Tuesday 21st February 2023
Swansea.com Stadium

SWA Swansea


STO Stoke

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Olivier Ntcham Stoke

Swansea City fell to defeat against Stoke City as the visitors came from behind to take all three points at the Swansea.com Stadium.

Russell Martin’s side had taken a lead with less than two minutes on the clock as Morgan Whittaker scored his first Championship goal since May 2021 from Joe Allen’s pass.

But the lead did not last long, Josh Laurent converting from close range in the 15th minute, before the Potters captain gave them a lead they were not to relinquish four minutes later with an excellent finish from the edge of the area.

Both sides had chances in a second half that lacked the frenetic nature of the first 45 minutes, and Lewis Baker finished off a counter-attack in stoppage time to seal victory for Stoke.

Martin had made three changes, with Matty Sorinola, Ollie Cooper and Morgan Whittaker coming in for Joel Latibeaudiere, Luke Cundle and Jay Fulton.

For Whittaker it was a first start since returning from his loan spell, and he and Swansea could not have wished for a better opening as he gave them the lead with just 98 seconds on the clock.

A Ryan Manning free-kick was half-cleared and when Sorinola’s ball back in was not dealt with, Whittaker calmly took the ball down and steered it beyond Matija Sarkic in the Stoke goal to find the net via the underside of the bar.

At the other end Will Smallbone sent a dangerous cross through the six-yard box as the Potters sought an instant response, and they had a decent spell with the home side lacking some accuracy with the ball.

Ben Cabango

Jacob Brown should have done better from Tyrese Campbell’s intelligent lofted pass, handling the ball when he should have been in on goal.

But the leveller did arrived in the 15th minute, Swansea unable to clear a corner and allowing Laurent to hook the ball home from close range.

And the visitors then took the lead when the Swans gave away the ball in their own half, with Campbell pulling the ball back for Laurent to steer a superb first-time strike into the top corner of the net.

Swansea responded, two superb passes from Cooper and Joel Piroe sending Whittaker marauding towards the area.

He squared for the Dutchman who took a touch before steering a swerving left-foot strike towards goal, only to be denied by Sarkic.

An excellent carry from Cooper then saw the home side come forward once more, with Sorinola then squaring for Manning to fire high into the gloves of the keeper before referee Andy Woolmer chose to ignore an obvious pull on Ben Cabango as the defender attempted to meet a corner in the Stoke area.

Swans boss Martin elected to switch shape, sending on Olivier Ntcham for Harry Darling.

Chances were coming at both ends, Andy Fisher denying Dwight Gayle after Laurent had skipped away from Cabango on the byline before the Swans swept forward through Ntcham and Cooper before Piroe was flagged offside as he was fed in behind.

Matty Sorinola Stoke

Swansea pressed again, more fine play by Cooper and Manning ending with Whittaker steering the ball wide from eight yards.

Former Swan Ben Wilmot then wasted a big chance to give Stoke a two-goal cushion, heading well wide when arriving unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.

The second half started scrappily with neither side able to exert any real control on the increasingly fraught and tetchy proceedings.

Stoke were happy to attempt to slow the pace of the game by giving away a string of free-kicks, although it took Woolmer some considerable time before handing out a yellow card to Dwight Gayle as any sort of deterrent.

Wilmot did well to head off Ntcham after an incisive passing move had taken the Swans from deep in their own territory to the edge of the Potters area.

Matt Grimes and Joe Allen had shots blocked in quick succession with a little over 20 minutes to go, while Piroe was unable to reach a Sorinola cross.

Fisher adjusted to tip a sliced volleyed cross from Jordan Thompson before Piroe saw Sarkic get down to save his effort on the turn at the other end.

Morgan Fox had an anxious moment as his defensive header from a Swansea free-kick had Sarkic scrambling as it went just past the post, with the keeper holding Ntcham's drive to end any hopes of the hosts salvaging a point.

And Baker made sure of the win when he swept home right-footed to finish a counter-attack in stoppage time.

Swansea City: Andy Fisher; Nathan Wood, Ben Cabango, Harry Darling (Olivier Ntcham 31); Matty Sorinola (Liam Cullen 79), Joe Allen (Liam Walsh 71), Matt Grimes (captain), Ryan Manning; Ollie Cooper, Morgan Whittaker; Joel Piroe.

Unused Substitutes: Andreas Søndergaard, Joel Latibeaudiere, Kyle Naughton, Cameron Congreve.

Stoke City: Matija Sarkic, Morgan Fox, Jacob Brown, Tyrese Campbell (Jordan Thompson 56), Dwight Gayle, Ben Wilmot, Ki-Jana Hoever, Will Smallbone, Dujon Sterling, Ben Pearson (Lewis Baker 76), Josh Laurent (captain).

Unused Substitutes: Jack Bonham, Connor Taylor, Nathan Lowe, Kahrel Reddin, Gabriel Adebambo.

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 15,817