Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Saturday December 26 2009
26th December 2009
A Gylfi Sigurdsson goal in stoppage time at the end of the first half was enough to get the Royals a point in this Boxing Day clash against Swansea, but Brian McDermott is still searching for his first win in Caretaker charge.
McDermott made just one change from the encouraging draw against Bristol City last weekend, with Brynjar Gunnarsson coming in at right back for the injured Jay Tabb, who picked up a calf strain. Brian Howard was also back on the bench after recovering from a fractured cheekbone, taking the place of Simon Church who was suspended following his red card at Ashton Gate.
A free kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson was the first effort registered on either goal when his free kick narrowly evaded everyone as well as the far post, and at the other end Nathan Dyer forced Adam Federici into a smart save. Sigurdsson continued to cause a threat to the Swans defence and his run and shot was spilt by keeper Dorus De Vries but Shane Long was offside and couldn`t make the most of the rebound.
The game was lacking in real clear cut chances though and as we approached half time it looked like it would be goalless but Darren Pratley made a surge into the box and his effort found the back of the net to continue his good run of goal scoring form.
In stoppage time at the end of the first half Sigurdsson won a free kick on the edge of the area and he got himself up to curl a fine set piece into the corner of the net. It capped an excellent first half for the young Icelander and sent us in at the break all square.
Grzegorz Rasiak and Sigurdsson fired off target in the early stages of the second half before Brian McDermott showed his tactical nous, switching to a three man midfield with Jimmy Kebe coming. The Malian winger almost immediately set up Sigurdsson, but De Vries saved well, and Federici did the same at the other end from a low header.
Kebe could, and should, have won the game in the closing stages when he latched onto Federici`s long kick forward but with Sigurdsson standing unmarked in the middle, he chose to shoot himself and saw his effort pushed away. There was to be no winner and both sides reluctantly settled for a point, which was the Royals third 1-1 draw in a row.
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Date:Saturday December 26 2009
|3. Leicester City||19||12||2||5||10||38|
|4. Derby County||19||10||4||5||14||34|
|8. Leeds Utd||19||9||3||7||6||30|
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