Soccer Magazine

90 Minutes from Greatness

By Stuartnoel @theballisround

So after 27 hours of celebrating Swansea’s, Abigail Davies has woken up from her celebrations to realise that the dream was true – Swansea City would be going to Wembley and one step from the Premier League.

90 Minutes from greatness
The Swans went into the second leg of the play off semi final against Nottingham Forest with a fundamental advantage having held Billy Davies’ side to a 0-0 draw at The City Ground, despite playing almost the whole game with 10 men.

Brendan Rodgers side were without Neil Taylor for the game after the left back’s appeal against his red card was unsuccessful.

Swansea went into the game in great form having kept clean sheets in four of their previous five games – only conceding 11 league goals at The Liberty all season.

The home side got the game under way and were quick to show their intent with Dyer having a shot within the opening 2 minutes as Dobbie threaded the ball through for the winger, who’s attempt was blocked by Lee Camp. Borini was next to try his luck moments later, however his effort was also blocked.

Forest provided a scare moments later, from a Swansea corner Tyson emerged with the ball and after a surging run forward found David McGoldrick inside the area – his shot rattled the cross bar before going out for a goal kick.

The Swans soon regained the upper hand with some great link up play they were looking forceful pushing forward.

Nathan Dyer was involved in Swansea’s next chance of the game as he picked out Scott Sinclair, the wingers shot fired across the face of goal.

Swansea came even closer to breaking the deadlock with 20 minutes on the clock when Leon Britton played through Fabio Borini who turned well inside the area, creating space for a shot however the Italian striker was denied by the woodwork.

90 Minutes from greatness
The Swans persisted and eventually took the lead just before the half hour mark. After scoring his first league goal since 2006 against Sheffield 9 days earlier, Leon Britton was the player on hand to give Swansea the advantage with an outstanding strike from the edge of the penalty area.

It took just five minutes for The Swans to double their lead, with another long range effort- this time from Stephen Dobbie who netted his 10th goal of the campaign.

Camp denied the home side of a third just before half time after great link up between Dobbie and Sinclair, Fabio Borini was played through forcing Lee Camp to parry the ball out for a corner.

Nottingham Forest tried to spark a comeback early on in the second half with Tudguy blasting a shot over the bar from 12 yards out.

The away side continued to apply pressure as Lewis McGugan came close from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area.

Brendan Rodgers made his first change of the game with an hour gone as Pratley was introduced at the expense of Stephen Dobbie who had yet again proved detrimental offensively.

Darren Pratley almost made an immediate impact as Sinclair picked out the midfielder unmarked in the box- his header glanced just wide of the target.

Robert Earnshaw reigniting Forest hopes with 10 minutes remaining, having only been on the pitch for two minutes.

90 Minutes from greatness
As in the first leg, Forest failed to make their usual impact from set pieces with Swansea defending 6 Forest corners well.

The Swans survived the onslaught of Forest pressure and sealed the victory in the 93rd minute. After Camp had gone up for a Nottingham corner, Pratley broke out of the Swansea box- his shot from the half way line found the back of the net and rounded off an emphatic victory for Swansea City.

The Swans truly demonstrated their Premier League credentials yet again with an impressive team performance.

Brendan Rodgers side dictated the pace and dominated for the most part of the game. Their reward for their efforts is a final at Wembley, where they will face Reading for a place in the Premier League, after The Royals dismissed Cardiff 3-0 at The Cardiff City Stadium.

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