Monday, May 16, 2011

Swans flying high after spectacular match

Last week, visiting SWANSEA CITY held NOTTINGHAM FOREST to a goalless draw in the first leg of their CHAMPIONSHIP Play-off semifinal, despite the Jacks being reduced to 10 men early in the second half.
That drama merely set the stage for today's second leg at Swansea, which I was lucky enough to watch live on television, because I have the day off.
Leon Britton and Stephen Dobbie scored fantastic first-half goals -- admittedly assisted by some rather questionable Forest defending, to put the home sick 2-0 up at half-time.
Forest wouldn't lie down, though, and fought back for much of the second 45 minutes.
Ex-Cardiff man Robert Earnshaw put the visitors right back into the tie with a superbly taken goal in the 80th minute.
Forest came close to scoring again -- the team struck the woodwork three times, including Earnshaw in the 90th minute -- but the final say belonged to Swansea.
Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp had come up for a visitors' corner deep into stoppage time. Swansea cleared the ball, however, and it fell to Swans substitute Darren Pratley. Pratley launched the ball from the halfway line to the unguarded Forest goal. The ball bounced in, Pratley took off his shirt to celebrate, the Welsh crowd went crazy, and Swansea won, 3-1.
The Swans or the Jacks -- the club have two nicknames -- face either READING or Welsh rivals CARDIFF in the play-off final, with the winner of that match playing in the Premier League next season.
I can't imagine tomorrow's Cardiff-Reading clash can match today's game for thrills, but stranger things have happened -- like 50-yard scoring strikes into unguarded goals.


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