Like a Moth Drawn to a Flame

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Post by samsami »

Kingsley wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:19 am 5 points from bottom is a little too close for comfort, but you are starting to pick up a few points
Where is the money coming from to buy players ? Did you find it stuffed down the back of a sofa ?
Hope that there are not too many high balls into Jackson
5K for Richardson, 4-K for Brackstone and 10K for Jackson
We sold Gareth Philips for 300K, Mumford for 170K, Keaveny for 110K and there's TV revenue (not much) and gate receipts

It's a matter of spending the bit of cash you have before it's gone
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Post by samsami »

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More glimpses of hope

We had three tricky fixtures remaining in March. Two games against sides which were still very much in the playoff race and then we had to host the bottom most team in the League, Kidderminster Harriers!

On Tuesday 19th March we played Southend United at the Vetch Field in front of a crowd of 6,000 and it was a curious game with all the action happening in the second half.

Richardson played his first full game for the club and after an uneventful first half Roni Joe and Danny Maye found the net in quick succession for our opponents and so it seemed game over for us.

But then, as the clock was ticking down, Sidie put his name on the scoreboard when he found the net from a Jackson corner!

Our hopes were raised and with two minutes remaining Jackson passed to Richardson in the area and our new striker smashed the ball into the net!

And so with Jackson, Theobald and Sidibe as our best players we salvaged an unexpected point!


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On Saturday 23rd March we played Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground with Neil Sharpe for the injured David Theobald and this time it did not go so well for us.

For the longest time there were no goals but just before the half-time whistle was blown our hosts scored not once, but twice. And this time it was really game over for us.

We created very little and even Stephen Brackstone had a bad day at the office. Sidibe was our best player, but with Jackson and Brackstone having an offday there was little he could do.


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Now just before the transfer window closed we sold Paul Reid to Cowdenbeath for a fee of £28,000. And again, this was needed because we had to reduce the wages we were paying every month.


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Also, Mamady Sidibe looked set to leave Swansea City after rejecting the offer of a new contract on 27th March. Our French forward, signed at the start of the season from CA Paris, had been in negotiations with the club for some time, but talks had reached a dead-end now.

Considering our low League position and the wages we could afford, this should not have come as a big surprise to anyone, really.


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There was one game remaining, and it was a crucial game! On Saturday 30th March we played Kidderminster Harriers at the Vetch Field in front of a crowd of 4,000.

And for the very first time this season we played dominating football! We actually battered our opponents, who did not have a single shot on target! Toby Jackson also got game time when he replaced Neil Sharpe in the second half and Jackson played quite well.

With just thirteen minutes on the clock, when Richardson fired the ball upfield and Sidibe tried a potshot on goal and found the net, we thought we would comfortably win the game.

There were plenty of shots on goal and most of them were on target, but although Richardson and Sidibe played quite well Jamie Turner managed to deny their shots and we only won by the narrowest of margins.

Even so, it was encouraging to see how well we could play and, most importantly, the three points were in the bag!


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With six games reamaining we were still not safe from relegation, though. But things did look a little brighter than a few weeks ago. However, we knew now that Sidibe would be leaving at the end of the season.


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And Sidibe was not the only player to leave the club. Michael Jackson and Leigh De Vulgt were also transfer listed.
Last edited by samsami on Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Redknapp69 »

• Good comeback v Southend
• Wrexham continue to have the bragging rights in Wales – THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE
• Jackson and Brackstone warned? – they need to know how much the “derby” (not really a derby but a Welsh derby I guess!) mean to the fans!
• Big shame on “Mama” – maybe see how things are at EOS
• Battering of Kidders
• Think that 3rd update in a row of 4/9 points which surely is enough not to go down
• Massive win over Kidders actually as they would have been right back in it
• Why is Jackson listed?! Under De Vulgt
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Post by samsami »

Redknapp69 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:44 am • Good comeback v Southend
• Wrexham continue to have the bragging rights in Wales – THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE
• Jackson and Brackstone warned? – they need to know how much the “derby” (not really a derby but a Welsh derby I guess!) mean to the fans!
• Big shame on “Mama” – maybe see how things are at EOS
• Battering of Kidders
• Think that 3rd update in a row of 4/9 points which surely is enough not to go down
• Massive win over Kidders actually as they would have been right back in it
• Why is Jackson listed?! Under De Vulgt
If we had lost to Kidderminster that would indeed have been a disaster!

