Report | Swansea City 1 Coventry City 0
Ben Cabango’s fourth goal of the season helped Swansea City bounce back from their weekend defeat with victory over Coventry City at the Liberty Stadium.
The Wales international nodded home Conor Hourihane’s corner in the 53rd minute as the Swans picked themselves up from the 4-1 loss at Huddersfield and replied with a 17th win and 17th clean sheet of the Championship campaign.
In a closely-fought encounter in SA1, Cabango’s goal means the Swans continue to hold their own among the pack pushing for the top spots.
Victory means the Swans sit eight points behind leaders Norwich City and one behind second-placed Brentford, with two games in hand.
Yan Dhanda and Cabango were the two changes to the starting XI from the weekend loss.
Dhanda came into midfield as Jay Fulton dropped to the bench, while Cabango was named in defence as Ryan Bennett missed out with a calf injury.
The absence of Bennett and Jordan Morris through injury saw Kieron Freeman and Ollie Cooper come onto the bench.
Freddie Woodman was in goal, with Cabango joining Kyle Naughton and Marc Guehi in defence.
Connor Roberts and Jake Bidwell were the wing-backs, with Dhanda slotting in alongside captain Matt Grimes and Conor Hourihane in midfield.
Andre Ayew and Jamal Lowe again led the line, while former Swan Viktor Gyokeres was on the bench for the visitors.
On a soaked pitch at the Liberty, it was the Swans who created the first opportunity as Grimes fired a left-footed pass around the Sky Blues defence for Lowe to race on to.
The forward sped into the box and, from an angle, tested keeper Ben Wilson with his shot deflecting against his legs.
At the other end, Maxime Biamou skewed his shot wide on the turn from a similar angle following a run by the lively Callum O’Hare.
Seconds later, O’Hare hit the deck under pressure and the away dug-out were appealing for a penalty, but referee Andy Woolmer shook his head.
Neither team were really finding a way of breaking down the opposition, with the Swans also seeing a penalty claim for handball turned down after Hourihane’s drive struck a defender’s arm.
The best chance of the half went the Swans’ way, with Dhanda threading a pass that cut through the Coventry defence for Roberts. The wing-back picked up Lowe with a fine low cross, but the striker could only sidefoot wide when well placed.
Lowe then turned provider as he crossed to Bidwell, and when his sliced shot dropped to Dhanda, the midfielder couldn’t keep his rising effort down.
The last action of the half saw Biamou again trying his luck, but the Frenchman – like he had earlier in the half – fired wide from an angle.
It didn’t take long for the Swans to break the deadlock after the break, though, with Steve Cooper’s men edging ahead from a set-piece.
Hourihane’s inswinging left-footed corner dropped a few yards out, and Cabango was the first to the ball to head home.
Both teams then made changes, with the Swans sending on Fulton and Korey Smith for Hourihane and Dhanda.
Coventry made a triple change, with former Swansea loanee Gyokeres among the subs to come on.
Cooper was then forced into another change moments later, with Joel Latibeaudiere replacing the injured Naughton.
The Swans then could, and should, have doubled their lead as Bidwell’s instinct and determination saw him beat his marker to a pass and he instantly sent Lowe on a foot race. The forward bombed on, racing some 30 yards towards goal before cutting inside his man and curling just wide of the far post.
Grimes was next to alarm Wilson, with the Swans skipper intercepting before taking play on and firing a powerful effort just past the post from 20 yards.
That proved the last real action of the half, as the Swans got over the line to claim another hard-fought victory.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton (Joel Latibeaudiere, 70), Ben Cabango, Marc Guehi; Connor Roberts, Yan Dhanda (Korey Smith, 66), Matt Grimes (captain), Conor Hourihane (Jay Fulton, 66), Jake Bidwell; Andre Ayew, Jamal Lowe.
Subs not used: Ben Hamer, Ryan Manning, Morgan Whittaker, Paul Arriola, Ollie Cooper, Kieron Freeman.
Coventry City: Ben Wilson, Leo Ostigard, Kyle McFadzean, Liam Kelly (captain, Matty James, 65)), Maxime Biamou (Viktor Gyokeres, 65), Callum O'Hare (Amadou Bakayoko, 83), Dominic Hyam, Tyler Walker, Sam McCallum, Julien Dacosta (Fankaty Dabo, ht), Gustavo Hamer (Ben Sheaf, 65).
Subs not used: Marko Marosi, Michael Rose, Jamie Allen, Jordan Shipley.
Referee: Andy Woolmer