The Swans continued their preparations towards their maiden Barclays Premier League campaign with a victory over Welsh premier league neighbours Port Talbot at the Genquip Stadium this afternoon.
A welcome return to the Swans XI was made by Ferrie Bodde as well as the fans getting first glimpses of Jose Moreira following his move from Benfica as well as youngster Josh Pike at centre back. Brendan Rodgers looks set to continue with the 4-5-1 formation that has led to Swansea’s rise up the divisions.
Swansea: Moreira; Rangel, Taylor, Tate, Pike; Bodde, Allen, Lucas; Casey Thomas, Cotterill, Beattie.
The Swans started brightly with Casey Thomas’ pace down the right hand side causing the Part-timers defence problems. However, in his first game in nearly two years, it was Ferrie Bodde who will make the headlines when an exquisite ball from just inside his own half picked out Craig Beattie who made no mistake slotting the ball cooly into the bottom right hand side of the goal. Bodde’s passing ability was clear to see as every touch was oozing class as well as a free kick on the edge of the area hitting the wall so it was with great disappointment to see him being replaced on 14 minutes by debutant youngster Jordan Smith.
Swans continued to press as Cotterill weaved his way through the defence only to be brought down outside the area. The resulting freekick was deflected over and the danger passed. Substitute Smith displayed a flick of continental flair however his shot was sailed wide of the goal. Chances were falling regularly for the Swans but none of which were testing the Port Talbot keeper with Lucas, Cotterill, Beattie going close. Despite their superiority in the game, Port Talbot were not lying down and came close with striker Martin Rose heading over, one chance saved by the feet of Moreira and another caught comfortably.
Craig Beattie thought he had put the Swans 2-0 but was adjudged to have strayed into an offside position by the linesman. The Jack Army did not have to wait for long to see another goal and it came from an unlikely source. Angel Rangel started and ended the move as he exchanged a neat one two followed by a composed finish to double the lead. The goal mouth action wasn’t over for the half either as Casey Thomas cut the ball back for Craig Beattie who curled the ball slightly over the bar.
Half Time – Swansea 2-0 Port Talbot.
For the second half, Swansea made whole sale changes and it was only David Cornell and Shaun Macdonald having made appearances for the first team. The new line up could not have got off to a worse start as Port Talbot halved the deficit when Martin Rose’s shot was deflected, leaving David Cornell helpless to stop the ball flying into the roof of the net. However, the young swans continued to play football in the way their older teammates do and moved the ball comfortably around the park. The two goal lead was restored when good work on the right hand side saw Kurtis March curl the ball into the net.
The rest of the game was a drab affair and both sides used the time to establish match fitness. Half chances apiece fell as Port Talbot and Swansea but no real goal scoring chances. As the full time whistle sounded, the supporters knew that much sterner tests over the season, but were left to relish the prospect of how crucial a fully fit Ferrie Bodde could be for the Swans.