Swansea City 1-1 Coventry City: Spoils shared in South Wales stalemate

Having picked up just one point from their opening two Championship fixtures, Swansea City sought to add to their points tally against last season’s losing play-off finalists, Coventry City, at the Swansea.com Stadium.

Buoyed with the news that captain Matt Grimes has signed a new two-year contract extension, the Swans would look to carry on an extraordinary record against the Sky Blues which has seen them unbeaten since 1981 – whilst the visitors would look to build on their first victory of the season against Middlesbrough last weekend.

SWA: Rushworth, Key, Ashby, Darling, Cabango, Wood, Grimes, Fulton, Patino, Piroe, Yates

COV: Wilson, Dasilva, Thomas, Latibeaudiere, McFadzean, Sakamoto, Sheaf, Van Ewijk, Eccles, Wright, Godden

Having left themselves with too much to do at the Hawthorns after going three goals down in the first hour of the 3-2 defeat against West Bromwich Albion, Swans head-coach Michael Duff was keen to ensure his side start games stronger with more attacking purpose – but more of the same would be seen in the first half.

With thoughts of adding zip into the Swans play, the Northern Irishman chose to name a team with just one change. On-loan Arsenal playmaker Charlie Patino came into a midfield led by captain Matt Grimes, fresh from signing a new two-year contract extension at the club.  

The Sky Blues boss chose to hand a start to American Haji Wright after a goal on his debut against Boro, whilst there was a first return to SA1 for former Swan Joel Latibeaudiere in the away side’s defence.

In a frantic opening played at a high pace, it would be the home side that started the brightest. The marauding Josh Key found space on the left-hand-side, picking out Joel Piroe. The Dutchman’s hold-up play was exemplary before playing a ball back to the edge of the penalty area, finding Jay Fulton joining the attack from midfield who smashed a low effort narrowly wide of visiting goalkeeper Ben Wilson’s goal. 

Coventry looked full of purpose in their own attacking forays, with Wright the clear focus of their pacey breakaway play – and the USA international picked the ball up on the edge of the penalty area, but could only clip a guilt-edged half-chance wide of Carl Rushworth’s right-hand post. 

Wright would prove to be a constant and came close once more as the Sky Blues edged the first fifteen minutes, powerfully fizzing a rising effort narrowly over the Swans’ crossbar from 20 yards out, before heading Josh Eccles’ corner inches wide. 

It would be a stark warning to Duff’s side – with the hosts also lack a cutting edge in their own play, often wasteful with the final ball into the box. Harry Darling came close for the home side, connecting with Matt Grimes’ corner but heading straight at Wilson. 

The visitors would not miss the next opportunity that came their way though, as Godden picked up the scraps to react first and fire low past Rushworth to score his second goal in as many games from just outside the six-yard box, after the Swans had failed to clear their lines from Wright’s pull back. 

The Swans hit back immediately though to restore parity. Ashby found room on the right-hand side before crossing to pick out Yates, who guided a looping header past Wilson into the far corner – a clinical finish from the former Blackpool striker for his second strike of the campaign. 

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In a cagey opening to the second period, it would be the Swans who saw the first sight of goal. Piroe picked up the ball while 25 yards out, but dragged an effort wide. The Swans looked the more likely as the half drew on to create an opening, and came close to taking the lead for the first time as Fulton burst from midfield onto Yates’ well-timed through ball. The Scotsman’s shot from a narrow-angle was easily dealt with by Wilson though.

With the vocal home crowd coming into life sensing a victory, both sides pushed for the all-important second goal – each knowing that with such small margins, the next strike would be pivotal in the game’s final outcome. Yet the afternoon’s third goal did not come, and the spoils were shared in South Wales.

Swansea City will travel to Preston North End’s Deepdale next Saturday, while Coventry City return to the Midlands as they host Sunderland.