A 2pm kick-off today – due to the England v Wales rugby game – meant a change in the normal routine for the Swans regulars, but it mattered little in the end as the Swans ran out 2-1 winners against the Latics.
The major change in the starting line up was the inclusion of Joe Allen to replace the suspended Darren Pratley or injured Paul Anderson. This seemed to affect our game plan and for the first 20 minutes or so we struggled to get into any sort of rhythym (as per previous weeks) against a physical and well organised Oldham side.
Slowly but surely we began to show glimpses of the form which has seen us take a 10 point lead at the top of League One, but it was obviously going to be a tough afternoon – not helped by a somewhat fussy and often irrational referree. On the subject of referrees, I past 3 weeks had seen a considerable improvement in the standard of decision making and indeed general marshalling of games – until today that was!!
A pretty frustrating first half came to an end with the scores level and it was obvious that something needed to change as the young Joe Allen was being muscled out of the game – thus making us light in midfield. Dennis Lawrence was a notable contributor in the first half with a commanding display in defence – long may his rich vein of form continue.
The 2nd half started off pretty much as the first had ended – until the introduction of Guillem Bauza. This was to be the turning point, both in terms of formation and goals. Suddenly we seemed to step up a gear and lo and behold, an own goal some ten minutes atfer his introduction put the Swans 1 up.
A harsh penalty decision against Bodde ten minutes later meant Oldham drew level, but the Swans were not to be denied as another substitute Fabian Brandy gave us the 3 points with a winner 3 minutes from time. Oh how we celebrated after such a hard fought win!
For me the notable performances of the day came from Big Den, Tommy Butler and good old Bauza – the latter also taking the sponsors man of the match award.
So next up it’s Crewe away and that means a trip for the Dieters Bar Jacks once again – gathering even more away grounds under their belt in the quest for membership of the 92 club.
One other peice of news today worth a mention is the fantastic efforts of the Welsh rugby team, whom finally laid a ghost to rest when they defeated the old enemy (England) 26-19 at Twickers. What a huge difference to the last time I mentioned a game against them back in August 2007 – what a humiliation that was. Let’s hope that we can now take some momentum from this and turn the Scots over in Cardiff next week.
As the songs goes “What a beautiful day”.