Soccer Magazine

Swans Take a Dip on Port Talbot Beach

By Stuartnoel @theballisround

Abi Davies continues her look at Swansea’s preparations for life in the Premier League with a trip to the seaside.  The seaside in this case being Afan Lido aka Port Talbot Beach….She is a braver girl than I am a bloke as she took a dip in the water.

Swans take a dip on Port Talbot beach
Following on from last Saturday’s double header in which The Swans were defeated at The Gnoll before emerging triumphant against Port Talbot, Brendan Rodgers side made the short trip to take on another Welsh Premier League side in Afan Lido.

Swansea were without Gary Monk, Jazz Richards, Ryan Harley and new recruit Danny Graham for the game due to injuries, while Ferrie Bodde was rested as he continues in his quest to recover from his cruciate ligament injury initially suffered in 2008.

Brendan Rodgers side got the game under way dominating from the outset it was just 12 minutes before Afan Lido keeper Chris Curtis was tested, as Tom Butler’s shot forced him into palming the ball out for a corner.

Butler was then presented with Swansea’s next chance of the game as a great ball forward from Beattie was controlled and brought down well by Moore who picked out the run of Butler. The winger’s shot was denied by the outstretched arm of Curtis.

Craig Beattie opened the scoring for Swansea moments later after Joe Walsh capped off a great movement down the left wing with a superb cross into the box, and as Luke Moore failed to connect with the ball it fell for Beattie who’s strike blasted past the Afan Lido keeper.

Swans take a dip on Port Talbot beach
Three minutes later, Butler seemed to have doubled the lead after finding the back of the net with a great long range strike, however his effort was ruled out for offside.

The visitors did double their advantage with 15 minutes of the first half remaining through a superb Lee Lucas strike.  Brendan Rodgers side continued to apply pressure on the Afan Lido defence, while Swansea keeper Jose Moreira was untroubled at the other end of the pitch.

As the ref blew for half time there was no disputing The Swans were worthy of their two goal advantage at the break.  Brendan Rodgers opted to change the whole XI for the start of the second half, which saw the introduction of a number of players who had key roles in last seasons promotion winning campaign.

Within the first minute of the half, Swansea were awarded a penalty and the chance to further extend their lead after Casey Thomas was brought down inside the area by Chris Pridham.  Due to the absence of Scott Sinclair, Stephen Dobbie stepped up to take the spot kick, however his strike was palmed away by Curtis.

Following some scrappy play on the edge of the area, Dyer found space to shoot, only to see his effort fire high over the cross bar.  Casey Thomas was proving one of Swansea’s biggest threats in the second half, demonstrating his blistering pace as well as great power to muscle away from defenders, the winger caused Afan Lido countless problems.

Dobbie had another chance to extend Swansea’s lead but when the ball fell to him inside the area, The Scot failed to find the target as his effort blasted over the cross bar.

Swans take a dip on Port Talbot beach
The Swans also had chances late on through Casey Thomas and centre-back Steven Caulkar, before Joe Allen and Nathan Dyer’s great link up play set up Kemy Agustien for Swansea’s last real chance of the game, however the Dutch midfielder couldn’t find the target with his powerful strike.

The scoreline remained 2-0 and The Swans now head off to Austria on Monday to further continue their preparations for their début season in The Premier League, before facing both Celtic and La Liga newcomers Real Betis on their return.

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