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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:09 14th November 2010

Super Scott fires Swans to victory

Scott Sinclair scored his twelfth goal of the season to sink Middlesbrough and cement the Swans' position in the top-three.

It was left late for the wide-man to break the deadlock as he cut inside and fired past Jason Steele from12-yards.

The Swans saw more of the ball over the course of the afternoon though Boro did threaten from counter attacks, but Brendan Rodgers' side kept their patience before striking to return to winning ways.

Craig Beattie was handed his first league start for the Swans since March.

The 26-year-old striker was in the starting eleven for the Carling Cup tie at Wigan but last started in the Championship against Sheffield Wednesday eight months earlier.

His inclusion was a straight replacement for Marvin Emnes who was ineligible to face parent club Boro with his loan officially on the night of this game.

The only other changes made by Brendan Rodgers were in midfield where Joe Allen and Mark Gower returned to replace Kemy Agustien and Andrea Orlandi respectively.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Garry Monk(C) (Neil Taylor, 74'), Ashley Williams, Alan Tate; Joe Allen, Mark Gower (David Cotterill, 62'), Darren Pratley, Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair; Craig Beattie (Stephen Dobbie, 72').

Not Used:Yves Makabu-Makalambay (GK), Neil Taylor, Jazz Richards, Kemy Agustien, Andrea Orlandi.

Boro: Jason Steele, Tony McMahon, David Wheater, Matthew Bates, Joe Bennett, Kevin Thomson (Nicky Bailey, 22'), Gary O'Neil (C), Barry Robson (Julio Arca, 62'), Justin Hoyte (Kris Boyd, 87'), Leroy Lita, Scott McDonald.

Not Used: Connor Ripley (GK), Seb Hines, Tarmo Kink, Mickael Tavares.

Attendance: 14,906 Away: 301

Referee: K D Hill (Hertfordshire)

The Swans were in need of a good performance to get the disappointment of the Bristol City result out of their system.

Middlesbrough, another side struggling at the foot of the Championship table, were on a fine run of form coming into this fixture and had the aim of trying to stop the hosts playing their usual game.

And while the start to the previous Wednesday's game was slow it was the Swans that came close to stamping their authority on this one early.

It all started when Boro skipper Gary O'Neil was robbed of possession by Joe Allen, the ball found its way to Darren Pratley via Angel Rangel and the cross was touched wide by top-scorer Scott Sinclair.

Four minutes had been played when Sinclair, who was to join up with the England Under-21 squad following the game, was inches away from opening the scoring. Allen twice came close himself while Ashley Williams headed over from a corner after quarter of an hour.

The home side were dominating the early exchanges and Nathan Dyer completed a solo move by forcing Jason Steele into saving low to his right, but O'Neil could have thrown a spanner in the works only to see his strike dip over the bar on 18 minutes.

But normal service resumed when Beattie crossed and Sinclair poked was deflected wide of the stick by Boro defender Matthew Bates. The first corner was cleared but Beattie was free to meet Gower's second delivery but headed it wide.

Middlesbrough looked lively going forward and kept trying to catch out Swansea on the counter attack despite no success coming from their attempts, but one of the better chances of the half fell to the hosts five minutes before the break.

Scott Sinclair left Barry Robson standing with his pace and from the byline centred for Allen whose attempt was blocked, and with the follow up Rangel saw the follow-up head towards goal only for Joe Bennett to get his body in the way to make the block.

Half-Time: Swans 0 Boro 0

The sun was starting to set over the Liberty as the players trudged out for the second-half but a dark cloud almost descended as Boro could have taken the lead within three minutes of the re-start.

A goalmouth scramble within the Swansea area had home fans on the edge of their seats as the defence failed to clear, the ball bobbled out to skipper Gary O'Neil but, fortunately, his attempt was blocked.

Nathan Dyer was a constant threat on the right as Boro struggled to cope with his pace and neat foot work, while little Joe Allen was also starring in the centre of midfield.

And it's in midfielder where Brendan Rodgers made his first change with David Cotterill introduced in place of Mark Gower to give the side more of an attacking persona. The Wales winger made an immediate impact with two quality crosses into the area, the second from a free-kick which glanced the heads of two Swansea players.

Stephen Dobbie was sent on in place of Beattie with around 20 minutes left on the clock while Garry Monk for forced off injured and replaced by Neil Taylor.

Middlesbrough continued to look second best with quarter of an hour remaining that had two glorious chances when Justin Hoyte's strike was just taken wide off the boot of Joe Allen and from the resulting corner Leroy Lita sent a header wide. Stephen Dobbie, meanwhile, almost made an immediate impact at other end when he turned his man and shot low and wide.

Jason Steele was forced into making a fine stop 12 minutes from the end, pushing away a stinging Rangel effort following a Cotterill corner, Alan Tate got the ball back into the box and Pratley was there to meet it but was well off target.

But the long wait for a goal was worth it and the hosts to manage to pull one out of the bag with five left on the clock and it was that man again, Scott Sinclair, who got it. Now with 12 goals to his name, he cut in from the left and from 12-yards connected with his right foot to pick out the bottom corner of Steele's net.

Stephen Dobbie was handed a great opportunity to add a second in injury-time but the Swans held on to record the win which took them over the 30-point mark.
    Data provided by Press Association