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Carvalhal leads Swans to victory in first game

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By Jonathan Twigg

SWANSEA City gave new manager Carlos Carvalhal a winning start when two late goals at Vicarage Road saw them defeat Watford 2-1 to briefly lift them off the foot of the Premier League table.

The travelling support were ecstatic after Jordan Ayew, who struck the cross bar from 25 yards early in the game, equalised with eight minutes left to play.

Those supporters were delirious when substitute Luciano Narsingh pinged home the winner after home Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomez couldn’t control substitute winger Nathan Dyer’s pile-driver from the edge of the box.

The ‘Jack Army’ had given unstinted support for the new manager and their team whilst distain was voiced over the state of the Club at Boardroom level and requiring the removal of Huw Jenkins, once the Messiah of their Club.

Swansea did for large parts of the game look like a side who play without confidence, their individual mistakes compounded as they are a side continually having to absorb pressure. It helps when the side have ‘a big pole in their goal’ as Lukas Fabianski kept the game live with another authoritative performance.

Just a minute before his side’s equaliser he saved when one on one with Andre Grey, certainly a turning point in the game and as history tells us perhaps a season defining moment.

An Andre Carrillo header from close range after 12 minutes opened the scoring after Fabianski had saved well from Stefano Okaka exposing the frailties that have underpinned Swansea all season.

New man Carvalhal recognised the areas of concern, subtly tinkering with the Swansea formation and personnel to combat it.

Swansea were guilty of dropping off the ball as the Hornets constantly created space and 2v1 situations, at times not showing the desire to win the ball back.

Centre backs Alfie Mawson and Federico Fernadez were forced apart as Kyle Naughton was found wanting all game.

Restored to the side was Renato Sanchez, the Portuguese star on loan from Bayern Munich; having struggled all season to cut the mustard in the Premier League he was caught in possession as the tackles were crisp, but he grew with the trust heaped upon him by his compatriot Carvalhal.

The manager also recognised turning defence into attack has been an area of concern all season and it was noticeable on loan striker Tammy Abraham had supportive players on the few occasions play was in the home danger area.

Saturday was an improvement as the Swans had nine shots at goal, four on target and forced eight corners and importantly they scored the two goals needed to secure three points.

In no small part the result was galvanised by replacement striker Ollie McBurnie, the gangly legs of the young Scotsman, a throwback to ‘yesteryear’ with socks barely holding his shin pads. He endeared himself to choristers in the visiting end with a whole hearted performance bearing a smile, epitomising his enjoyment of the game despite the dire situation facing his Club.

where luck matters in the battle for safety in the Premier League which will go to the wire in the business end of the season come May.

Eleven points separate the lower half of the table as Swansea entertain Tottenham Hotspur tonight, with Liverpool and Arsenal arriving for evening fixtures after they travel to Newcastle.

As January ends, the Swans have a run of games against opposition in and around the relegation battle. Any run equivalent to that of Crustal Place, nine undefeated would catapult the Carvalhal’s men into a safe position; the new Messiah may well have been born.

Sport

Successful weekend for Croft and O’Sullivan

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CARDIGAN ABC’s Garan Croft was team captain as a Wales boxing team made a successful weekend trip to Ireland, picking up a unanimous points victory over Mathew Tyndall, a six-times Irish national champion at New Ross Youth Centre, County Wexford.

The bout began in lively fashion with both boxers trying to hold the centre of the ring, but midway through the opening round the Crymych teenager had taken control.

Croft, who was landing the cleaner and harder shots, gave Tyndall a standing count in the third round en route to a convincing triumph.

Cardigan’s successful weekend continued at Dagenham, Essex, on Sunday where Fishguard schoolboy Mikey O’Sullivan was part of a Wales Select team who took on Repton, the famous East End club.

Pitted against Albie Smith, O’Sullivan came out with all guns blazing matching the Londoner punch for punch in a very even round.

But in the second the Welsh boy’s superior boxing skills saw him get on top with an excellent display of slipping and counter-punching.

The third round was pretty even with both boxers throwing everything they had, yet O’Sullivan was awarded a split decision victory following his mastery during the second round in what was a great result in Repton’s own back yard.

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Sport

Pembroke hammer Tumble

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PEMBROKE put in one of their best displays of the season on Saturday (Oct 13) as they beat Tumble 56-8.

