Abi Davies brings us the pain of the nPower Championship promotion run in from The Liberty Stadium where Hull City were the visitors.
The Swans should have gone into Tuesday nights match full of confidence following their 3-0 win at the weekend. However Brendan Rodgers side knew they were in for a tough evening as they came up against one of the leagues in form team in Hull City. The Tigers, who themselves are still in with a chance of a play off spot came to The Liberty undefeated in their last 15 league games away from home.
The Swans were unchanged from the side that claimed a comprehensive victory over Norwich on Saturday as they looked to extend their unbeaten run at home to 6 matches.
Hull demonstrated early on how they have built such a formidable record on the road, playing some impressive football with midfielder James Harper seeing his long range effort fire wide.
The home side then began to apply pressure on Hull with some great one touch passing between Allen, Dobbie and Borini. It was Stephen Dobbie who had the first effort for the home side, however his strike did not test Hull keeper Matt Duke. There were further chances for Brendan Rodgers side to break the deadlock within the opening 20 minutes but attempts from Dyer, Gower and Dobbie all failed to work Duke.
Joe Allen’s work ethic throughout the first half was yet again of Premiership quality and for me the Narberth product has been one of Swansea’s most consistent performers of the season.
Fabio Borini also failed to find the target with his first half effort, after his run into the box was picked out by Dobbie. The two continued to link up well, with the home side looking the more likely to score despite neither keeper having any real work to do. Swansea came agonisingly close to providing the breakthrough with under 5 minutes of the first half left as James Chester’s initial clearance from a Dobbie cross deflected off Matt Duke back towards the goal, Chester cleared once more with Sinclair unable to direct the ball goal-wards from the follow up.
Half time Swansea 0-0 Hull
Like Saturday, The Swans were slow out of the blocks from the restart, allowing Hull to dictate the pace of the game for the first 10 minutes of the half. Brendan Rodgers side then earned two corners in quick succession as well as a deflected cross from Stephen Dobbie forcing Chester to clear- this allowed them to re-gain momentum.
With an hour gone Nathan Dyer saw his shot fire just wide of the post- adding further frustration to Swansea’s evening in front of goal.
The deadlock was finally broken a minute later. After scoring his first goal in 18 months at the weekend, Mark Gower was on hand to give the home side the lead with a sweetly struck shot from the edge of the penalty area blasting past Matt Duke.
After the goal, fans would have expected The Swans to push for a second- however they seemed to crumble as they tried to sit back and defend their one goal lead, dropping deep they allowed the visitors to attack their back line.
Nigel Pearson’s side were rewarded for their endeavour, equalising in the 70th minute as Corey Evans pounced on some poor defending from Swansea to score from 12 yards out. After Evans strike, it was the away side who looked the more eager to press for a winner with Ashley Williams having to make some crucial interceptions and vital blocks, as well as Dorus De Vries pulling off saves of the highest standard in order to keep the scores level- for the second game running De Vries was one of the stand out performers on the field, with arguably one of the best saves of the game coming after Simpson was sent through one on one with the Dutch keeper who palmed the ball from underneath the striker.
Brendan Rodgers made a double substitution moments later, showing he was not content with a point as Priskin and Moore were introduced in attack in place of Nathan Dyer and Fabio Borini.
Luke Moore had an instant chance to prove his worth, having been out of favour since the arrival of Fabio Borini the ex-West Brom striker was played through by Joe Allen, but after showing great control to chest the ball down the keeper stood tall to keep out Moore’s effort from 12 yards.
Dorus De Vries endured one final scare in the dying moments of the game as he had to stretch to tip Matty Fryatt’s effort over the cross bar.
The Swans were made to rue earlier missed opportunities as both teams had to settle for a point. Hull now extend their unbeaten run on the road to 16 matches while Brendan Rodgers side remain 4th in the league just a point off Norwich who were held at Watford.