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15:26 6th February 2011

Late Bellamy strike clinches derby succe

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No history was made on this occasion as the Swans were beaten in the second all-Welsh derby of the season.

A league double had never been done in this fixture but the home side held the advantage having won at Cardiff in November.

But Craig Bellamy's strike five minutes from time was the only difference with bragging rights making their way east along the M4.

Swansea City were unchanged for this hugely anticipated south Wales derby.

Brendan Rodgers stuck with the same eleven that won at Bristol City earlier in the week, which allowed Leon Britton to play his first game at home since returning from Sheffield United.

Alan Tate retained the captaincy in the absence of Garry Monk while youngster Jazz Richards continued at full-back.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Alan Tate(C), Ashley Williams, Jazz Richards; Leon Britton (Stephen Dobbie, 88'), Mark Gower (Joe Allen, 59'), Darren Pratley; Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair, Luke Moore (Craig Beattie, 66').

Not Used:Yves Ma-Kalambay (GK), Albert Serran, Kemy Agustien, Cedric van der Gun.

Cardiff: Tom Heaton; Paul Quinn, Mark Hudson, Dekel Keinan, Kevin McNaughton (Darcy Blake, 46'); Seyi Olofinjana, Aaron Ramsey, Peter Whittingham (Chris Burke, 67'), Michael Chopra (Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, 75'), Craig Bellamy (C), Jay Bothroyd.

Not Used: David Marshall (GK), Gabor Gyepes, Stephen McPhail, Jon Parkin.

Attendance: 18,280

Referee: M Halsey (Hertfordshire)

The atmosphere inside the Liberty was electric well in advance of this table topping derby clash.

Both sets of supporters were making their voices heard as they knew that important points in the race for promotion and local pride were at stake.

And the eclectric atmosphere transferred to the action on the pitch as the two teams exploded into life right from the start.

It was Cardiff that forced the first attempt as Jay Bothroyd pulled his shot wide from just inside the box, while a fine run and cross from Darren Pratley from the right picked out Luke Moore but he was robbed of possession before getting the chance to turn his man.

Alan Tate was off target with the hosts' first attempt when he deflected a Mark Gower free-kick over Tom Heaton's goal while his defensive team mate, Ashley Williams, was also doing the business at the back as he topped England striker Bothroyd in a race to the ball and clear it safety.

But Dorus de Vries was called into action himself 10 minutes played, Cardiff countered through Craig Bellamy and he squared infield to Aaron Ramsey, the Arsenal youngster took a few strides before firing low at goal but the Dutchman got down to deny him.

Cardiff were saying a lot of the ball as they went forward and did threaten from a trio of Bellamy corners as the half hit the midway point. Swansea, though, saw their next best attempt fly high and wide after Scott Sinclair came in from the left but was well off target.

But the former Chelsea youngster was through on goal just half-hour when he latched on to the end of Mark Gower's pass but, as he charged down on Heaton's goal, Mark Hudson stuck the boot in at the last second to rescue the ball.

Pratley also shot over and that was before the derby saw its first booking when Bothroyd was penalised for a late challenge on Alan Tate just before half-time.

Half-Time: Swans 0 Cardiff 0

The Bluebirds made one change at the back for the start of the second-half as Darcy Blake replaced Kevin McNaughton after the Scottish full-back picked up a knock just before half-time.

And they had the first chance to draw blood early on when awarded a corner, though Bellamy's delivery was safely cleared, while Mark Gower fired the Swans' first attempt of the half wide of goal.

Gower also saw a free-kick knocked back across goal by Sinclair and that was turned over the bar by a Cardiff defender, and Gower quickly followed Bothroyd into the bookfor a challenge before being replaced by Joe Allen on the hour.

But the best chance of the game by far fell to Cardiff with 63 minutes on the clock - substitute Blake, via a one-two with Bellamy, embarked on a solo run which took him past two players, and upon entering the box fired right-footed beyond de Vries and saw his shot clatter back off the post.

The Swans, however, tried the same thing three minutes later when Sinclair charged into the Cardiff half of the pitch, running straight at Hudson and Quinn and beating them for pace, but as he cut in to the edge of the box his shot missed the top of goal by a matter of yards.

Sinclair again used a turn of pace to take on the Cardiff defence on his own and this time as he got inside the box the wide man was tackled before he could pull the trigger.

The home side were looking confident as they continued to stride forward into dangerous positions and with 10 minutes left Sinclair came close yet again, this time playing a one-two with Craig Beattie - who replaced Luke Moore - only to fire into the side netting.

But not being able to take those chances, the Swans were punished with just five minutes left to play when the Bluebirds took a dramatic lead. Bothroyd was the architect as he picked out Bellamy and as he cut in from the left, struck the ball sweetly beyond de Vries and into the net via the post.

Stephen Dobbie was thrown on for Leon Britton to offer more of an attacking threat but, even after four minutes of injury-time, the Swans failed to level it up in the derby.

    Data provided by Press Association