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19:52 27th March 2010

Ipswich clash ends goalless

The Swans kept their fifth placed spot in the Championship despite a disappointing stalemate against Ipswich at the Liberty.

Paulo's side dominated the possession count from start to finish but they were unable to convert the chances created against the Tractor Boys.

The best opportunity fell early on when Cedric van der Gun's low drive across goal struck the post via Nathan Dyer's boot, while Ashley Wiliams and Ipswich old boy Shefki Kuqi were narrowly off target with close-range headers.

There was a debut for Burnley loanee David Edgar who looked comfortable at the back alongside Ashley Williams, and a strong performance by the Canadian saw him clinch the Man of the Match award.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, David Edgar, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate(C); Leon Britton (Lee Trundle, 76'), Andrea Orlandi (Joe Allen, 66'), Darren Pratley, Nathan Dyer (Mark Gower, 46'), Cedric van der Gun; Shefki Kuqi.

Not Used:David Cornell (GK), David Cotterill, Gorka Pintado, Guillem Bauza.

Ipswich: Brian Murphy, David Wright. Gareth McAuley, Shane O'Connor (Carlos Edwards, 58'), Damien Delaney, Jack Colback, David Norris, Grant Leadbitter, Jaime Peters, Jon Walters (C), Daryl Murphy.

Not Used: Arran Lee-Barrett (GK), Owen Garvan, Pablo Counago, David Healy, Liam Rosenior, Tommy Smith.

Attendance: 14,902 Away: 401

The busy month of March was coming to its end with the visit of lowly Ipswich to the Liberty and the home side were almost handed an early reward.

Cedric van der Gun was back on the wing after starting at full-back in Blackpool and the Dutchman used his pace to great effect with just three minutes played, linking-up with Andrea Orlandi to play a one-two on the edge of Ipswich's area.

He burst into the six-yard box and beat former Swan Brian Murphy with his strike but pulled it too much as it bounced back off the far post.

Nathan Dyer was inches away from connecting with that strike before it hit the woodwork, and the flying winger came close to connecting with Orlandi's floating ball over the top of the defence with quarter of an hour played.

Had he connected a goalscoring opportunity would surely had arisen, but as it dropped over the head of Damien Delaney the wideman just couldn't stretch his legs enough to make contact and the ball bobbled straight into Murphy's path.

Swansea were certainly seeing more of the ball in this contest but a lack of a cutting edge in the final third was certainly problematic.

The home side were able to get the ball into dangerous territory again just before the half-hour when van der Gun's defence cutting pass sent Angel Rangel to the byline; he took advantage of his time to cross but, as there were no bodies inside the six-yard area, the full-back carried on his run but carried the ball out of possession.

And it was soon after that Ipswich created their first two attempts of the afternoon, the first a David Norris shot that flew wide of goal but Grant Leadbitter's attempt was on target only for Dorus de Vries to get his safe hands on the ball.

Half-Time: Swans 0 Ipswich 0

Mark Gower was introduced at the break in place of Nathan Dyer and within three minutes of his arrival came close of getting on to the end of a van der Gun cross, which was collected by Murphy, while down at the other end Ipswich skipper Jon Walters forced de Vries into saving with his legs to force a corner.

Just like the first period the Swans continued to play keep ball but weren't testing Murphy in the Tractor Boys' goal, but Gower did force a save out of the Irishman from distance with 55 played while Kuqi headed over five minutes later.

And just as the game passed the hour mark the home side were handed another chance to push for an opener when Darren Pratley was grounded on the touchline, Orlandi's free-kick into the heart of the box was met by Ashley Williams but the defender's header glanced just past the post.

Joe Allen was thrown on for his first game in five weeks to bring some creativity to the midfield while Paulo went with two up top 15 minutes from the end with Lee Trundle sent on to partner Shefki Kuqi in attack.

Yet it was the visitors that were next to create the game's best chance as kept hold of the ball inside the Swansea half and players piled into Dorus de Vries' box, Jack Colback saw a shot blocked on the edge of the area and the same player then set-up skipper Norris to fire across the face and just past the post.

The Swans were handed one final chance to break the deadlock in the final minute, Mark Gower floated a right-sided corner into the box to be met by Kuqi but, as had been the same all afternoon, luck just wasn't on their side as his header beat Murphy but fell just wide of the upright.

    Data provided by Press Association