In the latest of our features of classic derby matches of the past we cast our minds back to 2009 and an eventful 2-2 draw at Ninian Park – the last derby to be played on the ground. Mike Reid, Joe Allen and being cheated out of a deserved win.
Cardiff City 2 Swansea City 2
05 April 2009
The Planet Swans Match Report
Swansea City were denied a victory in a hotly contested Welsh derby today thanks to the award of a dubious last minute penalty by Mike Dean, the referee who was hit on the head by a coin thrown by the home support earlier in the match.
The referee – who had his head split open by a coin in the first half – pointed to the penalty spot after Ash Williams brushed against McCormack to the amazement of the travelling Jack Army who had watched just minutes earlier local lad Joe Allen fire in his first Swansea goal.
That Allen strike appeared to have given the Swans all three points in a hotly contested but reasonably even derby in which I guess on reflection the points being shared was a fair result even if it doesn’t feel like that at this moment in time.
The bubble trip passed by without incident of note between the two sets of supporters with the 33 Swansea coaches leaving the Liberty shortly after 8am and returning just before 3pm with everyone visibly gutted by the final score. That said the 1650 supporters had been behind the side from the off and were loud and proud throughout the ninety minutes in what had been promised as an intimidating atmosphere.
McCormack’s penalty was the second time the Swans had been pegged back with Chopra cancelling out Dyer’s tenth minute opener that proved to be the only goal of the first half. The Swans were indebted at times to the brilliance of Dorus De Vries although Taylor in the home goal was also active as both sides went in search of the victory that they so badly wanted.
The Swans lined up after their two week break as follows
Rangel Monk Williams Tate
Dyer Britton Gomez Pratley Gower
There was little doubt for the first twenty minutes the Swans were in total control of the game with Gomez in particular at the heart of everything that went through the midfield whilst Dyer was an ever willing outlet on the right. And it was that outlet that produced the first goal as the on loan Southampton man started and finished the move that gave the Swans the lead.
Cutting inside he passed to Scotland whose return pass was to perfection and despite the presence of Taylor, Dyer kept his composure and gave the Swans the lead. Cue a mad celebration in the visiting side of Ninian Park .
As Cardiff bid to come back into the game, it was the referee at the heart of the next indicent of note. Chopra flew in on Gomez and as the Swans player lay on the floor Garry Monk was questioning the dcecision with Mr Dean when he was struck with a coin thrown from the Cardiff end. TV pictures showed a cut on the head and the Sky Sports cameras picked him up at half time ensuring that they had seen the damage – case not closed but some credit to Cardiff City for picking out at least one guilty party before the game was out.
Dorus saved the Swans on more than one occasion in the first half keeping out McCormack and Bothroyd whilst Chopra hit the post as the home side went in search of the equaliser but it wasn’t to be during an enthralling first half – no doubt helped from the Swansea perspective by having the lead at the interval.
The first chance of the second half went to Dyer after Taylor could only parry Gomez’ shot but his effort was cleared off the line – a save that gave Cardiff some hope.
And that hope was turned into an equaliser shortly after as Chopra produced the equaliser. The Swans defence stood still appealing for offside as the ball was floated into the box where Bothroyd played it across for the Cardiff striker to have the easiest chance of the game to finish.
That led to the one period of the game where the Swans were under real pressure and most definitely on the back foot as the home crowd – it seemed from the away end to be for the first time – got behind their side and tried to get them the win they needed. Ledley’s effort was the closest as the fingertips of Dorus pushed it around for the corner although the Swans were by this time getting hold of more possession in the hope they could get the win.
And it seemed with three minutes to go as if they may have managed it. Allen turned once, turned twice on the edge of the area and hit his low shot past Taylor to silence Ninian Park and give him his first ever Swansea goal – and what a time to produce it. Three minutes left, 2-1 up and the Swans only had to hold on for the three points.
And they would have done had it not been for the intervention of Dean who amazed everyone when he pointed to the penalty spot to give McCormack the chance to send Dorus the wrong way and rescue a point for Cardiff.
The decision had so incensed Tom Butler that he was red carded after the final whistle in the protests but they were in vein as the Swans had to settle for a point.
Cardiff manager Dave Jones:
“Two minutes to go it was a sloppy goal for us to give away, we were pressing to try and get the win and were caught with a sucker-punch.
“But fantastic character from the players, they never gave up and came away with something from the game.
“We deserved something and if we’d come away with nothing I would have been really down-hearted.”
Swansea manager Roberto Martinez:
“If that’s a penalty you’re going to give six or seven penalties (in a game).
“Both players are trying to get into a good position and it’s a very, very soft penalty.
“But disappointing because the result doesn’t reflect the performance and to come here to Ninian Park is a big ask.”