Jackson and De Vulgt both left Swansea in 2002. By selling them now (if we can) we at least get some cash to replace them by better players.
Some of these players wages are also a burden to the club.
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Post by Redknapp69 »

Are you following what happened then IRL?

Jackson seems a decent option in CM so not sure why he would go? How much is he on compared to others at club?
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Post by samsami »

Redknapp69 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:57 am Are you following what happened then IRL?

Jackson seems a decent option in CM so not sure why he would go? How much is he on compared to others at club?
The first season, yes. We need to sell players anyway and Jackson is a decent player but we need a real quality midfielder alongside Jenkins and Brackstone.
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Post by Redknapp69 »

Can we see Jackson's att's again please?

Can't argue with most of the out's so far but hasn't been that much of an upgrade in what's come in yet
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Post by samsami »

Redknapp69 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:41 pm Can we see Jackson's att's again please?

Can't argue with most of the out's so far but hasn't been that much of an upgrade in what's come in yet
Brackstone is the exception so far. And he's onky 19. He shows a lot of promise.

Jackson is a decent player - not very talented, though - and we'll only sell him if we get a good enough offer.
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Post by samsami »

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Limping to the finish line

April was another challenging month. It started with four games in the space of eleven days.

On Saturday 6th April we played the League leaders at Boothferry Park and they taught us a lesson in efficiency. Richardson did well to score from one of our four shots on target, but our hosts scored no less than three goals from their four shots on target!

Our defence was really struggling against Hull City's pace and directness and it was a well-deserved win for the League leaders.


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Three days later we played Total Network Solutions FC - nowadays called The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club - in the Welsh Premier Cup Semi Final at the Vetch Field in front of a crowd of 3,000.

We played reasonably well. That is to say, we created more than enough scoring chances, but our forward line were remarkably toothless and because our opponents scored a fine goal in the first half we lost the first leg by a narrow margin.

Freestone was our best-rated player, which says a lot!


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There is no rest for the wicked. On Saturday 13th April we played Torquay United, also at the Vetch but this time in front of a crowd of 5,000.

We had a huge setback when O'Leary had to go off injured. Not only was he our only decent right defender, we also needed him as right midfielder whenever Jenkins was in need of rest.

Things got worse when David Graham scored with a perfect strike, but six minutes later Sidibe succeeded in cancelling out Graham's opener by scoring with a fierce shot from just outside the area!

Neither team could afford to lose the match so the second half was a very nervy affair with precious few scoring chances for either side.

Brackstone played well, though, as did Sidibe, who was was important again with his goal.


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Finally, on Tuesday 16th April we played the return game against Total Network Solutions FC at Recreation Park, Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain.

And we pulled ourselves together after those recent disappointing performances and it was Mamady Sidibe again who scored the deciding goal with the assist from James Thomas!

The match eventually went to shootouts as there were no goals in extra time and Roger Freestone distinguished himself by first saving our hosts' second penalty and then scoring our fourth penalty himself!

And so both Freestone and Sidibe were important again as we made it to the Welsh Premier Cup Final!


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Post by Redknapp69 »

• Great effort v Hull but defence had a shocker
• Jackson looks awful actually – think he had better att’s when I had him – correct decision to bin him off
• Pretty embarrassing 1st leg loss v TNS but chance to redeem
• David Graham – I bought him in Season 1 for my Swans team and he was brilliant – can we look at his att’s?
• Good job Kidderminster didn’t really pick up points there – safety pretty much guaranteed now
• Big Rog (literally) saves you and a chance to win silverware now
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Post by samsami »

Redknapp69 wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:24 am • Great effort v Hull but defence had a shocker
• Jackson looks awful actually – think he had better att’s when I had him – correct decision to bin him off
• Pretty embarrassing 1st leg loss v TNS but chance to redeem
• David Graham – I bought him in Season 1 for my Swans team and he was brilliant – can we look at his att’s?
• Good job Kidderminster didn’t really pick up points there – safety pretty much guaranteed now
• Big Rog (literally) saves you and a chance to win silverware now
David Graham would be more than welcome. He has a non-promotion release clause of £200,000
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A lot will depend on whether we get enough money for Sidibe or some other way.
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Post by Kingsley »

That is pretty turgid. Limping over the finish line.
TNS was pretty embarrassing even if you did win on pens
Should be a big crowd, but need to play better against Cardiff or there cold be trouble.
A lot of work needed for next season.
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Post by samsami »

Kingsley wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:40 pm That is pretty turgid. Limping over the finish line.
TNS was pretty embarrassing even if you did win on pens
Should be a big crowd, but need to play better against Cardiff or there cold be trouble.
A lot of work needed for next season.
That final is the only thing that makes the season worth remembering if we do well and get a good crowd (that is to say, good income!).

