First TeamRotherham United 1-1 Swansea City - Cheers Darling

Rotherham United 1-1 Swansea City – Cheers Darling

The Swans opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw at newly promoted Rotherham United thanks to a superb long range strike from Harry Darling on his professional debut for the club.

Chiedozie Ogbene opened the scoring against the club who have shown interest in him this summer from a defensive mix-up after a throw in and had other opportunities to increase the one goal advantage.

Andy Fisher came to the rescue although the Swans created enough over the course of the match to have won the match comfortably. Perhaps Michael Obafemi will have had a sleepless night last night reflecting on his horrendous miss in front of goal.

The Swans lined up as expected for the game with a 3-5-2 formation:

Fisher

Wood – Naughton – Darling

Latibeaudiere – Fulton – Grimes – Sorinola

Piroe – Obafemi – Paterson

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The start of the game saw some good Swans possession reminiscent of much of last season albeit with a little.more attacking intent.

Joel Piroe saw a shot deflected over and Sorinola had an effort blocked on the left as the Swans looked sharp in midfield.

But that early season optimism was rocked by some familiar defence fragility when a throw in wasn’t dealt with by new centre backs Wood and Darling allowing Ogbene to flick on to put the Millers ahead.

Indeed Ogbene had a real impact on the game with his energy and quick running posing a difficult challenge for Joel Latibeaudiere to deal with in his rather unfamiliar right wing back role.

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And it was him who would go close to making it 2-0 but for Fisher who palmed away his snap effort for a corner which came to little.

But if there’s one thing we learned from this game it’s that Darling will be getting forward a lot from centre back and one of his trademark forays forward brought the equaliser.

He strode forward from the middle of the park and then curled a delightful effort past the keeper to settle the nerves and give him his 11th goal since the start of last season.

Paterson then had an effort held before Wood missed a glorious chance after a superb free kick from Paterson by heading over at the back post.

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Second half begun with no changes and the Millers looked to throw bodies forward which did present Ogbene with a chance which was well tipped away by Fisher.

The Swans threatened in flashes but there largely wasn’t the same attacking intensity that was seen in the first half although the miss of the season was already in the bag for Obafemi…

The striker who really delivered in the second half of last season was found by a delightful ball from Piroe and from the right side of the six yard box mishit the ball when it was easier to apply the finish.

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That would have sent the strong Swansea faithful home with all three points but alas it wasn’t to be and despite further efforts on goal there was to be no winner and Martin had to be content with a point.

It’s an improvement on the first game last season and there was undoubtedly patches where there was real cohesion and sharpness in the team’s play.

There is still a question mark defensively with Ogbene allowed to so easily score but the real test of progress will be when Blackburn arrive in SA1 on Saturday.

A win and things will be looking good. Anything else and the question marks may get bigger.

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MATCH FACTS AND LINE UPS

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Rob Davies
East Stand season ticket holder since 2007 and a small part of Planet Swans since 2021.

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