Football: McFarlane samples glory and ignominy: Barclays League promotion play-offs, semi-finals

Swansea City. . . . . . .2

West Bromwich Albion. . .1

ANDY McFARLANE'S seventh goal of the season pointed Swansea in the direction of Wembley, but his eighth ensured that the second leg of this Second Division play-off semi-final on Wednesday would be a real dogfight.

The rangy striker ended nearly four hours of goalless action by the Welshmen against Ossie Ardiles' side with a well-taken effort five minutes into the second half, but then conceded an own goal 20 minutes later.

Mark Harris and Keith Walker were at the heart of the defensive action, restricting Albion's leading scorer, Bob Taylor, to only one meaningful chance, and the goalkeeper Roger Freestone was equal to everything that was asked of him.

So good was the work of both Freestone and Tony Lange in the Albion goal that a first half full of commitment ended 0-0. Lange twice denied Russell Coughlin and also McFarlane in the opening period.

But he could do nothing five minutes into the second half when Des Lyttle headed the ball back into the Albion area and McFarlane, despite the shirt-pulling of Paul Raven, kept cool and hammered the ball home.

That was the confidence boost Swansea needed and they went further ahead after 64 minutes. Tony Cullen swept the ball deep towards the left wing and the sprightly

Andrew Legg did well to hold off Raven and control the ball at pace. Having done the hard part of the job he headed towards the byline and picked out Martin Hayes on the edge of the six-yard box to side foot the ball home for a second, and thoroughly deserved, goal.

It looked as though the fight had gone out of Albion, and Swansea were all set to become the first Welsh club to play at Wembley since Cardiff City won the FA Cup in 1927, but then came that second McFarlane goal.

It came out of the blue after Bernard McNally had sent over a cross from the right wing which Freestone and his defenders failed to deal with.

Darryl Burgess got a foot to the ball and lobbed it towards goal, and McFarlane chased after it. It looked as though it would go over the bar, but instead it hit the bar, came down on to McFarlane's chest and went in to the goal to give Albion everything to play for on Wednesday night.

Swansea City: Freestone; Lyttle, Jenkins, Walker, Harris, Hayes, Cullen (West, 83), Coughlin, West, Cornforth (Ford, 75), Legg.

West Bromwich Albion: Lange; McNally, Lilwall, Bradley, Raven, Burgess, Hunt (Heggs, 86), Hamilton, Taylor, Mellon (Reid, 67), Donovan.

Referee: P Durkin (Portland).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public