Swansea City 3 – 1 Watford on Sunday, 9th November 2008 in
Swans came back from a goal down to secure a tremendous win against a spirited Watford side.
Watford have been a club in crisis with the sacking of Adie Boothroyd and Life President Elton John severing his links with the club. Their supporters sympathy was obviously not with the current owners with a large ‘Sack the Board Banner’ unfurled prior to kick off.
Thankfully, those days are long behind us at Swansea City and our biggest worries revolve around injuries and team selection.
Roberto Martinez fielded the starting eleven everyone was expecting, as Tom Butler wasn’t fit, his place on the bench went to goalkeeper Artur Krysiak.
Side- Konstantopoulos, Rangel, Monk, Williams, Bessone, Gomez, Britton, Bodde, Pratley, Gower, Scotland. Subs- Krysiak, Tate, Brandy, Bauza, Pintado.
Swans had the better of the early exchanges in blustery conditions with the swirling wind making life difficult for both sides.
Swans first serious strike on goal came after a tremendous interception from Leon Britton. He found Mark Gower out wide. The winger cut inside and fired in a low drive that took a deflection and ended up going just inches wide of the post with Richard Lee in the Watford goal well beaten.
Jason Scotland was next to try his luck with a bending right foot shot that forced a full length save from Lee.
Despite dominating the game Watford looked to have taken an early lead when a cross from the right was turned in with the Swans defence static. The defenders will no doubt say they had seen the linesman flagging for a foul throw.
As the game wore on Swans were starting to look a little jaded and their attacks became more and more predictable. Jason Scotland was isolated and Gomez and Gower never ventured too close to the bye lines for fear of having to cross the ball with their ‘wrong’ foot.
On 32 minutes Watford produced a move of quality that left the Swans defence in tatters and Lee Williamson drove home from 12 yards out.
Within seconds of the restart Darren Pratley played a short pass to Ferrie Bodde 35 yards out from goal. Bodde took one touch and with Watford seemingly inviting him to shoot he unleashed a pearler that was past Lee and in the net before the keeper had moved. It was another quality goal from a player of Premiership quality.
After having the lead for just 90 seconds you would have expected Watford’s heads to drop. However, they showed terrific resilience had had the better of the game up to half time.
The second half started as the first had with Swans looking much the classier outfit. Jason Scotland had a half chance but wanted one touch too many and the chance had gone.
Again Watford from being under the hammer struck back and this time it was a rare mistake from Ashley Williams that presented them with the opportunity but the shot took a deflection and went wide of the post.
Roberto Martinez was just about to make a double substitution with Gorka Pintado and Guillem Bauza seconds away from coming on, when Swans took the lead. Darren Pratley from out wide played a terrific cross field ball over the heads of Watford’s back line. Jason Scotland had read the ball perfectly and raced onto it. Richard Lee in the Watford goal rather foolishly game racing off his line and was in no man’s land when Scotland reached the ball. Despite not having looked at his best Scotland should fantastic composure to lift the ball over the keeper into the empty net.
It was no surprise that the substitution was put on ice for the time being.
On 63 minutes the first substitution came with Darren Pratley making way for Guillem Bauza. Prats looked far from happy and it took some consoling words from Graeme Jones to placate him.
Watford were seeing less and less of the ball and their frustration manifested itself in some poor challenges. A stronger referee than Mr Shoebridge would surely have seen one or two dismissals and one dreadful lunge form Lee Williamson on Ferrie Bodde deserved a straight red rather than the almost apologetic yellow that Mr Shoebridge produced.
Gorka Pintado replaced Mark Gower on the left and Swans now had three strikers on the field but only one playing in a striking role.
Angel Rangel had a great chance to make the game safe but dragged his shot inches wide after being put clear by a terrific one two with Jordi Gomez.
Febian Brandy replaced Jason Scotland on 89 minutes.
With one minute of the three minutes added on Swans finally put the game beyond Watford. Watford were short of numbers at the back and a well worked move involving Febian Brandy and Ferrie Bodde resulted in Guillem Bauza finding time and space in the Watford area and he finished well.
So, Swans, who in the words of the South Wales Echo are in mid table mediocrity climb to 9th place, just one point behind Cardiff City, who in the words of the Echo are on the fringe of an automatic promotion place.
Konstantopoulos 7 – Looks good on crosses but will need to work on understanding with his defenders.
Rangel 8 – Another great performance.
Monk 8 – Another great display.
Williams 7 – Not at his best today.
Besssone 7 – Seems to be finding his feet.
Gomez 7- A cultured ball player with the sweetest of sweet left feet and being asked to play wide right. Did a fine job.
Britton 8 – Class act.
Bodde 9 – If Ledley is worth £6m, what the hell must Ferrie be worth.
Pratley 8 – Very good game but seemed really upset by his substitution.
Gower 7- Great control but final ball often a let down.
Scotland 7- Some way off his best but still great to see him back on the score sheet.
Bauza 7 – Saw plenty of the ball and a goal will do his confidence the world of good.
Pintado 7 – Surprise to seem him operate as a left winger but did a fine job.
Brandy – Only on 4 minutes but involved in build up for the third goal.
Swansea: Konstantopoulos, Williams, Monk, Bessone, Rangel, Bodde, Britton, Pratley (Bauza 63), Gower (Pintado 73), Gomez, Scotland (Brandy 89).
Subs Not Used: Krysiak, Tate.
Booked: Britton, Gomez.
Goals: Bodde 34, Scotland 59, Bauza 90.
Watford: Lee, Sadler, Bromby (Robinson 86), DeMerit, Ward, O’Toole, Smith, Williamson, McAnuff, Hoskins (Eustace 67), Rasiak (Priskin 72).
Subs Not Used: Tyler, Mariappa.
Booked: Smith, O’Toole, Williamson, Eustace.
Goals: Williamson 33.
Ref: Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire).