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17:13 3th October 2009

Gower and Trundle fire Swans to victory

The Swans celebrated a first league win over QPR in 44 years with two second-half goals against their nine-man opponents.

Despite a slow start the home side had the lions share of possession but couldn't convert during the first 45 minutes of play.

The R's were at a disadvantage early in the second period when skipper Martin Rowlands was shown his second yellow and it wasn't long after that when Mark Gower fired the Swans in front with his first ever league goal for the club.

Ben Watson was QPR's second man to walk and with less than five minutes remaining substitute Lee Trundle popped up with the second goal to make it five games unbeaten for Paulo Sousa's side.

Paulo was handed a welcome boost with the return of no fewer than three players from injury.

Leon Britton was passed fit to start in midfield while Andrea Orlandi and Cedric van der Gun made the bench.

There was a first competitive start of the season for Darren Pratley, Stephen Dobbie returned to lead the Swans' front-line and Nathan Dyer was back on the wing after serving a one-game ban.

Swans: Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Garry Monk(C), Ashley Williams, Alan Tate; Leon Britton, Darren Pratley (Jordi Lopez, 87'), Mark Gower, Tom Butler (Lee Trundle, 61'), Nathan Dyer; Stephen Dobbie (Craig Beattie, 72').

Not Used: David Cornell, Jazz Richards, Andrea Orlandi, Cedric van der Gun.

QPR: Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Damion Stewart, Kaspars Gorkss, Gary Borrowdale; Wayne Routledge, Ben Watson, Martin Rowlands (C), Akos Buzsaky (Adel Taarabt, 76'), Rowan Vine (Alejandro Faurlin, 61'), Jay Simpson (Allesandro Pellicori, 76').

Not Used: Tom Heaton, Peter Ramage, Gavin Mahon, Hogan Ephraim.

Referee: K D Hill (Hertfordshire)

The rain had passed and the sun was beating down on the lush Liberty surface for this final clash before the international break.

Despite an early Swans flurrish forward it was Paulo's old side that created the game's early chances.

Converted defender Mikele Leigertwood found space behind Alan Tate to cross into the box from the byline, forcing Ashley Williams into clearing behind for a corner, and from the cross the ball found its way to Akos Buzsaky but his effort whistled just over the top of goal.

The R's were enjoying plenty of possession and on nine minutes came even closer when Jay Simpson and Wayne Routledge linked-up inside the Swans' area and the latter drilled inches past Dorus de Vries right-hand post.

But the home side did manage to create their first opening 60 seconds later - Nathan Dyer used his electric pace to race onto a long pass forward and saw his cross cleared for a corner; Mark Gower crossed in from the left, Williams towered above the QPR defence but sent his header over the top.

Dyer was off again on 12 minutes, he pulled it back for Stephen Dobbie - starting his first game since late August - only for the striker to pull his weak effort across Radek Cerny's goal and past the post.

Tom Butler sent a looping header into the hands of Cerny from Alan Tate's left-sided cross five minutes later while Dobbie had a great chance midway through the half.

Darren Pratley picked out the run of Angel Rangel down the right behind Gary Borrowdale, he took it down on his chest before crossing low to the feet of Dobbie whose first-time effort was deflected behind at Cerny's near post.

But a swift counter attacking move caught the Swans on the back foot with 27 minutes played - the R's cleared a Swans corner and charged forward into the home side's half, the end product resulting in Jay Simpson firing across de Vries but wide of the target.

R's skipper Martin Rowlands was booked for a challenge on Dobbie during a strong spell of Swans dominance and on 38 minutes Pratley came close to drilling the hosts in front following fine play in midfield.

Kaspars Gorkss also entered the referee's note book for a touchline challenge on Nathan Dyer just before the break and from the set-piece taken by Gower it made its way to the feet of Dobbie whose low drive was well saved by the 'keeper.

And on 44 minutes Tom Butler skipped past Leigertwood, played a one-two with Dobbie before picking out Gower on the far side; the winger took a touch and sent a dangerous cross into the heart of the area which Dobbie came inches away from connecting.

Half-Time: Swans 0 QPR 0

The visitors made a strong start to the second period and within four minutes of the re-start came very close to scoring, had it not been for the quick reflexes of de Vries.

A free-kick from the right was curled into the heart of the area and Arsenal loanee Jay Simpson was ideally placed eight-yards from goal - he connected and sent his header goalbound but the Dutchman 'keeper pulled off a fantastic one handed save to deny the striker.

Kaspars Gorkss sent a header over the top before former Cardiff loanee Wayne Routledge cut inside and, with only Dorus to beat, forced another excellent save from the 'keeper.

And as the ball was cleared Nathan Dyer picked up possession 10-yards short of the half-way line and was grounded by the sliding challenge of Martin Rowlands - the player that injured de Vries in last seasons fixture - which warranted his second yellow card of the afternoon.

Now the Swans were on top and after Garry Monk connected with two Mark Gower corners - the first of which was deflected behind - Dyer picked out Pratley with a well placed cross only for the returning midfielder to slide in and force a low save from Cerny.

Gower fired another Swans effort over the bar while Butler cut inside to shoot and force a stop from the 'keeper at his near post.

Paulo made his first change of the afternoon just after the hour mark when Lee Trundle was introduced in place of Tom Butler to add more fire power to the Swans' attack.

Alan Tate fired over and Stephen Dobbie had a Gower cross cleared from his feet - it was to be his final involvement of the afternoon as Craig Beattie came on in place of his fellow countryman.

The Swans had looked strong this half and with 16 minutes remaining they were rewarded for their efforts.

Rangel found space on the right and sent a teasing cross deep into QPR's area, over the head of Beattie but Mark Gower was ideally placed to strike it first time between Cerny and the post to score his first league goal for the club.

QPR made two changes following the goal but their afternoon got a lot worse on 78 minutes when they were reduced to nine men - Wigan loanee Ben Watson was penalised for a second time in six minutes, this time for deliberate handball.

And it was game over with less than five minutes to play, Rangel sending Dyer on his way down the right-hand side and with Beattie and Trundle in the box the winger had options - his low cross found the latter and Trundle celebrated his second goal in a week to make the game safe.

Jordi Lopez was sent on for the final few minutes and as we entered the final minute of play Dyer jinxed his way past two defenders before forcing a save from Cerny.

Goal hero Trundle was bundled over inside the area by Gorkss, no penalty was given but it didn't matter as the Swans go into the international break on a high.

    Data provided by Press Association