At least we know now who the players are we want to build a new team around and whom we want to try and sell!
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A predictable loss and an unexpected win

On Saturday 20th April we played Oxford United at the Vetch and we came close to defeating the title contenders!

Just before the break Sidibe scored with the assist from Jenkins, who played a fantastic game again, and in the second half for the longest time the scoreline did not change. That is, until Andy Scott finally scored the well-deserved equaliser from close range and then, ten minutes later, Brooks went down from a shove by Jackson. Scott had no problem scoring from the spot and so we lost the game after all.

For the third time this season Lee Jenkins was named Man of the Match. Jenkins had become one of the key players around whom we would build a team for the 2002/03 season!


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Meanwhile, Mamady Sidibe had found a new club. Our French striker would be playing First Division football next season!


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On Wednesday 24th April we played Macclesfield, another strong side in the race for promotion, at the Moss Rose Ground.

This time our new midfielder, Stephen Brackstone, was our best-rated player. In the first half he scored the opening goal in the rebound. However, just before half-time Danny Shipp netted the equaliser for Macclesfield.

But in the second half Brackstone completed his brace with a tap-in and this time we defended our lead well. And what's more, in the dying seconds Jackson scored a fluke goal to give us a flattering 3-1 win.

Sharpe, Brackstone and Sidibe were our best players with Brackstone showing again why he was already regarded by many as one of our key players for the 2002/03 season.


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Post by Kingsley »

Not even celebrating that you are mathematically safe from relegation.
At least Sidebe is not going to a competitor
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Post by samsami »

Kingsley wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:07 am Not even celebrating that you are mathematically safe from relegation.
At least Sidebe is not going to a competitor
I think we were too preoccupied with the problems off the pitch to celebrate. But yes, mission accomplished on the pitch!
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Post by Redknapp69 »

Lovely brace from Brackers

Job done in survival - happy days - can now focus on summer business!
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Post by Kingsley »

Redknapp69 wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:50 am Lovely brace from Brackers

Job done in survival - happy days - can now focus on summer business!
Surely the Cardiff game is still important for you. Most important of the season ?
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Post by samsami »

Kingsley wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:49 am
Redknapp69 wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:50 am Lovely brace from Brackers

Job done in survival - happy days - can now focus on summer business!
Surely the Cardiff game is still important for you. Most important of the season ?
It's probably more important to me, personally, than to the fans?
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Post by Redknapp69 »

It's a biggun for sure...
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A safe 20th-placed finish

There were just two League games remaining now and on Saturday 27th April we played our final away game of the season against Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road.

It didn't start well for us. Their experienced striker, Kevin Nugent, scored from a corner but just before the break Marcus Richardson netted the equaliser with the assist from James Thomas! We had decided to play our remaining games with Thomas and Richardson and I was really pleased that our striker pair were effective.

However, in the second half there were no more goals. We were content with an away draw and our hosts tried, but Freestone denied shots by Thorpe and Nugent and so the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

'Big Rog' was our best player. Like Jenkins and Brackstone, our nearly 33-year-old goalkeeper was one of the key players for the next season and he proved his value for the club once more.


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On Sunday 5th May we played our final home game of the season against Exeter City in front of a crowd of 5,200.

And once again it was Lee Jenkins who showed his value for the club! Our right midfielder scored the early opener and played well throughout the full ninety minutes.

After the break Justin Walker scored the equaliser. His low shot skidded on the wet surface and squirmed past Freestone's outstretched left arm and into the net.

Just like in our previous game both teams seemed content with the 1-1 scoreline and there weren't many shots on goal in that second half. I suppose our lads' minds must have been on Cardiff already. Be that as it may, two minutes into extra time Smith sent Geoff Breslan to the floor with a hard tackle. A free-kick was awarded and Walker stepped up and scored a fine 20-yarder.

Jenkins and Jason Smith were our best players in our final League game of the season - a typical narrow margin loss...


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And so, despite the problems off the pitch and the lack of funds we had at least achieved a safe 20th-placed finish. Not quite what the fans had hoped for, perhaps, but enough for the Board to be reasonably satisfied.


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So now there was just the one game remaining. The Welsh Premier Cup Final against Cardiff City, who had just missed out on promotion to the First Division, while we were languishing at the wrong end of the bottom division.


