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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:52 23rd January 2010

Gorka strikes again as Swans draw at Bor

The Swans made just one change for their Championship clash against Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

It came in defence where Ashley Williams was restored at the heart of defence alongside skipper Garry Monk with Angel Rangel dropping to the bench.

There was also some positive news surrounding midfielder Andrea Orlandi as he returned to the substitutes bench following a thigh injury.

Boro: Danny Coyne; Tony McMahon (Joe Bennett, 78'), Chris Riggott (Jonathan Grounds, 90'), David Wheater, Justin Hoyte; Willo Flood, Gary O'Neil (C). Julio Arca, Adam Johnson; Chris Killen, Leroy Lita (Luke Williams, 78').

Not Used: Jason Steele (GK), Josh Walker, Bruno Pilatos, Cameron Park.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Alan Tate, Ashley Williams, Garry Monk(C), Fede Bessone, Leon Britton, Joe Allen (Mark Gower, 87'), Darren Pratley, Nathan Dyer (Tom Butler, 68'), David Cotterill; Gorka Pintado (Craig Beattie, 71').

Not Used:David Cornell (GK), Andrea Orlandi, Lee Trundle, Angel Rangel.

Referee: A Penn (West Midlands)

Attendance: 16847 Away: 331

The Swans made their second trip to the North East of the season but this time to take on a struggling Boro side as they looked to consolidate their top-four position in the Championship.

Paulo's side were also out to avenge the 3-0 defeat at the Liberty Stadium earlier in the season and they came close to breaking the deadlock with under a minute on the clock.

Darren Pratley's flick-on into Gorka Pintado's path saw the striker, who only seven days earlier scored his first of the season, outmuscled David Wheater before forcing Welsh stopper Danny Coyne into saving.

Leon Britton felt he was fouled by Chris Killen in the build-up to the recent recruit from Celtic setting up Leroy Lita, who eventually pulled his shot wide, while David Cotterill was also inches away with a sixth minute effort which Coyne had covered.

The game burst into life as it approached the quarter-hour mark with both sides carving out three goalscoring opportunities between them within 60 seconds.

First de Vries was called into action to push a Gary O'Neil cross from underneath his crossbar, the defence failed to clear and Killen played Lita inside the area and the Dutch 'keeper was alert to deny the striker with his legs.

The Swans went straight down to the other end where Leon Britton was awarded a free-kick, that was taken quickly to Pintado who struck just wide 30-yards from goal.

Boro were certainly enjoying a spell on top and moments later an unmarked Lita flashed a close-range header wide from Tony McMahon's cross.

But back came the Swans with Fede Bessone firiing a weak yet effective free-kick from 25-yards underneath the Boro wall and straight into the hands of Coyne - Pintado was inches away from getting a touch before it was safely collected before the Spanish striker sent a header just past the post before the remainder of the opening period played out evenly.

Half-Time: Boro 0 Swans 0

Football can be a funny ol' game sometimes, and the story of Gorka Pintado is no exception. The front-man hit the headlines when he struck his first goal in 10 months against Leicester City, and seven days later he was on target again to open the scoring in this clash just 90 seconds after the re-start.

The move was orchestrated by midfield man Darren Pratley who held off the challenges of three Boro players midway inside the hosts' half, he picked out the dart of Joe Allen who turned and played the ball into the path of Pintado and, with his first touch, rifled his attempt into the top corner of the net.

Momentum was with the Swans and the scoreline was almost doubled when Garry Monk was inches away from connecting with David Cotterill's free-klick to the back post.

Boro fought back as Lita's drive was deflected over the top of goal by Fede Bessone while the full-back turned provider on 55 minutes to cross for Pintado whose 18-yard header dipped just over the top.

But just two minutes before the hour the home side found a way back into this contest through home debutant Willo Flood - the former Celtic winger tried his luck from near the touchline 30-yards from goal, de Vries was tracking back but as he got a touch on it with his hand he failed in keeping it out of goal.

The home crowd certainly got a lift from their leveller and Flood again fancied his chances from distance, this time from more of a central position, but the Dutchman was alert to gather the ball.

Cotterill tried his luck after cutting in from the right to fire across goal while de Vries did well to get down and stop Adam Johnson's ball across the box.

As the half drew to a close the Swans showed no hesitation in going to look for a winner - substitute Tom Butler was on target with a well struck free-kick, safely held by Coyne, and Cotterill also brought a save out of the Welshman eight minutes from the end.

Chris Killen came close with two attempts in the closing stages as Boro went seeking a winner but, after an additional four minutes at the end of the 90, the Swans' first ever visit to the Riverside ended all square.

    Data provided by Press Association