Swansea City 3-0 Barnet
Match Report by Nigel Gigg
Swans eased into the 2nd round of the Carling Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over League Two Barnet, with goals from Cedric van der Gun, Darren Pratley and Shefki Kuqi.
The 100 days or so since the last competitive game at the Liberty has once more been a period of turmoil. The loss of the most influential player in the past 10 years in Leon Britton was followed by yet another change in Manager. With an opening day loss at Hull there could have been an air of despondency creeping in but the signing of Scott Sinclair had helped give everyone a lift.
Swans started with a mixture of first team players, fringe players and a couple of debutants in Scott Donnelly and Joe Walsh.
The opening ten minutes or so were dominated by Barnet with Mark Byrne missing a glorious opportunity after a mix up in the heart of the Swans defence. Against the run of play Swans then won a penalty. Andrea Orlandi had played an excellent ball to Cedric van der Gun and the Dutch winger left his marker for dead before being upended as he was about to shoot at goal.
Shefki Kuqi stepped up for the spot kick but fired straight down the middle and the ball thundered against the bar before Barnet defenders managed to clear. Swans next attack saw the bar struck again as Kerry Morgan’s misdirected cross found Jake Cole in the Barnet goal in no mans land.
It was only another six minutes before Swans did get their goal. Kerry Morgan did well to keep the ball in play and Albert Serran’s deep cross was met perfectly by Cedric van der Gun who easily outjumped pint sized full back Sam Cox.
Swans stayed in control for the remainder of the half without really looking like adding to their lead.
Swans dominance continued into the second half. Garry Monk and Alan Tate snuffed out all Barnet’s efforts going forward and Joe Allen, who had started slowly, was the dominant force in midfield.
Brendan Rodgers took off Scott Donnelly and Kerry Morgan with Darren Pratley and Nathan Dyer coming on. Within five mnutes of coming on Darren Pratley had doubled the Swans lead.
Swans won a free kick 40 yards out and Shefki Kuqi tapped the ball to Prats. The speedy midfielder then went on a mazey run holding off three or four defenders before firing home from 15 yards. His celebration of taking off his shirt and running 50 yards down the touchline holding up his shirt to the fans in theWest Stand looked like a man giving out a message. The referee’s message was much clearer. Yellow card.
Having dominated the game, gone 2-0 up it was then disappointing that Swans earned a further three yellow cards. Alan Tate and Garry Monk for poor challenges and Shefki Kuqi getting needlessly involved in a face to face after Tatey’s card.
Shefki Kuqi missed a glorious chance with the goal at his mercy after excellent approach play from Nathan Dyer but the big striker did get his goal beating the offside trap before rolling the ball past Cole with some confidence.
de Vries 7 – Called into action three or four times in the last 20 minutes but always in control.
Serran 7 – Decent game and supplied cross for the first goal.
Tate 8 – Excellent display but picked up a stupid yellow card when the game was won.
Monk 7 – One of two mistakes and another to pick up a daft booking.
Walsh 6 – Looks one for the future. Good build, good left peg but some way from being the ready at this level.
Van der Gun 8 – Always a threat. Totally dominated young full back Sam Cox who was taken off at half time.
Allen 9 – Took time to settle but bossed the midfield.
Donnelly 7 – Looked very much like Andy Robinson when he first came to us, in both staure and the way he plays his football.
Orlandi 7 – Usual Orlandi performance. Looks so gifted at times and then drifts out of things for long periods.
Morgan 7- Decent game but with Sinclair, Cotterill, Dyer, Van der Gun, Orlandi, Gower, Butler and MacDonald ahead of him for a place out wide opportunities will be restricted unless the plague strikes!
Kuqi 5 – Control or lack of it drew groans from the Stands. Awful penalty, awful missed open goal but thankfully scored when one on one with the keeper. Removed his Swans shirt at full time to show a shirt in tribute to Besian Idrizaj. A timely reminder that some things are bigger than football.
Dyer 7 – Quiet but one bit of magic created golden chance for Kuqi.
Pratley 8 – Looked the class act we all know he is. Won’t mention the daftest of all the yellow cards.
Gower 6 – Did nothing special or stupid.