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Cardiff were ambitious and had spent significantly in a bid to reach the second tier. Having won promotion from Division Three in 2000-01, they broke club transfer records to bring in the likes of Graham Kavanagh and Peter Thorne in the hope of sealing back-to-back promotions.

They almost managed it, losing out in dramatic fashion in the play-off semi-finals against Stoke City, despite winning the first leg, which was away from home.

We, by contrast, had just finished in 20th place in the fourth tier in a campaign remembered mainly for trauma off the field, with Tony Petty's arrival in the boardroom having prompted one of the most turbulent spells in Swansea's history. Our fans had endured what became known as 'Black Wednesday' in October, when businessman Petty attempted to sack seven first-team players.

The best of times, the worst of times stuff for this tale of two cities with two teams who were about to meet in the Welsh Premier Cup Final at Vetch Field!


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Post by Kingsley »

Safe, but a lot to do for next season after a lackluster run-in.
16 points from the playoffs
29 points from automatic promotion
It's a lot to do in 1 season.
As for the cup, anything can happen in a one-of game.
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Post by samsami »

Kingsley wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:01 am Safe, but a lot to do for next season after a lackluster run-in.
16 points from the playoffs
29 points from automatic promotion
It's a lot to do in 1 season.
As for the cup, anything can happen in a one-of game.
It's actually 26 and 29 points. But yes, it's the Welsh Cup Final now!

And it's all or nothing for the manager next season!
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Post by Redknapp69 »

Done what ya needed to this season

A whole summer of wheeling and dealing and getting more of the players you are happier with

But you may have to hit the ground running based on board feedback - be interesting what they expect you to do next year - I'd say half way be decent and top half of table then playoffs a stretch target

Let's go do over the bluebirds and make then "swim away" again
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The FAW Premier Cup Final

And so, after our contrasting league seasons had finished we met Cardiff City in the final of the now-defunct FAW Premier Cup.

It was a miracle that we were even playing in the final. As Kristian O'Leary commented, some 18 years later: "The club was hours from going out of business. They [Cardiff] were going off in their direction and we were where we were. People at the club at the time were just happy the club was still the club, still part of the city, and we were looking at fresh beginnings."


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Now the Cup Final was played at Vetch Field in front of a crowd of over 10,000. The weather was dry and it was 10 degrees so the weather conditions were ideal for football with the pitch in very good condition.



The match

And it was a genuine cup thriller! A few testing crosses into the box was all Cardiff could manage in the opening stages of the game and then it was our turn. Howard made a forward run with the ball and was too quick for Spencer Prior so he struck the ball with fury and scored with a great strike!

Cardiff were the attacking team now and although we defended well we could not prevent Gavin Gordon from netting the equaliser.

The crowd really got behind us now and less than five minutes later Thomas had already restored our lead with the assist from Richardson! However, the very next minute Brackstone dispossessed Peter Thorne with a superb sliding tackle, but Scott Young got a hold of the loose ball and hit a speculative effort that went in!

And so at half-time the scoreline was already 2-2.

So the match was very much in balance, also in the second half. It was a cup final which both teams deserved to win as becomes clear from the match stats, both the number of shots on goal and the player ratings. But there were no further goals, not even in extra time, when nerves began to set in. And so the match went to penalty shootouts!

Perhaps our opponents were even more nervous than we were, but Graham Kavanagh put the first penalty over the bar, while Sibide calmly scored his penalty!

Gareth Whalley took the second penalty, but Freestone made a magnificent save! And because David Smith scored, we were already 2-0 up!

Peter Thorne ran up to hit the third penalty for Cardiff, and again Freestone saved! However, Jason Smith then sent his penalty wide of the post...

Andy Legg finally scored a penalty for Cardiff and then Freestone stepped up. We would win if Freestone scored and our goalkeeper had already scored a penalty against TN Solutions, but this time 'Big Rog' missed! That is to say, it was saved by Olafur Gottskalksson.

Gavin Gordon stepped up for Cardiff's fifth penalty. Now Gordon couldn't afford to miss, so the pressure was intense as he began his run-up. And Gordon sent his penalty over the bar! We had done it!


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It would be too much to say, all is well that ends well. The 2001-02 season will always be remembered as one of the most traumatic in Swansea City's history. But it was enough to celebrate and to look forward to fresh beginnings.

The next week Oxford United defeated Rushden & Diamonds in the Playoff Final. It was quite surprising that Rushden failed to score even a single goal.


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And, finally, Mamady Sidibe was voted Player of the Year by our supporters, who had so much wanted 'Big Mama' to sign a new contract with the Swans...


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