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17:25 28th November 2009

Resilient Swans beaten at Newcastle

A 3-0 defeat may be a fair reflection on the first 28 minutes of this game but certainly not over the course of the full 90.

Three headed goals from Marlon Harewood (2) and Peter Lovenkrands saw the Magpies put the game beyond their visitors within the first half-hour.

But for the remaining 60 minutes of this game the Swans picked themselves up and went on to dominate large periods.

Firstly Steve Harper, who went off injured at the break, made two fine saves in the first-half before deputy Tim Krul followed suit in the second period to frustrate the Paulo's players.

Nathan Dyer and debutant David Cotterill both also had attempts cleared off the line during a dominant second 45 minutes, a performance which at least deserved a goal.

Swans boss Paulo Sousa kept with the same side that beat Derby eight days ago for this clash at St. James' Park.

There was a return to the bench for striker Gorka Pintado while new loan recruit David Cotterill was named amonst the substitutes.

Newcastle: Steve Harper (Tim Krul, 46'), Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Kevin Nolan, Danny Guthrie (Fabrice Pancrate, 77'), Marlon Harewood (Nike Ranger, 68'), Peter Lovenkrands, Danny Simpson, Alan Smith (C), Jonas Gutierrez, Steven Taylor.

Not Used: Zurab Khizanishvili, Ryan Taylor, Kazenga LuaLua, Tamas Kadar.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate(C), Fede Bessone; Leon Britton, Andrea Orlandi, Darren Pratley (Joe Allen, 74'), Nathan Dyer, Cedric van der Gun (David Cotterill, 52'); Craig Beattie (Gorka Pintado, 52').

Not Used:David Cornell (GK), Tom Butler, Albert Serran, Jazz Richards.

There was a bit of a nervy start for the visitors at an electric St. James' Park where the hosts managed to create a few half chances within the opening few minutes.

Fede Bessone gifted Newcastle possession inside the first 20 seconds and Marlon Harewood almost benefited while Craig Beattie released Nathan Dyer down the right-hand side moments later only for the winger to lose out on the edge of the area.

Skipper Alan Smith saw his fourth minute strike deflect over the top while the Magpies were awarded another flag-kick two minutes later after Danny Guthrie's free-kick also deflected over.

That set-piece had an impact as the same player delivered to the feet of Smith on the edge of the area, the former Manchester United flicked into the area and Marlon Harewood beat the offside trap and glance a header beyond Dorus de Vries.

The Swans attemped an immediate response and got themselves a free-kick in dangerous territory - Darren Pratley delivered, it was safely punched away by Steve Harper to the feet of Andrea Orlandi but the midfielder didn't have the space to control and pull the trigger.

Newcastle's crowd acted as the 12th man for the home side as they attacked and defended, and after Orlandi saw a 20-yard strike deflect wide for a corner the St. James' roof came off following the Toon's second.

Jonas Gutierrez carried the ball past Angel Rangel and delivered a pin-point by-line cross into the heart of the area where Peter Lovenkrands was placed to send a second header past de Vries and into the net.

And despite the Swans' best efforts, which saw Orlandi fire wide, the Toon extended their lead to three - Lovenkrands this time becoming provider to cross for Marlon Harewood who headed in his second of the afternoon.

That sparked the Swans' best period of the half and for the final quarter of an hour Paulo's side threatened on more than one occasion.

Steve Harper was forced into making an excellent save on 30 minutes, pushing a wicked Cedric van der Gun effort past the post before Nathan Dyer saw his close-range effort blocked moments later.

Andrea Orlandi saw a 36th minute effort fly inches past the post, Dyer also saw a similar effort go wide while Harper pushed an Orlandi strike past the post for a corner after the Barcelona-born midfielder had originally lost possession.

Half-Time: Newcastle 3 Swans 0

The Swans started the second period just as they had ended the first - in control.

Leon Britton picked out Andrea Orlandi with a neat flick inside the area on 49 minutes but the Catalan couldn't get his shot away while Nathan Dyer raced into the area 60 seconds later, attempting to latch on to the end of Craig Beattie's pass, only for the ball to run too quickly.

Paulo made his first two changes of the afternoon with 52 minutes played as Beattie and van der Gun were replaced by Gorka Pintado and David Cotterill.

Two minutes later and Orlandi skipped past three players inside the area but his strike at replacement 'keeper Tim Krul was too weak, and he turned provider moments later as he sent Dyer into the box but Krul was at hand to deny the Swans again.

Within 11 minutes of coming on for his Swansea City debut David Cotterill came close to scoring his first goal as he connected with Dyer's pin-point cross from the right, hitting the target and beating the 'keeper but a man was there on the line to clear.

The on-loan winger beat Krul again two minutes later but shot inches wide of the post.

Joe Allen was introduced 16 minutes from the end in place of Darren Pratley, who had run himself into the ground during the second period, and it was six minutes later that we saw a first clear Newcastle chance this half when substitute Nile Ranger sent his header over the bar.

The second-half still belonged to the visitors who were, unfortunately, unable to make their chances and possession count.

Leon Britton found space and shot wide six minutes from the end but still the Swans continued to push forward in attempt to create chances until the very end.

Skipper Alan Tate picked up a yellow card late on for a challenge on Ranger, which was his fifth of the season, meaning that he will miss next Saturday's trip to Peterborough through suspension.

Swansea's strength carried on into injury-time as Britton picked out Angel Rangel inside the area with a surging run, he connected to force an excellent save from Krul while the follow up from Dyer was also blocked.

Their efforts deserved at least a goal but it could have been Newcastle that had the final say in the third minute of time added on; Lovenkrands broke down the right and picked out Alan Smith inside the area but the skipper, who had been anonymous for the second 45 minutes, forced de Vries into an excellent save from close-range.

    Data provided by Press Association