Lack of Firepower Costs Royals
16th October 2010
Brendan Rodgers returned to the Madejski Stadium and got one over his former employees, as his Swansea side ran out 1-0 winners. Both sides wasted good chances and it was a first half goal from Scott Sinclair that proved the difference.
Brian McDermott made a surprising team selection opting to bring back Andy Griffin, Hal Robson Kanu and Matt Mills following injuries and suspensions. Shaun Cummings was very harshly dropped from the side that had drawn with Preston, Simon Church and Alex Pearce perhaps less so.
The first half saw Swansea dominate a lot of possession but, as so often happened with the Royals under Rodgers last season, a lot of it was in their own third and they rarely threatened Adam Federici`s goal. Shane Long had the first real chance of the game when he headed over from six yards and then Jobi McAnuff saw a free kick well saved.
The Swans took the lead though 10 minutes before the break when Griffin was caught napping and played Sinclair onside, the former Chelsea man making it look simple as he rounded Federici and slotted into an empty net.
Nathan Dyer should have made it two before the break but he shot wide and the dominance of the away side continued after the break. Dyer hit the bar after another through ball caught our defence napping, and we didn`t learn from our mistakes as the same thing happened yet again moments later but this time Federici saved well to deny Stephen Dobbie.
Our Aussie keeper was in fine form and he was keeping us in the game, this time from a corner he denied the visitors from point blank range after a goalmouth scramble. We needed to change things and eventually just after the hour Noel Hunt replaced the ineffective Robson Kanu, and we started to keep the ball much better.
Long wasted another chance when he headed over from almost on the goal line and Jimmy Kebe flashed an effort over from the corner of the box after Swansea had switched off from a corner. Hunt then saw a header saved from Kebe`s cross and Kizhanishvili almost forced a goal following Ian Harte`s corner.
Hunt was looking lively and he put the ball on a plate for his fellow sub Simon Church with time running out but the Welsh striker headed over the best chance of the game for the Royals. That completed a hat trick of headers that we really should have scored at least one goal from.
It was the lack of firepower that had cost the Royals at least a point in this game. When the likes of Kebe and McAnuff have an off day, as they did here, or a set piece of quality is not put into the box then we really need at least one of our strikers to convert one of the half chances that come their way. None of them look capable at the moment, and with Long and Church both having chances already this season it must surely be time for Noel Hunt to start at Bristol City on Tuesday night.