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14:42 7th May 2011

Final: Swans 4 Sheff Utd 0

Swansea City coasted into a play-off semi-final tie against Nottingham Forest after a comfortable victory over the Blades at the Liberty Stadium. Two goals from Stephen Dobbie, a penalty from Scott Sinclair and a last minute strike from Leon Britton saw the Swans finish the campaign in style in third place after Cardiff City slipped up at Burnley. With QPR escaping their FA hearing without a points deduction, it means the Swans will now take on Forest at the City Ground on Thursday in the first leg before returning to the Liberty on the following Monday. The other semi-final will see Cardiff take on Reading with a trip to Wembley and a place in the Premier League still up for grabs. The Swans made two changes from the team that impressed at Millwall last Saturday with a 2-0 victory. Fabio Borini and Scott Sinclair returned with Darren Pratley and Luke Moore stepping down to the bench. There was also a starting place for midfielder Leon Britton who returned to Swansea in January after a seven-month spell at Bramall Lane. Going into the game with a play-off place guaranteed, the Swans were still waiting news on QPR's FA disciplinary hearing. It meant the Swans were looking to end the season on a high with a victory that could secure them third place if Cardiff failed to pick up three points at Burnley. They faced a Sheffield United side that had already been relegated and prepared to blood a number of youngsters from their successful FA Youth Cup Final side ahead of their clash with Manchester United later this month. Boss Micky Adams, who had a 13-day spell as manager of Swansea City back in 1997, was without senior pros Darius Henderson (hamstring), David McAllister (calf) and Ched Evans (ankle). Swansea City: Dorus de Vries, Angel Rangel, Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate ©, Leon Britton, Joe Allen, Stephen Dobbie, Nathan Dyer, Fabio Borini, Scott Sinclair. Subs: Darren Pratley, Andrea Orlandi, Garry Monk, Luke Moore, Yves Ma-Kalambay, Mark Gower, Lee Lucas. Sheff Utd: George Long, Jordan Slew, Harry Maguire, Michael Doyle, Matthew Lowton, Joe Mattock, Nick Montgomery, Shane Lowry, Stephen Quinn, Lee Williamson, Rob Kozluk. Subs: T Kennedy, Mihkel Aksalu, Matthew Harriott, Erik Tonne, K Lukberg, M Warren, Danny Philliskirk. Ref: E L Ilderton Match Action Swansea made an encouraging start as Stephen Dobbie forced Academy goalkeeper George Long into a fine save within two minutes of his first team debut. Sheffield hadn't come just to make up the numbers though as Michael Doyle flashed a low drive inches the wrong side of Dorus de Vries' post with 12 minutes gone. Swansea slowly started to step it up a gear though as a great bit of skill took him beyond Stephen Quinn. And when his cross was only cleared to the edge of the area, Scott Sinclair had two shots blocked before Nathan Dyer fired the third attempt over in the 15th minute. It was all Swansea on the 20-minute mark as Fabio Borini glanced a Neil Taylor cross over. Swansea had an even better chance two minutes later when Dobbie slipped Borini in. And when his cross picked out Dyer inside the six yard area, the Supporters Player of the Year though his touch was good enough to open the scoring. But Long made an unbelievable save to deny the winger his third of the season. The game switched straight to the other end where it took a fine save from de Vries to deny Lee Williamson who had a free shot on goal. The breakthrough came on the half-hour when Matthew Lowton fouled Scott Sinclair wide on the edge of the area. Stephen Dobbie stepped up to take it and with everyone expecting the cross into the box, the midfielder curled a superb free-kick beyond Long and into the far corner. Swansea were full of confidence now as Leon Britton started a neat build up that started way back in their own half and ended with Sinclair weaving his way into the opposite area only to see his shot blocked with 35 minutes gone. Dobbie nearly got his second five minutes later when Angel Rangel pulled a cross back to the edge of the area. Dobbie took it first time, but his effort curled just wide of the far post. Sinclair fired a long range effort over before the half came to a close with the home side well on top. Half-time: Swans 1 Sheff Utd 0 There were no changes for the start of the second-half as Lee Williamson picked up the first booking of the game for a foul on Sinclair on the edge of the area. Dobbie took it, but this time his effort flew well wide. Swansea were soon 2-0 up though as they grabbed their second in the 54th minute. Borini saw his initial shot blocked, but Sinclair followed up only to see his goal-bound effort hit the outstretched arm of Shane Lowry. The referee pointed straight to the spot before showing Lowry a red card. Sinclair stepped up to slot home the penalty for his 24th of the season. And the third duly arrived on the hour. Again it came from some great inter-play that even involved central defender Ashley Williams deep in the Sheffield half. The ball eventually found its way to Dobbie who somehow managed to find a gap in a crowded area to fire a fine finish beyond Long for his second of the game and ninth of the season. It prompted a double substitution for Swansea as Garry Monk came on for Alan Tate and Mark Gower replaced Joe Allen with 63 minutes on the clock. The biggest round of applause was left for Nathan Dyer though in the 67th minute when he was replaced by 18-year-old Lee Lucas for his first team debut. Just before that, Ashley Williams thought he had grabbed the fourth when he hit an unbelievable strike from 40 yards that looked to have flown into the top corner for what would have been the goal of the season. The players celebrated, the PA played the celebration music, but the referee pointed to a goal kick as the ball had actually hit the side stanchion instead! And just to round things off in the last minute, Leon Britton made it four against his old club with a 22-yard effort that flew passed Long for his first goal since his return to the club in January.
    Data provided by Press Association