Dyer and Donnelly put City to the sword
Goals by Nathan Dyer and Rory Donnelly handed Swansea a win and maintained their 100 per cent record for pre-season with a sixth win as they overcame Exeter City by a 2-0 scoreline.
The Grecians gave as good as they got in the first half, with John O’Flynn, Alan Gow and Liam Sercombe getting efforts in. But it was the Premier League side who showed their class by taking the lead, as Nathan Dyer converted when played through on goal by Jose Canas.
Exeter City completed their 2013 home pre-season schedule by taking on a near-full strength Swansea City side at St James Park. The Premier League Swans, who were without club-record £12 million signing Wilfried Bony, were certainly not short of any attacking flair, giving starts to last season’s eighteen-goal top scorer Michu as well as the pacy Nathan Dyer out wide. The Grecians fielded a strong eleven themselves though, and lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation. Having signed a new contract with the club earlier this week, Matt Oakley took a place on the bench, where he was joined by Sam Parkin, looking to make his first appearance at SJP since arriving at the club this summer, and triallist David Wheeler.
A loose pass from Ki Sung-Yeung allowed John O’Flynn and Alan Gow to link up down the left-wing, creating the game’s first half-chance, though neither were able to put German goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel under any real pressure in the Swansea goal. The home side were on the attack again on six minutes as Tommy Doherty fed Arron Davies on the right, but the Welshman’s cross looped over Tremmel’s bar.
But it was Swansea who opened the scoring on ten minutes. New Spanish signing Jose Canas intercepted the ball in the middle of the park and found Nathan Dyer on the left with a defence-splitting pass. Dyer, who scored twice in last season’s Capital One Cup Final win over Bradford City at Wembley, made no mistake with his first opportunity of the match, side-footing past Krysiak to put the Welsh side in front.
After O’Flynn was caught offside from a Liam Sercombe through-ball, Michu should have doubled his side’s advantage after being put through by fellow Spaniard Alejandro Pozuelo, signed from Real Betis this summer. The game had its first drinks-stop after twenty-two minutes as Jose Canas was tended to following a clash in the middle of the park:
With play back under way, interplay from Dyer and Michu allowed Pozuelo a crossing chance, but nobody got on the end of his ball. Moments later, Scot Bennett was at full-stretch in Tremmel’s box but was just short of directing Woodman’s cross-field ball goalwards. A challenge between Gow and Canas left the Exeter man needing treatment on the half-hour mark, but the home side’s best chance yet was soon after. O’Flynn flicked the ball back to Gow from the dead-ball line by Tremmel’s goal. The former Rangers man sought Davies, but was denied by a crucial touch from the Jacks’ defence.
Liam Sercombe’s acrobatic attempt on goal was off-target on thirty-five minutes, before Garry Monk cut out O’Flynn’s cross not long after. Artur Krysiak was on hand to take the ball off the toes of Michu when he was fed by Ki, before denying him again when he scuffed the ball goalwards after Pozuelo’s chip. Alan Gow curled a free-kick over as the first half drew to a close.
Half-time: Exeter City 0 Swansea City 1
The first shot of the second half brought a stop from Tremmel, as Alan Gow tried one from the right wing. Bennett also put an effort into the keeper’s hands as Exeter looked for a way back into the match. The away fans at the far end of the Stagecoach Stand thought their team had doubled their advantage when the sharp-looking Pozuelo had an effort go against the outside netting, but luckily for the Grecians Krysiak had his near-post covered. Krysiak was then at full-stretch to stop Michu after a run from Neil Taylor down Exeter’s right-flank.
Swansea substitute Ben Davies clipped the top of his own bar with a header when put under pressure by a cross from triallist David Wheeler, who appeared to be enjoying himself on the right flank.
Sam Parkin was another substitute who wasted no time in making his mark on the game, using his strength to gain possession of the ball against the comparatively smaller Swansea defenders that surrounded Exeter’s imposing centre-forward.
The Grecians were still very much in the game as it entered its final ten minutes. There was a penalty shout when Jamie Reid’s shirt appeared to be tugged just inside the box, but nothing was given. City’s resolve was finally broken when the Swans got their second on eighty-five minutes. Good work from Jonjo Shelvey, signed from Liverpool this summer, set up Ki, who played a low cross that was converted by Rory Donnelly.
That was the final clear-cut chance on goal, as Swansea continued their one hundred per cent record in pre-season. For City though, it was a very encouraging performance, as they more than held their own against an established Premier League outfit. The performance will have been very encouraging for Paul Tisdale’s men.
Full-time: Exeter City 0 Swansea City 2
Exeter City: Krysiak, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Sercombe, Gow, Davies, Doherty, Dawson, O’Flynn.
Subs: Pym, Oakley, Moore-Taylor, Reid, Nichols, Gosling, Keohane, Wannell, Jagger Cane, Parkin, Tillson, Anderson, Wheeler, Grimes, Chamberlain.
Swansea City: Tremmel, Amat, Taylor, Michu, Dyer, Routledge, Monk, Ki, Canas, Rangel, Pozuelo.
Subs: Vorm, Williams, Britton, Shelvey, Hernandez, De Guzman, Richards, Davies, Donnelly.
Referee: A. Woolmer
Attendance: 2,265 (468 away)