Tumble travelled from Carmarthenshire with Storm Callum in full force and there was no let up as they faced a storm of another kind as Pembroke ran riot.

Dan Colley got the home side going early on with the first try of the game before Mitchell Jones replied with a penalty for Tumble.

Dom Colman then went over for Pembroke’s second try but the conversion was missed and the home side held a 12-3 lead.

Tumble came forward again and from a lineout they worked the ball left but were then penalised for holding on. Possession switched hands on a couple of occasions before Pembroke almost scored their third try.

From a Tumble scrum, Pembroke overpowered them, pushing them back and Toby Smith picked the ball up and headed for the line. He passed to Fraser James but he dropped the ball as he was going over and the ball was knocked on.

However, they weren’t to be denied their third try as Sam Smith burst through near the posts to touch down giving Toby Smith an ease conversion.

Pembroke then earned their fourth try and a bonus point after good work from Luke Hartland set the ground running for Colley’s second try of the game. Smith then added the extras in front of the posts for a 26-3 lead.

Tumble looked to respond towards the end of the first half when Pembroke were penalised for a tackle off the ball but they were unable to take advantage as the home side kept them out.

At the start of the second half Pembroke came forward and an advantage was played for a high tackle. When it seemed there was no way through the ball was dropped back for Smith who sent a drop goal through the posts.

Colman then went over for his second try before Tom Lewis went over for another two tries.

Fraser James then did get his try and Smith again added the extra two points.

Steffan Price pulled a late try back for Tumble but it did little to affect the final score as Pembroke held on for an emphatic win with Smith claiming a deserved try at the end.

Pembroke now sit fourth in the table and on Saturday (Oct 20) they travel to sixth placed Tycroes.

Tumble have just one win to their name so far this season and on Saturday they are at home to Pontarddulais.

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Robins breeze past Lawrenny

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PENNAR Robins proved too strong for Lawrenny on Saturday (Oct 13) as they scored ten times to book their place in the third round of the Senior Cup.

Despite the weather conditions the Bush Camp pitch was in excellent condition and the home side dominated for large parts of the game.

Jason Donohoe had an early chance for the Robins but he sent his free kick over the bar.

Josh Clark went on a good run and burst through the challenge of a Lawrenny attacker and although the ball found the back of the net, the ball was deemed to have gone out of play before Clark put his cross in.

With nine minutes gone Donohoe found Sam Southcott but his effort was saved.

Lawrenny won a free kick and Ryan Morton sent the ball into the box which Patrick Elliot headed towards goal but Stuart James was able to make the save.

Connor Roberts then came close to scoring in spectacular fashion but his curling effort was tipped over by Lawrenny keeper Danny Harries.

Nick Willis then saw a shot saved at the front post and he then also saw an acrobatic effort saved as the Robins continued to look for the opening goal.

Harries had to be alert as Donohoe’s cross looked to be going in with the wind but on 22 minutes the Robins finally made the breakthrough.

Southcott played the ball through for Ben Adams on the left and he shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Three minutes later it was 2-0 as Mikey Powell crossed into the box and Southcott was in the right place at the back post to tap the ball home.

Roberts and Willis combined with a neat one-two but the former sent his effort wide of the post.

The Robins added a third on the half hour mark and they continued to show their dominance with a further seven goals.

Adams and Southcott both completed their hat tricks while Tom Grimwood, Connor Roberts, Scott Trayhern and Luke Phillips all got on the scoresheet.

It was an excellent win for Pennar who must wait and see who they will play in the third round after other games were called off.

On Saturday (Oct 20), Lawrenny are again in cup action as they take on Hundleton in the first round of the Second Division Cup.

Pennar will return to league action as they take on local rivals Lamphey.

Pennar: Stuart James, Josh Clark, Luke Phillips, Ross Lascelles, Mikey Powell, Tom Grimwood, Connor Roberts, Ben Adams, Sam Southcott, Jason Donohoe, Nick Willis. Subs: Jack Phillips, Rhys Lucas, Scott Trayhern.

Lawrenny: Danny Harries, Edward Merriman, James Durbridge, Adam Jenkins, Ryan Morton, Tom Lewis, Patrick Elliot, Matt Lewis, Harry Thomas, Owen James, Tom Cole. Subs: Kieron Johnson, Phil Cole, Sam Davies.

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