|Swansea City 1 v 1 Huddersfield Town
Saturday, 2nd December 2023 Kick-off 15:00
Has it ever been this frustrating ? Swans scrape a draw
Saturday, 2nd Dec 2023 18:00 by Liam Walters & Keith Haynes
Another afternoon of frustration was delivered by the Swans with three changes made to the starting line up. None of it worked and they all left the field at some point in the contest as the most obvious starting selections finished the game.
The Swans had the worst possible start this afternoon at the Swansea.Com Stadium. Despite the warnings that Huddersfield have a pretty simple game plan, the home side fell for it within the first two minutes. An own goal (below) after limited possession for the Terriers, the visitors hit the Swans quickly on the break.
There were maybe a few raised eyebrows regards head coach, Michael Duff’s selections, but you cannot fall out with the fact he is looking for solutions from his limited squad. And even more so when he said ‘ I just don’t have the right profile of player’ ( to play with a different strategy ) The misplaced pass from Matt Grimes seized upon by Kasumu and his cross pass was deflected in by Ben Cabango.
The usual Swansea response ensued, nice passing but with little penetration, pace being the biggest issue to unlock the Terriers defence. Jamie Paterson found himself drifting out wide, and for fifteen minutes corners followed with little progress. Ben Cabango completely messed up a very decent chance with his head, and Paterson had two efforts that slid by Maxwell’s post. Despite the effort the visitors remained dangerous on the break, but with few ideas on how to increase their lead.
The Swans continued their desire to equalise moving in to the last ten minutes of the half. Jay Fulton jumping in to a tackle which was the first sign of his desperation. A Terriers free kick on thirty seven minutes ( which took a minute to take ) was weakly struck and Carl Rushworth made an easy save. Liam Cullen’s efforts went unrewarded, his first touch the issue. Josh Tymon on the Swans left earned his side their eighth corner of the half, but just as all things this half it went unrewarded. Then a worldy of a pass from Paterson fell to Jay Fulton, who somehow failed to convert the opportunity.
The Swans ninth corner of the half was won by Jamal Lowe and is the story of the first forty five - it came to nothing. There seemed to be a lack of desire to get bodies in to the penalty box, and Huddersfield overall were happy to defend their 1-0 lead. The crowd were deathly silent, the atmosphere frustratingly insipid, and the Swans toothless. Liam Walsh displayed some poor ball control and in an attempt to recover his error he was lucky to only receive a yellow card. Other referees of late would have given him a red.
One minute injury time was displayed by the fourth official, well that covered the free kick Huddersfield took a minute to take, but to be honest any more time to drag this game out any more would have been torturous. Huddersfield nearly went two up from a close range header from Thomas but Rushworth easily collected the ball. It was though another warning shot across the Swans bows. The majority of the crowd within the stadium were talking about Charlie Patino and Yannick Bolasie being brought on. Their creativity and pace was an absolute needs must.
The Swans went in at half time with eighty three percent possession and two shots on goal. It made very poor reading.
The crowd were buoyed by the introduction of Yannick Bolasie as well as two other changes made by Duff. Naughton off for Darling and Humphreys off for Yates. Cullen went off for Bolasie. Immediately Bolasie made an impact statement, driving forwards and crossing dangerously. Yates then had an opportunity which somehow meant he slipped in to a different time zone. Ponderous and slow which resulted in an easy tackle for the Terriers.
At last we were seeing some creativity, Bolasie again chesting down a cross field pass and volleying a tremendous effort just over the bar. He had made two opportunities within five minutes of coming on, and bar Jamie Paterson was displaying pace and resilience we hadn’t seen so far in this game. You could only wish Bolasie had that Yates chance, which he would surely have converted. The Swans were preferring to sideways pass and not in any way attempt to take a player on. Bolasie again put a cross in for Lowe which he was inches away from.
The Swans did breach the Terriers defence when Paterson linked really well with Lowe, his cross shot fortunately deflected off a Huddersfield defender, and luckily in to the keepers arms. But this was much better. The usual ball giveaway competition started with Ben Cabango as the visitors took advantage of his bizarre pass which could have easily led to a goal. Cabango submitted another entry with another disastrous pass which again the visitors failed to take advantage of. Bolasie again after being fed another decent ball from Grimes shot just wide, it was going in before it was deflected.
