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17:03 14th August 2010

Swans ease past Preston for first win

Brendan Rodgers marked his first league game at home with a thumping 4-0 win against Preston.

Stephen Dobbie got the ball rolling midway through the first-half with a sweet strike into the bottom corner, while Darren Pratley and Nathan Dyer added more from close-range before the break.

It was game over shortly after the re-start as David Cotterill made it 4-0 from the penalty spot after man of the match Dyer was grounded by Keith Treacy.

Swans fans got a first glimpse of new signing Scott Sinclair as he was named in the starting line-up to face the Lilywhites.

The 21-year-old recruit from Chelsea occupied one wing with Dyer on the other side to offer plenty of pace down the flanks.

Angel Rangel returned from his thigh injury to start at right back to replace Albert Serran, who started in his place at Hull, while the only other change was Sinclair coming in for Jordi Lopez.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel (Albert Serran, 71'), Ashley Williams, Garry Monk(C), Alan Tate; Nathan Dyer, Darren Pratley, Mark Gower, Scott Sinclair (Andrea Orlandi, 82'); David Cotterill (Joe Allen, 66'), Stephen Dobbie.

Not Used:David Cornell (GK), Neil Taylor, Cedric van der Gun, Shefki Kuqi.

Attendance: 14,010

Preston: Andy Lonergan, Billy Jones, Craig Morgan, David Gray, Callum Davidson (C), Danny Mayor (Paul Parry, 46'), Keith Treacy, Matthew James, Adam Barton, Paul Hayes (Jon Parkin, 63'), Chris Brown (Josh King, 46').

Not Used: Andres Arestidou (GK), Paul Coutts, Darel Russell, Bailey Wright.

A fitting tribute to members of the Jack Army lost in the summer was well observed before kick-off of home game number one of the new npower Championship campaign.

Thousands of cards were held up in the East Stand to reveal a white shirt and the number 40 in memory of striker Besian Idrizaj while a minutes silence was also held.

The Swans got us underway with the home side attacking the South Stand and just by looking at the starting line-up you could see how attack-minded that Brendan Rodgers wanted to go.

And inside the first five minutes the visiting 'keeper, Andy Lonergan, was tested as Stephen Dobbie forced his way through the defence to shoot straight at the shot stopper, winning a corner in the process.

Swans fans also had an early glimpse of the pace posessed by new boy Scott Sinclair as he charged down the left-hand side early on.

But Preston didn't make the long trip south for nothing and they came within a whisker of opening the scoreline on eight minutes when Chris Brown latched on to a long pass and shot inches wide of goal.

They continued to look confident as they went forward and five minutes later Wales international Craig Morgan tried his luck from inside the area, firing wide at the far post after Billy Jones' corner cleared everybody.

Sinclair also tried his luck with 17 minutes played and had the crowd on its feet as he strode past three players before shooting inches over the bar from distance.

And the £500,000 recruit played a part in setting up David Cotterill on 21 minutes, whose wicked strike was pushed onto the post by Lonergan, but 60 seconds later the Swans had better luck in front of goal as the deadlock was eventually broken.

Pressure by Alan Tate and Danny Mayor forced the defender into losing the ball and Stephen Dobbie was fed and found the bottom corner with a well taken strike.


Preston attempted to find their way back into the game but were scuppered by the Swans' defence, and just before half-time the home side found themselves a further two goals in front.

Cotterill's corner from the right caused confusion amongst the Lilywhites' defence as Garry Monk and Ashley Williams both had touches before Darren Pratley stabbed home from close-range.

And two became three on 43 minutes with Cotterill playing another starring role; his fine pass picked out down the left-hand side and the opening goalscorer pinged the ball across the face of goal where Nathan Dyer was placed to tap home at the back post.


Half-Time: Swans 3 Preston 0

Preston made two attacking substitutions at the break in a bid to salvage anything from this fixture but they could easily have found themselves four down after the re-start.

Scott Sinclair was certainly impressing out wide and after cutting in from the left forced Longergan into getting down well to deny the youngster, while Darren Pratley also struck the body of the 'keeper with the rebound.

It was one-way traffic as far as attempts go but Preston were able to threaten from a series of corners early on but failed to test Dorus de Vries.

The Dutchman's opposite number, however, kept the score down again as he pushed away a fierce Dobbie strike but again, within minutes, the Swans added a fourth.

The pace down either flank was causing Preston problems and this time it was Dyer's speed that got the better of Keith Treacy who was penalised for bringing him down inside the area - the referee pointed to the spot, David Cotterill stepped-up and sent Lonergan the wrong way.

It was to be his final contribution of the afternoon as he made way for Joe Allen, the young midfielder making his league return following injury, while Albert Serran was also introduced in place of Angel Rangel.

But it was Sinclair who continued to play a starring role and with 13 minutes left on the clock the nippy winger beat three men but failed at the last hurdle when he was inches wide of Lonergan's goal, while down at the other end substitute Josh King struck across de Vries' goal.

Sinclair did have the ball in the net 10 minutes from time, connecting with the equally impressive Dyer's cross but was, unfortunately, ruled offside. It was to be his last piece of action and he received a standing ovation as he was replaced by Andrea Orlandi.

Keith Treacy struck the post for Preston while Mark Gower completed a fine move with a strike from distance saved by the goalkeeper.
    Data provided by Press Association