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17:13 24th October 2009

Dominant Swans fail to break 'Pool

They did everything but score.

Swansea City extended their unbeaten run to eight Championship matches but couldn't turn their chances into goals in this goalless draw against the Tangerines of Blackpool.

Craig Beattie was denied a penalty in the first-half and 'keeper Matthew Gilks made a series of fine saves, including one from Beattie's half volley.

It was more of the same in the second period with Gilks again coming to Blackpool's rescue on a number of occassions, but the visitors could have snuck ahead 16 minutes from the end as Ian Evatt's effort was cleared from underneath the crossbar by Beattie.

Fede Bessone returned to the starting line-up after missing the midweek win at league leaders West Brom.

The Argentinian full-back sat out at the Hawthorns but came in to replace Marcos Painter on the left-hand side of defence.

Tom Butler also replaced Nathan Dyer, who dropped to the bench, out wide while Dorus de Vries made his 100th league appearance in a Swansea City shirt.

Swans: Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate(C), Fede Bessone; Leon Britton, Mark Gower, Darren Pratley, Tom Butler (Gorka Pintado, 81'), Cedric van der Gun (Nathan Dyer, 60'); Craig Beattie (Lee Trundle, 77').

Not Used:David Cornell (GK), Jordi Lopez, Joe Allen, Jazz Richards.

Blackpool: Matthew Gilks, Stephen Crainey, Keith Southern, Neal Eardley (Ian Evatt, 36'), Billy Clarke, David Vaughan, Alex Baptiste, Hameur Bouazza (Alhassan Bangura, 70'), Jason Euell (C), Charlie Adam (Ben Burgess, 61'), Marcel Seip.

Not Used: Paul Rachubka (GK), Brett Ormerod, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Ishmel Demontagnac.

Attendance: 14,724 Away: 231

Referee: A R Hall (West Midlands)

The visitors kicked things off here just as the clouds broke and the sun shone on the lush Liberty Stadium surface.

Within 30 seconds of the start Welsh international David Vaughan was penalised for handball 35-yards from goal but Mark Gower's set-piece was cleared by the visiting defence.

The Seasiders' back line was broken on two minutes, however, as Gower's cross deflected into the heart of the area with Darren Pratley, unmarked, continuing with his run into the box and connecting with the ball to force stopper Matthew Gilks into making a fine save.

Ian Holloway's fought back and enjoyed spells of possession but never really troubled league centurion Dorus de Vries and his defence.

The closest they did come was a 14th minute free-kick taken by Blackpool's other Welsh international, full-back Neal Eardley, whose delivery was met by the head of Alex Baptiste which flew over the top of goal.

Craig Beattie has certainly enjoyed the last week in a Swansea City shirt after notching his first two goals the club at Ipswich and West Brom, and with 17 minutes played here he almost made it three.

The home side broke from inside their area and following build-up on the left by Cedric van der Gun and Gower the latter played in the Scottish front-man who controlled, turned and carried the ball forward before firing low past Gilks' right-hand post.

Hameur Bouazza was awarded the game's first yellow card midway through the first-half for a heavy challenge on Fede Bessone, Mark Gower delivered and saw the ball cleared for a corner.

The same player delivered, this time from the right, and Beattie timed his run well to connect with the winger's low delivery and send the ball towards the bottom corner, forcing an excellent save from Gilks.

'Pool countered the pressure well and former Rangers youngster Charlie Adam saw his free-kick curl just over the top of goal before Tom Butler send a header across goal and past the post from Gower's cross on 28 minutes.

Just after the half-hour Gower contributed with another assist, sending over another pin point corner from the left and Williams towered above the defence but sent his header over the top, while another flag-kick from the ex-Southend man was met by van der Gun but easily dealt with by Gilks.

The Swans were certainly on top and six minutes before the break were denied a penalty when Charlie Adam - who was booked two minutes earlier for a foul on Leon Britton - grounded Beattie, but nothing was given.

Bouazza fired a harmless effort wide of goal for the visitors while Gower turned from being provider to having a go himself on the stroke of half-time but he also shot off target.

The Swans were also handed one final chance deep into stoppage-time from a free-kick just outside the area, Tom Butler played it short to Beattie and his low strike deflected wide but there was not enough time to take the corner.

Half-Time: Swans 0 Blackpool 0

It was as you were at the beginning of the second period with the home side creating the first opportunity, and again it came from Gower whose goalbound effort deflected over the top of Gilks' goal for a corner.

He took the corner from the right and stand-in skipper Alan Tate attacked the ball and met it with a glancing header which evaded everyone on the six-yard box, even his own team mates.

The fans at the Liberty were being treated to some fast paced, fluid and entertaining football and on 54 minutes Gilks came to his side's rescue again as he palmed away yet another Mark Gower effort.

And four minutes later the former Rochdale stopper was at it again, pushing Tom Butler's free-kick away for a corner but Ashley Williams couldn't hit the target with a header from the corner.

The pressure was becoming constant and Beattie was next to have a go, firing a wicked half volley inches over the top of goal following excellent build-up play - that was on 59 minutes, just before Nathan Dyer was introduced, replacing van der Gun, to inject more pace into the Swansea side.

But despite all of the hosts' chances it was Blackpool that came within a whisker of sneaking in front 16 minutes from time.

A free-kick from the right was played into the heart of the area and substitute Ian Evatt connected to knock it goalbound - with the Swans' defence caught flat footed the ball was nearing the goal line but a brave clearance by Craig Beattie right underneath the crossbar spared his side's blushes.

It was to be his final contribution as he was replaced in attack by Lee Trundle and he was soon joined by the returning Gorka Pintado, on in place of Butler.

Ashley Williams fired high over Gilks' goal with less than 10 minutes left, Blackpool skipper Jason Euell forced a rare save out of Dorus de Vries while Nathan Dyer used his pace to race past three defenders and into the area before the ball found its way to Trundle whose attempted curl at goal deflected wide for a corner.

Dyer came close as he connected with Gower's cross while the latter also found space to play the ball from the left, Pratley was in the centre but Gilks got to it first.

But the goalkeeper was beaten moments later following a surging run by Fede Bessone whose cross was connected by Pratley but the midfielder didn't get enough power behind it as it trickled wide.

    Data provided by Press Association