Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday February 14 2009
Both sides deserve credit for putting on a cup tie that will now be replayed in West London in approximately ten days time.
For the trip to South Wales, Roy Hodgson made four changes to the team that battled for a point up at the JJB last Saturday.
With several players having played a full ninety minutes on international duty, allied with some long distance travelling, Fredrik Stoor, Zoltan Gera, Olivier Dacourt and Erik Nevland were drafted into the starting eleven.
At a vociferous Liberty Stadium it was the hosts that got off to the better start.
Playing some bright and inventive passing football it didn`t take long for our defence to be opened up.
As early as the third minute Gower was bearing down on goal and Schwarzer was thankful to see his shot bounce off the foot of the post instead of nestling in the bottom corner.
Swansea were, in the opening exchanges, constantly stretching Fulham. With Dyer and Gower hogging the flanks the opportunity was there to stretch our defence and it was something Swansea often did.
One such foray forward saw a beautiful ball played into the box by Rangel and Schawrzer had to pull off a smart save from Gower who, on reflection, probably should have done better.
As the half hour mark passed Swansea, still pushing forward, saw Tate curl a shot just over the bar from twenty two yards before, finally, Fulham started to create a half chance or two.
One of these saw Davies find Nevland who header towards Johnson saw the Swansea keeper, De Vries, rush out smartly to foil the striker. Minutes later a half chance was nearly created when a Davies back-heel was, at the last minute, cut out.
But, probably against the run of play, Fulham took the lead. Johnson won a corner and when Konchesky floated the ball into the danger area De Vries flapped at the ball and only succeeded in knocking it against the helpless Monk who stood bewildered as the ball rolled into the net.
A piece of good fortune on the road whatever next?
The second half saw Swansea keep up their flowing football and just after the fifty minute mark they got back into match. The equaliser came from the prolific, and powerful, Jason Scotland who picked up a ball from Gower and drove a left foot shot past Schwarzer into the bottom corner of the net.
Much of the better action continued to come from Swansea and Rangel showed his skills by drifting past three Fulham defenders before putting a ball in that was almost deflected towards the lurking Scotland.
Just past the hour mark Swansea had a penalty claim turned down when a Scotland shot was charged down on the edge of the area. Stoor was guilty of a clumsy tackle on Allen and you wondered if Fulham could stand up to the barrage coming their way.
Some further good play, as Swansea pushed forward, saw Hangeland come to the rescue. Gomez then drove a shot just past the post but Fulham were to hang on and grab that replay some might say they didn`t quite deserve.
Date:Saturday February 14 2009
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