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22:59 26th January 2010

Coventry clash ends all square

The Swans had to make do with a point as they were held to a goalless draw against Chris Coleman's Coventry at a chilly Liberty Stadium.

On a disappointing night the home side did hit the target on a number of occasions but were unable to beat the Sky Blues' highly-rated 'keeper Keiren Westwood.

The best chance of the night fell early on when man of the match Darren Pratley did beat the shot-stopper with a low drive but saw the ball bounce back off the foot of the post.

Lee Trundle and Shefki Kuqi were thrown on inside the last 20 minutes as Paulo's side went seeking a goal but it wasn't to be.

New Swansea City recruit Shefki Kuqi was named on the bench for the visit of Coventry City.

The 33-year-old striker only received international clearance earlier in the day but had to wait to make his full debut.

Paulo made four changes to the starting eleven with Angel Rangel, Jordi Lopez, Andrea Orlandi and Tom Butler all coming into the side.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Garry Monk(C), Fede Bessone; Jordi Lopez (Joe Allen, 46'), Andrea Orlandi, Darren Pratley, Nathan Dyer (Lee Trundle, 69'), Tom Butler; Gorka Pintado (Shefki Kuqi, 76').

Not Used:David Cornell (GK), Mark Gower, Alan Tate, David Cotterill.

Coventry: Keiren Westwood; Stephen Wright (C), Martin Cranie, James McPake (Leon Barnett, 46'), Richard Wood, David Bell, Sammy Clingan, Aaron Gunnarsson, Michael McIndoe (Clinton Morrison, 90'), Carl Baker (Gary Deegan, 54'), Leon Best.

Not Used: Dimi Konstantopoulos (GK), Chris Hussey, Jermaine Grandison, Sean Jeffers.

Attendance: 13,868

Referee: D McDermid (London)

It was a bitter cold evening in south west Wales for Chris Coleman's homecoming as he brought his mid-table Sky Blues to do battle with Paulo's play-off chasing Swans.

And the start to this contest was far from classic - the visitors won themselves a corner inside the first 90 seconds which was driven across the box while the Swans also had the chance to pressure the Coventry goalmouth with a flag-kick of their own.

At Middlesbrough three days previously a new set-piece tactic was adopted whereby a cluster of Swansea players waited on the edge of the area before driving into the box all at once - it didn't work on three occasions at the Riverside and on this occasion, as the players bombarded Keiren Westwood's area, Fede Bessone's eventual delivery was coolly collected by the 'keeper.

The faithful fans who had braved the cold had to wait until the eleventh minute before witnessing anything of note as Nathan Dyer played a neat one-two with Pratley inside the area but his low delivery was collected by Westwood.

But the hosts came even closer with 19 minutes on the clock after Fede Bessone's initial free-kick had been cleared, play returned to the back but an instant counter attack led to the left-back crossing into the area where Gorka Pintado came close to connecting, the ball then found its way to Darren Pratley who struck low to beat Westwood only to hit the foot of the post.

Coventry had rarely troubled their hosts during the opening exchanges and the best they could offer was a David Bell strike which flew well wide of goal with 20 played. Sammy Clingan came even closer five minutes later when he curled his free-kick over the wall but just past Dorus de Vries' right-hand post.

Attentions firmly switched to the other end where Andrea Orlandi released Tom Butler on the left,the Irishman cutting in and firing low at goal and straight at Westwood just before the half hour.

But that's as good as it got, for either side, with passages of play continously broken up by errors from both sets of players - a Nathan Dyer drive across the face of goal just before the break, which eventually went out for a corner, was the only remaining Swansea effort of note.

Half-Time: Swans 0 Coventry 0

The home side came out for the second-half and started passing the ball around better than they had during the closing stages of the first but still failed to trouble the Sky Blues.

Joe Allen was introduced in place of Jordi Lopez at the break but it was his midfield team mate, Darren Pratley, fancied his chances from distance six minutes after the re-start with a wicked strike which flew over the top of goal.

Long throw expert Aron Gunnarsson thought he could do better moments later but after controlling the ball 25-yards from goal his effort was also off target.

Despite seeing more of the ball the Swans were just not creating the opportunities and getting the ball into the box, and with just over 20 minutes remaining Paulo opted to make a change and go two up-front - Lee Trundle came on in place of Dyer to partner Gorka Pintado up-front with hope of improving their attacking threat.

He was straight in amongst the action and played a part in the Swans' next effort on goal, teeing up Andrea Orlandi to fire over the top from just outside the area.

And within three minutes of that attempt he found himself playing alongside a new strike partner, new signing Shefki Kuqi and within 60 seconds came to within inchces of connecting with a deep Orlandi cross from the right.

The former Crystal Palace front-man also played a part as the home side appealed for a penalty, playing the ball into the path of Trundle who in turn sent Pratley on his way into the area where he went down under the challenge from Martin Cranie. The referee instead opted to award a corner which also led to a goalscoring opportunity - Orlandi's delivery cleared to Joe Allen on the edge of the area but his strike was well saved.

Kuqi was making his presence felt in attack and after seeing a shot blocked six minutes from time Lee Trundle brought a save out of Westwood with a weak attempt at goal.

Time went on and the Swans were handed two chances to put pressure on the visiting defence with two injury-time corners - Orlandi delivered both, both were cleared, while Pratley's ball into the path of Kuqi running into the area went across the front-man and out for a goal kick to complete a disappointing night for the home side.

    Data provided by Press Association