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Swansea City 0 v 1 Watford
SkyBet Championship
Tuesday, 24th October 2023 Kick-off 19:45
Swansea City lose again in a disappointing display at home
Tuesday, 24th Oct 2023 22:01 by Liam Walters

It could be said you can only take on so many injuries before the ship hits the rocks, and that was possibly the reasoning behind this defeat. However, those charged with the duty of playing for the Swans tonight really did fail to see the lighthouse warnings.

With so many players missing the Swans with six out and nursing knocks really did look ragged at the Swansea.Com against Watford.

Swansea could be credited for being the better footballing side in the first half but it was Watford who had the better chances to score in a game that was below average at best. Pedestrian play from the Swans created very little bar a Harry Darling header which he should have scored from. There was some effort from Matt Grimes and Jamie Paterson but really this was a match up of two very poor sides on this display. Watford relied upon mistakes by the Swans to create their chances and one on the break at the end of the half wasn’t taken.

The Swans had Ben Cabango, Josh Key, Josh Tymon and Mykola Kukharevych either missing from the squad or the starting eleven. Tymon starting on the bench. In Mykola’s case there was no announcement as to why he wasn’t in the squad in a game that was crying out for somebody to put some effort in. It’s hard to find anything positive to say about the half which saw an added minute to the forty five. On that first half display those that stayed away had obviously made the right choice. It was tepid and never got going.

We did see a speculative effort from Matt Grimes but nothing more.

The real annoying factor in the half was the slow paced walking from the home side for corners. It really was frustrating. Two wins from their last fourteen Tuesday games for the Swans didn’t look like changing on this display. The Swans seemed to be playing with the handbrake on.

Ken Sema came on for the Hornets for the second half which saw the Swans start far brighter earning an early corner. That came to nothing but a second corner followed. The move saw Pedersen fluff his lines with his cross box header. However, it was at last better. Watford responded with a long range effort from Kone as the visitors also upped their game. They were pressing the Swans high ensuring hurried passing and errors ensued. They also began to look dangerous. Livermore nearly converted from a corner for Watford, his header going over the bar bar, and that was a clear warning.

The overall lethargy from the Swans seemed to be rubbing off on the crowd. Although the first fifteen minutes of the half were slightly better it still had a low key feel about the game. On sixty minutes the Swans replaced Paterson and Cullen with Ollie Cooper and Josh Tymon. Paterson unhappy with his early exit. That brought about a change in formation with Tymon and Ashby playing further forwards with a defensive three of Darling, Pedersen and Ashby.

The lethargic approach to the game continued which seemed to affect the Swans passing, in fact the first sixty five minutes was shocking by current Swansea standards, it has to be said. Darling prevented a Hornets goal blocking a shot from close range as the Swans struggled to get any momentum going at all. Every long ball the Swans played was met with a Watford head, as the build up play, albeit far too slow in the first half was forgotten in the second. Ashby had licence now to venture further forwards and from a Grimes corner Pedersen scored a decent goal with his head - but why the referee ruled it out wasn’t at all evident. Nothing could be seen as to why he made that call.

That lifted the crowd and the Swans, albeit briefly.

The poor play from the Swans continued, almost dragging themselves through treacle when they weren’t wasting passes. Then we saw Liam Walsh on for Ashby who was suffering from extreme cramp. Tymon as a result then switched to left back and a more orthodox back four was the outcome. The inevitable then happened with a pearler of a goal from Watford, with the play once again breaking down Sema picked up a quick breakaway ball and smashed the ball in to the back of Carl Rushworth’s net. Really, the keeper couldn’t do anything about it.

An absolute screamer.

Watford continued to press as the Swans looked weak and tired, the rain tumbled down and on eighty five minutes the game looked pretty much lost. Watford now had something to hang on to, something to believe in. Grimes delivered a great ball from a set piece in to the Watford goal, which Darling connected with well but Bachmann turned in to overdrive in the Hornets goal, he saved well. Then Lowe broke and at pace beating his marker getting the ball to Darling who again met the ball well, this time with his right foot. His shot was well saved again. In injury time the Swans had come alive. Ninety minutes too late.

Overall this was a pretty poor Swansea performance, the referee will be questioned on why he decided to disallow Pedersen’s goal, but overall the Swans have nobody to blame for this second home defeat on the trot but themselves. They were quite simply dreadful over the course of this game. Playing well in the last five minutes just rubbed salt in to the wound.

Swansea City: Rushworth; 6 Ashby 5 (Walsh 79), 5 Darling, 6 Humphreys, 6 Pedersen 7 ;Fulton, 5 Grimes (c); 6 Cullen 5 (Tymon 61), 6 Paterson 7 (Cooper 61), 5 Lowe; 6 Yates 4

Subs: Fisher, Patino, Tjoe-A-On, Naughton, Parker, Congreve

Watford: Bachmann; Ngakia, Sierralta, Hoedt, Lewis; Kayembe, Livermore, Kone (Chakvetadze 82; Ince (Asprilla 61), Bayo (Rajovic 61), Martins (Sema 46)

Subs: Hamer, Louza, Healey, Pollock, Chakvetadze, Morris

Referee Kitchen : Was he a rat ? 6/10

Att : 14,658
272 away

Photograph licensed from Reuters& with permission Swansea City AFC

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