|Swansea City 0 v 0 Sunderland|
Saturday, 4th November 2023 Kick-off 15:00
Rushworth on top of his game again for Swansea City
Sunday, 5th Nov 2023 07:08 by Keith Haynes
It could have been an even bigger result against the flow of the game if Jamal Lowe had chosen not to adopt his usual shot to the keepers right for Swansea City’s penalty yesterday afternoon. Even before that potential game changing moment though the home team were under the cosh.
It was only poor finishing, incredible skill and luck which ensured the Swans fought out their first 0-0 of the season at the Swansea.Com Stadium. Well, there was one other factor which we will concentrate on very shortly. Nine yellow cards littered the game from referee Bobby Madley who didn’t cover himself in any glory yet again when officiating a Swansea game. His performances have been extremely questionable when refereeing Swansea City - from penalty decisions that were not there to dreadful game changing management of the majority of those previous fixtures.
It’s easy to complain about the referee, many fans do so but the last three games have been extremely unkind to the Swans. Last week we saw a legitimate goal ruled out for offside in the 1-0 win over Blackburn, and again in the game before that when Kristian Pedersen powered home a header against Watford. There’s only so much ‘bad luck’ out there and the term ‘these games level themselves out’ doesn’t seem to be ringing true currently.
However, the Swans performance wasn’t that good yesterday before that Charlie Patino sending off which changed the game. Patino was adjudged to have fouled his opponent on two occasions in short succession, the second challenge almost without contact. Before then though the Black Cats were the more dominant and positive side with raids down both Swansea flanks outstripping the home sides defence on numerous occasions. Keeper Carl Rushworth kept his side in the game with some outstanding stops, his reactions incredible to keep a clean sheet. He continued that form in the second half with a world class tip over the bar around the seventy minute mark. However it isn’t just his exceptional goalkeeping when it comes to shot stopping, his all round game is very sound both on the ball and with it in hand. This season we have seen him very competently distribute the ball and look for long range opportunities to set up an attack.
That’s a keeper with a creative mindset and confidence in his ability.
His three previous loans to Worthing, Lincoln and Walsall have been positive and this season is the highest ievel Carl has played at. He is one of numerous successful loan signings the Swans have made this season. You can add Jamal Lowe, Charlie Patino, Bashir Humphreys and Harrison Ashby to the list of players who have outshone the loan players ( in the main ) the club made during the Russell Martin era. Now twenty two Carl came to the Swans with the club in urgent need of some quality between the sticks. Andy Fisher had a difficult time last season with notable goalkeeping errors which he continued in pre season this time around - so the recruitment of Carl was more than welcome.
It was the work of goalkeeping coach Martin Margetson which clinched the move for Carl from Brighton. Being under the guidance of the England goalkeeping coach ensured his parent club were more than happy to see him make the move to west Wales. With the support of his family at games Carl will look back proudly on yesterdays performance from a personal perspective. He managed to keep a clean sheet for the second week running, no mean feat in the Championship and made at least five excellent saves in the process. That was Carl’s fourth complete stop out of the season from his fifteen games. You begin to see the relevance of his work when performances such as yesterday come to the fore. He will no doubt look back on that and his conteibution away at Plymouth Argyle as moments so far this season to be very proud of.
They are also benchmark successes, playing at the demanding level he is will no doubt prove no end of good for his confidence. Playing against sides who are of a very high standard as well as pitting his skills home and away in front of the largest crowds he has played in front of are an examination of his temperament. Being in control and reassured gives your defenders that extra bit of confidence in their goalkeepers ability - and Carl definitely showed that against Sunderland. It was a game marred by the ego of a man who really shouldn’t be anywhere near the football league as an official. A man who has a chequered past when it comes to proven discriminatory behaviour should never be in the non judgemental position of an impartial referee. We can only hope that Bobby Madley is signing his own resignation when his performances are assessed in games like these.
That aside we cannot let that undermine the Swans keeper and his performance yesterday, in fact after the Patino sending off the performance of the team defensively as well. Head coach Michael Duff managed that situation extremely well in the face of some demanding decisions by referee Madley and also comes out of the game with credit. And a yellow card. We will have a closer look at the stats and performances of individuals later on in the day. For now, let’s look in the positive side on what was a very questionable day for officiating in the English Football League.
Big game reaction on the Indy below.
Photographs with permission Swansea City AFC & Reuters
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