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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:54 20th November 2009

Fede fires Swans to third in the table

Unbeaten in 11 matches, a first victory over Derby County in 26 years and the highest league position for the club since 1983 - it all happened in one entertaining night at the Liberty Stadium.

Fede Bessone was the hero as his first ever goal in Swansea City colours sent the majority of the 17,804 crowd into raptures.

The full-back launched a powerful 81st minute strike beyond visiting 'keeper Stephen Bywater after latching on to substitute Joe Allen's through ball into the area.

It looked as if it was going to be a frustrating night for Paulo Sousa's charges as chance after chance went begging in a dominant display against the Rams.

But luck was on the side of the Argentinian defender as his strike sent the Swans soaring to third spot in the Championship standings.

The Swans made one change for this Friday night encounter against Derby County at the Liberty.

It came in midfield where Andrea Orlandi replaced Joe Allen, who returned to Swansea on Thursday following his involvement with Wales Under-21's in Bosnia.

Garry Monk (calf) and Mark Gower (back) were still missing as the home side looked to extend their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate(C), Fede Bessone; Leon Britton, Darren Pratley, Andrea Orlandi (Joe Allen, 61'), Nathan Dyer, Cedric van der Gun (Tom Butler, 77'); Craig Beattie (Lee Trundle, 90+2').

Not Used:David Cornell (GK), Albert Serran, Jordi Lopez, Stephen Dobbie.

Derby: Stephen Bywater, Paul Green, Dean Leacock, Robbie Savage (C), Rob Hulse, Gary Teale (James McEveley, 72'), Shaun Barker, Dean Moxey, Jake Livermore (Paul Dickov, 85'), Fredrik Stoor (Paul Connolly, 63'), Bryan Hughes.

Not Used: Miles Addison, Lee Croft, Lee Hendrie, Ross Atkins.

Attendance: 17,804 Away: 420

Referee: R East

They were still queuing in their hundreds outside the ground as this Friday night encounter at the Liberty Stadium got underway.

But the near capacity home crowd already inside the ground were making themselves heard as their side went straight on the offensive.

Nathan Dyer was showing early signs of what he could do down the right while Darren Pratley was also causing the visiting defence problems.

The home side were handed their first chance with seven minutes on the clock as Craig Beattie struck a 20-yard free-kick straight into the Rams' wall while Dyer came even closer moments later.

The tricky little winger capitalised on Dean Moxey's weak back pass, latching onto the ball and taking past 'keeper Stephen Bywater - but unfortunatley for the ex-Southampton youngster he took it a bit too far and, from the angle, struck the outside of the post and saw it drift wide.

Noise levels were growing every time the hosts strung together an attacking move and with 10 minutes on the clock Paulo's side displayed some beautiful build-up play down the left.

Neat one-touch passing by Ashley Williams, Andrea Orlandi, Craig Beattie, Fede Bessone and Darren Pratley saw the Swans go from one box to the other only for the latter to be dispossessed inside Derby's area.

Despite all of their early pressure Derby came close with their first attempt of the night on the quarter-hour mark - Gary Teale floating a left-sided corner into the heart of the area, Jake Livermore connected and saw his effort deflect inches past the post for another flag-kick.

The hosts continued to threaten with a series of free-kicks while a 26th minute Orlandi free-kick into the heart of the area was cleared from underneath the crossbar by striker Rob Hulse.

A Pratley corner 60 seconds later saw the south Wales derby hero pick out Beattie with a low delivery and, at the first time of asking, the Scotsman hit the target but Bywater showed great agility to get down to his left and push the ball wide for another corner.

The attacking continued almost instantaneously, and this time it was wide man Cedric van der Gun to have a strike at goal - his wicked right-footed effort got the better of the Rams' 'keeper from 20-yards, but it fell just the wrong side of the post.

The pressure from the home side was becoming constant right up until the break with every single player in white looking dangerous as they strode forward.

Orlandi had the home side's best chance of the closing stages as he turned as saw his low drive deflect wide for a corner, while the same player shot wide from the edge of the area on the stroke of half-time.

Half-Time: Swans 0 Derby 0

The Swans came bursting out of the blocks at the beginning of the second period and within two minutes were awarded a corner as Robbie Savage cleared Cedric van der Gun's effort behind the goal.

The Dutchman delivered from the left-hand side and Ashley Williams connected with his head only to send the ball wide of the target.

Paulo's side continued to build patiently and were doing a fine job of keeping the ball away from their opponents.

Derby's defence opened up on 54 minutes as Nathan Dyer broke through down the right and made his way into Stephen Bywater's area, drove his attempt across the face of goal but won his side a corner as it deflected wide off Shaun Barker.

The same player forced a save out of the 'keeper five minutes later from a similar angle following fine work by Leon Britton and Craig Beattie in the middle of the park.

Despite playing 90 minutes in Sarajevo a little over 48 hours before, Joe Allen was introduced for the final half-hour of this game as he replaced Andrea Orlandi in midfield.

Derby's attempt at stringing together a first attack of the half came to nothing shortly after the hour while it was Dyer that orchestrated the Swans' next move on 68 minutes.

The flying winger picked up possession wide on the right before charging towards goal, he carried the ball past two defenders before being dispossessed inside the box.

But the best chance of the half fell two minutes later, van der Gun playing Craig Beattie through on goal but, with only Bywater to beat, the Scottish striker forced a fine save from the goalkeeper.

And next to deny the Swans was former Wales international Robbie Savage, the midfieler blocking Darren Pratley's cross with Nathan Dyer waiting in the middle.

Cedric van der Gun won his side a free-kick 30-yards from goal as substitute Paul Connolly was booked for bringing him down - it was to be his last involvement as he was replaced by Tom Butler.

The Irishman took the free-kick but curled it straight into the safe hands of Bywater.

This just wasn't the Swans' night as Bywater again denied Pratley 10 minutes from the end, but luck can quickly change in the wonderful world of football.

Barely 60 seconds later and Joe Allen played an instinctive ball into the path of Fede Bessone, the Argentinean-born full-back raced into the area and with a well struck drive fired across Bywater and found the far corner of the net, sending the 17,400 Swansea City fans into raptures.

Following the game's opener it was just a case of keeping possession of the ball, the Swans did this successfully and the added substitution of Lee Trundle for Beattie helped run the clock down.

A further 30 seconds of injury time was added to the allocated three minutes but the Swans managed to hold on to seal the win and move up to third position in the table.

    Data provided by Press Association