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21:41 1th February 2011

Pratley double sinks Bristol City

Swansea City set themselves up nicely for the south Wales derby with a convinving win at Bristol City.

Darren Pratley was the hero at Ashton Gate as he opened the scoring early on after good work by Luke Moore and Brendan Rodgers' side could easily have added to that before the break.

They had further chances early in the second period but Bristol City had chances of their own to level.

But a second Pratley goal 21 minutes from the end completed the rout as the Swans registered a first league win away at the Robins since 1989.

Leon Britton started for the first time at Bristol City following his return from Sheffield United.

He came in to replace Joe Allen in front of the back four while Mark Gower slotted in for Kemy Agustien.

Dorus de Vries was back in goal; Jazz Richards replaced the injured Andrea Orlandi at left-back; and Nathan Dyer returned to the wing in place of Cedric van der Gun.

Bristol City: David James; Louis Carey (C), Steven Caulker, Damion Stewart (Jamie McAllister, 46'), Liam Fontaine; Albert Adomah, Marvin Elliott, Lee Johnson (David Clarkson, 76'), Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Kalifa Cisse, 46'); Brett Pitman, Andy Keogh.

Not Used: Marlon Jackson, Ivan Sproule, Joe Edwards, Dean Gerken.

Swans: Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate (C), Jazz Richards, Leon Britton, Mark Gower (Joe Allen, 71'), Darren Pratley, Nathan Dyer (Cedric van der Gun, 83'), Scott Sinclair, Luke Moore (Craig Beattie, 79').

Not Used: Yves Ma-Kalambay (GK), Albert Serran, Kemy Agustien, Stephen Dobbie.

Attendance: 14,366 Away: 1,630

Referee: D Whitestone (Northants)

The Swans had an FA Cup defeat against Leyton Orient to get out their system but they certainly didn't have an easy task at Bristol City.

Keith Millen's side may have been out of form - just one win in eight coming into this game - but the Swans' recent record at Ashton Gate was woeful with no win in their last eight visits.

But the visitors, who had the chance to climb back in to second on the night, had the first attempt on the night when a defensive error was capitalised on after two minutes; Nathan Dyer picking up a stray ball 25-yards from goal and picking out Luke Moore, but the former West Brom striker cannoned his strike straight at Steven Caulker.

Bristol debutant Andy Keogh then saw a weak shot saved by Dorus de Vries but, with 11 minutes played, the Swans found themselves in front.

The returing Leon Britton picked out Alan Tate inside the Robins' half and the stand-in skipper embarked on a solo run goalwards before finding Luke Moore, his burst into the box was thwarted by Caulker and Damion Stewart but Darren Pratley was placed to pounce and he fired beyond David James.

Bristol pressured for an immediate leveller but Moore twice came close to doubling the Swans' leads in a matter of seconds - the first saw him skip past the defence only for Louis Carey to stick the boot in, while a shot from 20-yards was spilled by James.

Keogh, though, had the hosts' best chance as the half approached midway when he leapt like a salmon to connect with Carey's cross but saw his header saved on the line by de Vries.

And Pratley continued with the busy goalmouth trend with another attempt which found the back of the Atyeo Stand while the same player fired over James' goal again just before the break after a brief 'lull' in action.

The Swans had enjoyed far more chances and possession in this period and Luke Moore could have made it two on the stroke of half-time when he glanced a header from Gower's corner inches over the bar.

Half-Time: Bristol City 0 Swans 1

As the mist descended on Ashton Gate, Bristol City made two changes at the start of the second-half - McAllister and Cisse coming on - as they went seeking a way back into this game.

And they battled hard for the first 10 minutes by putting plenty of pressure on the Swansea penalty area which saw Dorus de Vries get down to cut out a Marvin Elliott cross with two players placed in the box.

But the better chances continued to fall for the Swans and after David James got his body behind a Scott Sinclair shot Luke Moore, who was still without a goal since arriving in January, saw his attempt from 10-yards blockedf by Steven Caulker.

And the bombardment continued from the resulting corner as Pratley connected with the half volley and came agonisingly closed to finding the net, while Moore again tested James on the hour as he latched on to Jazz Richard's ball forward.

Rodgers' side, though, were almost caught out as Tate gifted possession to Lee Johnson, he fed Brett Pitman and the striker struck goalwards and, after it deflected off Angel Rangel, de Vries made a fantastic one-handed save to keep it out.

It was a huge stroke of luck for the Swans who, to their credit, went straight down the other end to force a corner. Gower took it and in amongst a body of players it struck Pratley and wedged itself between James and the post - 2-0 on 67 minutes.

Joe Allen and Craig Beattie were introduced to replace Mark Gower and Luke Moore - who had a lively evening in attack - during the closing stages as Brendan's side looked to take a grip of their advantage.

The Swans also threw on Cedric van der Gun for the final seven minutes at Ashton Gate and within moments of his introduction Pitman squandered a chance for Bristol as he fired high and wide from the edge of the box.

And the same player had an even better chance five minutes before the end, volleying hard at goal but Ashley Williams put his body on the line to get his head on it and deflect it clear.

Beattie fired straight at James in injury-time but the visitors had to make do with two as they celebrated a first league win at Ashton Gate since 1989.
    Data provided by Press Association