Paterson earned his side another corner (11th) after Maxwell palmed away his cross. Again the Swans failed to convert a header from Harry Darling. The Swans were still chasing the game. Jamal Lowe was next, a speedy run and cross was deflected wide. Corner number twelve. Again nothing came from the set piece. Bolasie earned corner number thirteen on sixty four minutes. More goal mouth scrambling ensued, but no luck. Then a Harry Darling pile-driver was again magnificently by Maxwell. That signalled corner number fourteen which went out for corner number fifteen. It resulted in a Paterson shot which went high and wide.
Bolasie continued to supply good crosses which the forwards couldn’t take advantage of. On seventy one minutes Charlie Patino came on for Walsh. The Swans had a penalty appeal for handball turned down - and the one way traffic continued. Really the Swans with a bit more effort from these tantalising Bolasie efforts should have been ahead.
At this point the Swans were on sixteen corners, Josh Key came on for the last fifteen minutes for Jay Fulton. Now we had pretty much the side Swans fans yearned for at the start. Corner seventeen came on seventy six minutes. The ball fell to Grimes who tried to bend his shot wide of the keeper but it was weak and straight at him.
With the crowd leaving early, Bolasie struck a hard shot in to a Terriers defender who went down as if he had just been shot. This was panning out to be the perfect game plan for Terriers boss, Darren Moore. Jamal Lowe had a wonderful chance to head in an equaliser but his effort went over the bar. The Swans pressed, the Terriers defended looking for quick balls forwards at any opportunity. With respect to the visitors they didn’t look to slow the game or earn themselves some breathing space. They stuck to the plan that has seen them through numerous games of late.
With the ninety upon us six minutes were displayed. Could this be enough ?
Thankfully the creativity of Patino earned the equaliser from a good pass from Paterson and his precise shot hit the back of the net. Now level Swans pressed on, Tymon earned the home side a corner deep in to injury time, Harry Darling met the cross and somehow headed the ball over the bar. That was a sitter. With time up on the clock, a speculative fee kick after a foul on Bolasie was again met by Harry Darling with his header again painfully wide. The referee checked his watch on ninety eight minutes, and brought the game and the pain to an end. That’s five home games without a win for the Swans. Still there has only been one Saturday win at home all season. The introduction of Bolasie was a clue as to what this Swans side needed. It’s painfully obvious.
We did report on what to expect, and indeed that happened today, later yesterday afternoon Duff mirrored some of the points in the report, so, yes he knew, we knew and in fact anyone who takes a even a passing interest in a sides game plan knew.
Read that here ⚽️ A warning that must be heeded
This game left people with a churning feeling of sickness in their stomachs. It seems inconceivable that with eighty percent possession and so many opportunities that the home side didn’t win. Michael Duff just scraped through this latest test, he needs at least until January, and possibly more, many after today will disagree.
It’s been a very disappointing day, again. The boos which greeted the end of the game were a good example as to where the fans are with the Swans currently. This simply isn’t good enough.
⚽️ Swansea City: Rushworth; 6 Naughton 5 (Darling 46),5 Cabango, 5 Humphreys 4 (Bolasie 46), 8 Tymon; 6 Fulton 5 (Key 77) 6 Grimes (c); 6 Walsh 5 (Patino 72), 7 Paterson, 7 Cullen 5 (Yates 46); 5 Lowe 7
Subs: Fisher, Cooper, Tjoe-A-On, Congreve
⚽️ Huddersfield Town: Maxwell; Pearson, Helik, Lees; Jackson (Edmonds-Green 61), Kasumu, Hogg, Headley (Burgzorg 68), Nakayama; Thomas, Ward (Koroma 68)
Subs: Chapman, Diarra, Edwards, Austerfield, Ayina, Iorpenda
Referee : Stephen Martin 7/10 marshalled matters well.
Terriers bookings 🟨 Sorba Thomas (87’), David Kasumu (90+7’)
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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