28.04.12 - MAGNA DPL RESULT - PORTLAND UNITED 4 SWANS 0
First Half Misses Cost Swans Dear
Swans were made to pay for missing a number of excellent chances as Portland United scored three times in the second half to give the scoreline a flattering look in favour of the home side. There was an extra edge to the match as Portland would want to exact revenge for their League Cup Quarter-Final defeat back in January. Add into the mix Liam Currell facing his old Club and rumours abound that Islanders boss Stuart Heath has expressed an interest in taking over at Day's Park next season.
Swans were without Paul Yerby, Jamie Beale, George Harvey, Marvin Mutanga, Bo Herrington and Adam Richards with the home side also missing a number of regular faces. With the conditions typically Portland like, Swans started the match with a stong wind in their favour as they ran down the slope towards the clubhouse end of New Grove Corner.
Swans settled the quickest with Paul Best and Ben Harding dominated the home sides experienced midfield duo of John Litherland and Alex Halloran. Jack Watson and Tony Parrott were keeping tabs on Liam Currell who had the first sighting of goal after 11 minutes but his turn and shot was easily saved by Nick Taylor. The wind was making free flowing football a real challenge and after forcing a number of corners, Swans went behind against the run of play after 21 minutes. A long throw was not dealt with by Swans and Ross Carmichael slotted the loose ball home.
Instead of the floodgates opening Swans continued to dominate and with Jacob Harrop once again central to Swans best work. After 27 minutes Harrop had a glorious chance to restore parity. After cleverly working space on the edge of the area, Harrop's curling effort lacked pace and power with Nick Carroll in the home goal easily gathering. On the half hour mark Carroll was in the thick of the action and his error resulted in another excellent opening for the visitors. What looked look like a routine catch from a Ricky King cross saw Carroll look anything like the DPL Rep side 'keeper as he flapped then dropped the ball, Paul Best's goalbound shot was blocked and Jacob Harrop's follow up drifted just wide. 5 minutes later and Carroll was beaten but the woodwork came to his rescue after Ben Harding's dipping drive rattled the frame of the goal. Lovely link play from Harrop saw Harding unleash a powerful shot from the edge of the box which hit the bar and the rebound fell gracefully into Carroll's arms. Two more half chances from Best and Harrop saw Swans go in at the break trailing which on the balance was harsh on the side. You did sense that playing with the wind would give Swans their best opportunity to find the net but sadly they once again would count the cost of not scoring when on top.
After the interval, Swans were playing against the wind and they struggled to get out of their own half with Portland the dominate side in a total role reversal from the opening period. Liam Currell had looked quiet against his former Club but on 54 he was denied by the post after a lovely turn left Tony Parrott for dead. Ten minutes later and he did manage to beat Taylor after being set free by John Litherland after Swans had given the ball away in midfield. The game became very scrappy with neither side able to gain a foothold. Swans cause wasn't helped when Judd Huse was forced off with a groin strain with 20 minutes left.
Approaching the games latter stages Swans did find themselves in good positions but a final ball was lacking and with Lewis Whyton once again showing why he should be playing at a much higher level, Swans didn't really muster a clear scoring opportunity in the second half. On 80 minutes, Carl Mutch should have made it 3-0 but his shot was high and wide when it looked easier to score. The former Hamworthy United man made no mistake 5 minutes later when his delightful lob over the onrushing Taylor made the game safe. In injury time, Alex Halloran scored a fourth when his low drive beat Taylor at his near post.
Worryingly for Swans after the re-start for the fourth goal, Stephen Bromfield went down in a heap near the dugout touchline complaining of chest pains. Sensibly, the official called a halt to the match as the Swans staff tended to Broomfield. An ambulance was called as a precaution but thankfully after a series of tests, Broomfield was given the ok.
Swans: Taylor, Carpenter, Broomfield, Parrott, Watson, Harding, Best, Harrop, Huse (Ritchie 70), King, Stratford.
Virtual Swans Man Of The Match: Jack Watson