Thursday, May 23, 2024

Swansea leave Stoke looking over their shoulder

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Apr 2024

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Swansea eased any lingering relegation concerns by beating Stoke 3-0 to leave the Potters hovering perilously above the Championship drop zone.

Liam Cullen poked Jamie Paterson’s cross beyond Daniel Iversen to put Swansea ahead in the 19th minute before Matt Grimes doubled the hosts’ lead after 53 minutes with a penalty after Luke McNally tripped Ollie Cooper.

Josh Key capped off a fine victory for Luke Williams’ men with his second goal of the campaign after 73 minutes as Swansea claimed a first win in four, ending Stoke’s three-game unbeaten run and leaving them three points above the bottom three.

The Swans started on the front foot as former Stoke defender Josh Tymon teed up Jay Fulton who drilled well wide.

The hosts should have gone ahead in the 13th minute as Paterson left Ki-Jana Hoever spinning before picking out Fulton who could only rifle against the post from 10 yards.

But Swansea did take the lead soon after following a quickly taken free-kick.

Captain Grimes fed Paterson who had acres of space to cross to Cullen who poked home his seventh of the season from close range.

Cullen had a chance to double his side’s lead moments later when Grimes intercepted Michael Rose’s wayward clearance, although the Welshman could only volley over from the edge of the 18-yard box.

Stoke struggled to threaten in the torrid south Wales rain, with Wouter Burger heading wide from Million Manhoef’s corner just before the half-hour mark.

The Potters thought they had equalised in bizarre fashion just seconds later though when Rose chipped into the Swansea box.

Goalkeeper Carl Rushworth gathered the ball before losing control after an unintentional collision with Niall Ennis who duly poked into the net, although the goal was swiftly disallowed by referee Keith Stroud.

After a slow start, Steven Schumacher’s men found a foothold in the contest, with Manhoef flashing an effort wide.

And they spurned a fine chance to level proceedings in the dying seconds of the first half when Ennis played Manhoef through on goal, although Harry Darling recovered to force the Dutchman to fire wide from an acute angle.

They were ruthlessly punished for not taking their chances as Swansea doubled their lead with a penalty after the break.

McNally tripped Cooper on the edge of the area, and Grimes stepped up to rifle into the roof of the net from the spot.

Cullen almost got his second of the night from a well-worked corner routine minutes later, although his deflected effort trickled inches wide.

But Swansea got their third late on as Jamal Lowe danced up the left wing, teeing up Key whose first touch took him beyond Rose before unleashing a fierce effort into the net.

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