Report | Swansea City 0 West Brom 0
Swansea City and West Brom played out a goalless stalemate at the Liberty Stadium.
The Swans had the clearer sights of goal, with Jay Fulton having arguably their two best chances and Matt Grimes forcing a parry from Sam Johnstone in the Albion goal.
Hal Robson-Kanu and Callum Robinson worked Freddie Woodman at the other end but neither side could find the breakthrough for a crucial win.
In the end, Preston’s defeat to QPR meant Steve Cooper’s side narrowed the gap to the play-off places to three points with nine games remaining.
The hosts had made one change from the draw at Blackburn, Aldo Kalulu coming in for the ill Jordon Garrick.
With so much at stake it proved a cagey start but it was the Swans who produced the first fluid attack as a lovely move involving Rhian Brewster, Kalulu, Grimes, Jake Bidwell and Andre Ayew ended with the Baggies clearing inside their own six-yard box.
West Brom responded with Dara O’Shea whipping in an outstanding ball that Swansea did well to prevent a green and yellow shirt connecting with.
There was a real energy about their hosts, with their pressing work causing West Brom visible discomfort.
Conor Gallagher nearly worked room for a shot in the box from a chipped Kalulu cross, and then his lovely free-kick was headed back across goal by Ben Cabango to prompt another scrambled clearance from the visitors.
West Brom’s response was a sharp attack that ended with Robon-Kanu just failing to get on the end of a Robinson cross.
Play went straight down the other end, Brewster guiding a low volley across goal that Kalulu could not cleanly connect with.
Freddie Woodman denied Robinson on the half-hour after Grimes had been robbed on the edge of his own area.
Brewster and Ayew tried their luck from the edge of the box as the interval neared but it was goalless at the break.
But the Swans so nearly led within 40 seconds of the restart. Grimes got away a firm drive that Sam Johnstone could only parry, and Fulton could not keep the follow-up down at the far post.
Robson-Kanu tried his luck from an acute angle at the other end, but could not keep his effort down as it flew over the angle of bar and post.
The game was opening up, with Fulton firing over from a clever short free-kick from Grimes 11 minutes into the second half.
Cooper sent on Nathan Dyer for Kalulu for the final 24 minutes as the tension grew with both sides knowing how important a win could be in their respective seasons.
Swansea had a half-chance from a corner but Johnstone was out quickly as Ayew prepared to turn and prod home a knockdown in the six-yard box.
Joe Rodon – bandaged up after an early clash of heads - made a superb covering tackle as Conor Townsend looked to race on to Matheus Pereira’s through ball after the Swans had given the ball away in their own half with time fast running out.
Ayew’s acrobatic overhead kick flew agonisingly over, while Jake Livermore missed a great chance for the visitors as it ended a point apiece in SA1.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton, Joe Rodon, Ben Cabango, Jake Bidwell; Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain); Aldo Kalulu (Nathan Dyer 66), Conor Gallagher, Andre Ayew; Rhian Brewster.
Substitutes (not used): Erwin Mulder, Connor Roberts, Ben Wilmot, Yan Dhanda, Liam Cullen.
West Brom: Sam Johnstone; Dara O’Shea, Kyle Bartley (Darnell Furlong 58), Semi Ajayi, Conor Townsend; Romaine Sawyers, Filip Krovinovic, Jake Livermore (captain); Matheus Pereira (Kyle Edwards 79), Hal Robson-Kanu, Callum Robinson (Kamil Grosicki 58).
Substitutes (not used): Kieran Gibbs, Charlie Austin, Rekeem Harper, Jonathan Bond.
Referee: Robert Jones