.

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto was the catalyst for the first goal of the game with the Swans defence not tight enough on the visitors in the penalty area. The ball fell to Matt Godden who rifled his shot in to the Swansea net. The Swans really had to play their football further up the park and almost immediately a decent cross from Harrison Ashby was met by Jerry Yates (below) who looped his header over the Coventry keeper. The game was alive and the Swans were back in it. Two goals in three minutes brought an already noisy crowd to their feet.

This was clearly a more robust attacking Swansea side than we saw last season, and despite some questionable defending for the Sky Blues opener some of the play was concise and cutting. The end of half board brought an extra three minutes as a set piece from Coventry was halted by the referee’s assistant. The extra minutes brought a set piece for the Swans after Latibeaudiere fouled Yates. In a dangerous position the ball was poor which led to a Sky Blues break which was tidied up by Jay Fulton. From there again a lovely opportunity to work a final opportunity of the half was wasted by poor passing from the Swans.

The second half started with another game of chess, the Swans gently attempting to probe their way through the midfield, and clearly this is where the game will be won if at all. The final ball again letting the Swans down when Key found the keeper instead of Jerry Yates - signalling a switch in tactics with the Swans front man far more advanced. It has to be said the lull in the game from the start of the half continued for eleven minutes until a Piroe snap shot wasn’t caught right and went a long way wide.

The first yellow card of the game went to none other than Joel Latibeaudiere for blocking a quick free kick by Harry Darling. The next action took five minutes to happen with the story of the game for the Swans so far saw Fulton playing a poor ball in for Piroe, and the danger was halted. A Coventry corner on sixty one minutes was wasted by Bob Thomas for Coventry under pressure by Harry Darling. The resultant break away again saw a very poor ball from Fulton to Piroe which if executed correctly would have seen the Dutchman in on goal. However, things were hotting up.

As per the first half both teams were cancelling each other out, both well organised and capable. Another Sky Blues corner on sixty five was poorly dealt with by the visitors and the header looped over the bar. Lovely inter play between Yates, Piroe and then Fulton followed by Jay’s shot which was straight at the keeper. An unscheduled drinks break as the seventy edged closer ensued with an animated Duff clearly now keen to make some changes. Ollie Cooper and Joe Allen both warmed up and ready.

No changes were made but the Swans pressed as the expected substitutions took their seats back in the bench. It did seem that Mark Robins was more the happier with the 1-1 scoreline going in to the last twenty minutes. However Sakamoto earned some exceptional play acting points when Ashby challenged him somewhat innocuously . The ball in was punched away by Rushworth, a corner was next with Ellis Simms on for Haji Wright. The push me, pull me in the penalty area continued as another corner followed. Then another. The Coventry players loading up on the Swans keeper. Madeley blew up and the danger for now was gone. Coventry then exerted more pressure on the Swans goal as Duff decided changes were needed. Ollie Cooper, Joe Allen and Liam Cullen came on for Patino, Fulton and Ashby.

Coventry continued to look dangerous with a more direct approach after a miss hit clearance from Ben Cabango (below) The Sky Blues looking the more dangerous. However, like their counterparts their final execution was poor. Josh Ginnelly entered the fray for the last five minutes for Yates, his exclusion from the starting eleven somewhat of a surprise but Yates had run hard all game. A Duff requirement.

The game looked like it was petering out as a draw as the ninety approached. Joe Allen stupidly earned himself a yellow card for tapping the ball away from a Sky Blues throw in with no danger evident. Really players have to switch on with these new rules. Then it was now the Swans turn to exert some pressure. Both sides had their combatants with Coventry earning a free kick in the dying embers. Again, the story of the game saw a poor delivery which Simms couldn’t take advantage of.

Another yellow, this time for Matt Grimes on ninety three minutes as three minutes of the six added was played. Secret sub Abdulai wasn’t making that much of a difference down the Swans right and the Swans earned a corner. Cullen delivered the ball in which Cabango failed to meet, sadly the arms in the back of the Swans defender were ignored. The final knockings saw a corner for Coventry but nothing came of it and the referee brought the game to an end. Overall the game was drawn as expected and the Swans can boast an undefeated record at home this season.

Swansea City: Rushworth; 7 Darling, 7 Cabango, 6 Wood; 5 Ashby 6 (Abdulai 80), 5 Fulton 8 (Allen 80), 5 Grimes (c), 5 Patino 5 (Cullen 81 ), 5 Key; 7 Yates 7;(Ginnelly 84), 6 Piroe 5

Subs: Fisher, Kukharevych, Naughton, Paterson, O. Cooper

Coventry City: Wilson; Thomas, McFadzean (C), Latibeaudiere; van Ewijk (Kelly 69), Eccles, Sheaf, Dasilva; Sakamoto, Wright (Simms 78), Godden.

Subs: Collins, Bidwell, Binks, Howley, Stretton, Andrews, Obikwu.

Referee : Robert Madley : 6/10 no surprises and nothing other than an average but sound performance.

Att :16,758
Away : 1,971

Match rating 6/10

Photographs Swansea City AFC, Reuters & Open Source

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