Football / FA Cup: Swansea secure another replay

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The Independent Online
Swansea City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Grimsby Town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

IT WILL be business as usual for Swansea City next Tuesday when they travel to Blundell Park for yet another FA Cup replay to decide whether they or Grimsby will face Premier League Ipswich in the fifth round.

If nothing else, Second Division Swansea had revealed great resilience and patience to reach the fourth round after being forced to extra games against Exeter and Oxford. Those qualities were again in evidence as their competent First Division visitors settled quickly, and soon began to dominate.

Tony Rees declared Grimsby's intentions from the kick-off as he let fly from 30 yards, and Roger Freestone in the home goal had to be at his best throughout the first half to keep his side in the hunt.

It took his knees to keep out a firm, and free, header in front of goal from the Grimsby skipper, Graham Rodger, midway through the half, and three successive corners only served to highlight the visitors' confidence and the early fragility of the Swansea defence.

Lady Luck was Swansea's, and Freestone's, next saviour after an appalling mix-up between Keith Walker and the keeper on the edge of the area. The overlapping John McDermott could hardly believe his fortune as he was allowed to nip in between the two bemused men, but the home fans were even more grateful when he sent his shot wide of the right-hand post.

There was little to shout about at the other end as Rhys Wilmot, the Grimsby keeper who once spent a short period on loan at the Vetch Field, was hardly troubled.

Wilmot was confronted, however, with a far more positive Swansea approach after the interval. The Swansea manager, Frank Burrows, put some pep into his forward line by introducing the rangy Andy McFarlane and sparking his team's best period.

But, while they were more positive and convincing in attack, they continued to ride their luck in defence and, after Rees had rounded Steve Jenkins and whipped in a low cross from the right, a desperate lunge from the central defender Mark Harris succeeded in putting the ball on to his own post, but fortunately not into the net.

Swansea City: Freestone; Lyttle, Jenkins, Walker, Harris, Chapple (McFarlane, 66), Hayes, Wimbleton (Ford, 77), West, Cornforth, Legg.

Grimsby Town: Wilmot; McDermott, Agnew (Croft, 85), Futcher, Rodger, Dobbin, Childs, Gilbert (Smith, 72), Groves, Mendonca, Rees.

Referee: T J Holbrook (West Midlands).