Saturday 2nd October 1999 – Swansea City 0 Mansfield Town 1 – Nationwide League Division Three
What a dreadful performance today.
If Hollins thinks that the arrival of walter Boyd is going to solve our problems, then he’s a bigger fool than he’s taking all of us for.
The conditions were dire – gusting winds and pouring rain – and the performances were equally dire.
When half-time arrived, Mansfield had had FIVE gilt-edged chances to score and we’d had TWO. The rest of it was a comedy of errors in which the pass count rarely reached 3.
Mike Howard was at fault for their goal when he fell asleep coming out of defence. As the ball was given away to them (for the umpteenth time) the slumbering Howard allowed their right winger an extra second to set off for the through ball.
This proved to be 1 second too much as he raced to the by-line and cross ahead of Howard’s futile challenge. The ball ran towards the near post where a smart back heel went through the legs of Bound (or Smith) and past the diving Freestone. The ball destined for the net was merely helped on its way by an alert unmarked Stag.
Despite this setback, Mansfield were determined to give us every assistance in our quest for an equaliser and their defending in their box was similar to that of a struggling under 15 team.
Despite this we just didn’t have the guile or energy to take advantage. Far too often players were let down by the ball being on their “wrong” foot. How many years have I been going on about this?
The crowd started leaving 15 minutes before the end and when the final whistle went, not one of the players would even look towards the North Bank (except Nick Cusack) let alone come over to applaud the chanting fans. The chant was – What a load of rubbish.
Rest assured, even if Hollins is incapable of conveying the message that their performance was totally unacceptable, the crowd left the players in no doubt about it.
I will be very surprised to read reports that any of them were out in the City tonight.
Freestone – nothing to do
Jones – weak with poor distribution throughout
Howard – poor and was substituted with 20 minutes to go
Smith – worst game this season – frequently at 6’s and 7’s in the first half
Bound – average by his standards – but still one of our best players today.
Price – never got going and was subbed
Cusack – reasonable performance again – economical with his distribution and even got forward more today.
Thomas – could be Cyril the Swan in a few weeks time
Coates – one of the better ones on view – gave 100% in the last quarter when most others didn’t bother
Mutton – had 2 glorious chances in the first half and should have scored with the first. Very lightweight.
Bird – didn’t do anything again from what I could see. Was too far away from Mutton so no repeat of Tuesday’s inter-passing v inter-cardiff
Alsop (for Mutton around 60 mins) – is likely to be back hod carrying before this season ends
Appleby (for Price around 65 mins) – took 15 mins to touch the ball!
Jenkins (for Howard around 70 mins) – not the answer.
Some questions that need answering:-
Why wasn’t Roberts or O’Leary on the bench?
The only logical reason I can think of for the former’s non-appearance is that he is about to be transferred? Local press reports injury – belatedly
Why wasn’t Phillips given a run-out after his performance on Tuesday?
and the big one ..
What was the game plan today John?