The Swans were made to be patient tonight as they dominated possession against Barnsley at Oakwell and that patience was rewarded with two late goals – from Olivier Ntcham and Jamie Paterson – which gave us a victory on the road and closing in on the top six positions.
There were two changes for the Swans this evening with Ryan Bennett coming back into the side after his suspension at the expense of Ryan Manning whilst Korey Smith was handed a start with Olivier Ntcham being the player to make way.
The first half was a struggle for the Swans who were afforded plenty of possession – 81% of it – but the stark fact in a goalless (and relatively uninspiring) first half was that Barnsley had more efforts on goal and the only on target shot which was reasonably easily dealt with by Hamer.
Swansea’s efforts were being thwarted by a well organised home side who had changed to a four at the back line up in their new manager’s first game and it was clear that he was looking for defensive solidness as the first part of the job that he has in front of him to lift the team away from the bottom end of the league table.
The opening stages of the second period took a very similar trait with the Swans having plenty of possession and plenty of passes but in the final third of the pitch there was much missing as the game went past the hour mark with still no efforts on target for us.
Russell Martin made his first change of the evening on 64 minutes when he introduced Ntcham in place of Flynn Downes whilst just a minute later Ryan Bennett took the first step towards a second suspension of the season when he was shown a yellow card – the Swans second of the match.
Russell Martin’s second change was made on 72 minutes when Manning replaced Bidwell and the change was almost instant when Manning crossed the ball just two minutes later with perfect position for fellow substitute Olivier Ntcham to have the easiest task of guiding the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 Swansea.
The goal had without a doubt lifted the Swans and just five minutes later the game was put beyond doubt thanks to a superb finish from Jamie Paterson who was allowed to run into the area unchallenged with the ball and his low shot was placed well enough to beat the keeper and give the Swans a two goal advantage.
The 365 Jacks in a crowd of just over 11,000 were now in good voice as the game neared the very final stages with the three points in the bag and the sound of Hymns and Arias rang out from the away end as the Swans continued their possession and passing domination of the game.
Leading scorer Joel Piroe was replaced by Liam Cullen with five minutes to play and Barnsley’s frustration was becoming clearer as they resorted to some desperate fouls in a bid to get the ball of us and the referee was presented with a couple of easy yellow card decisions as a direct result.
Full credit to the Swans this evening for remaining patient and true to their game and waiting for the opportunity to grab the goals. I suspect that will be a similair viewpoint of Russell Martin when we hear from him post match. Almost 80% possession and more than 900 attempted passes (more than 800 successfully completed) tells you of the Swans domination of the game but patience was the key and the bigger part was then taking the chances when they arrived which is just what we did.
Another satisfactory evening for the Swans and now its back home and the visit of Reading on Saturday – bring it on!
MATCH FACTS AND LINE UPS
OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
NEXT UP FOR THE SWANS