Report | Swansea City 3 Stoke City 0

10th April
First team
Matt Grimes celebration

Goals from Liam Cullen, Matt Grimes and Josh Key saw Swansea City return to winning ways with a comprehensive victory over Stoke City at the Stadium.

Cullen gave the hosts the lead in the 19th minute when he steered home his seventh goal of the season from a well-worked set-piece.

Skipper Grimes then doubled the lead early in the second half with a thunderous penalty after Ollie Cooper had been brought down.

And Key rounded off the scoring when he fired into the roof of the net to end a sweeping attack.

It was just the response head coach Luke Williams would have wanted after a performance in defeat at Middlesbrough he had branded “unacceptable”, and there was a noticeable difference in energy and intensity from the hosts as an all-round team effort secured three valuable points.

The Swans had shown three changes from the weekend defeat on Teesside, with Cullen, Ben Cabango and Cooper handed starting roles.

Nathan Wood missed out through injury, while Jerry Yates and Jamal Lowe dropped to the bench.

Jay Fulton sent an effort from distance wide following Josh Tymon’s ball across the box.

Tymon, facing his former club, made a lively start, and another powerful surge and cross from the full-back forced the Potters into a hurried clearance.

There was far more energy about the hosts than had been the case on Teesside, and the likes of Cooper, Cullen and Paterson won the ball back on a number of occasions with fine pressing work.

It was Paterson’ off-ball work that so nearly created the opener. The midfielder stole possession and an exchange of passes sent him into space down the left.

From there he brilliantly bamboozled his marker to surge into the box along the byline, with Fulton steering his eventual pull-back against the base of the post.

Liam Cullen Stoke goal

But the Swans did take the lead in the 19th minute through a cleverly-worked set-piece.

Paterson and Grimes exchanged passes and when the former eventually delivered a low ball into the box Cullen expertly steered home as Josh Laurent played him onside.

Cullen then volleyed over after a loose ball had been nodded down to him on the edge of the box.

Wouter Burger headed a corner wide at the other end for Stoke before the visitors thought they had netted an equaliser.

 The ball found the net as Carl Rushworth and Niall Ennis battled for it, but the Potters forward was adjudged to have illegally knocked the ball from the keeper’s grasp as he prepared to throw out of his own area.

Million Manhoef then sent a low drive wide as Stoke began to have a better spell.

Swansea responded, Cabango just unable to reach a deep Paterson free-kick at the far post and, while Manhoef wasted a late breakaway for the visitors, the home side led at the interval.

They also made the running early in the second half, Paterson flashing a cross across the face of goal from Cooper’s lay-off.

Fulton then just failed to free Paterson on the counter but the Swans would double their lead in the 54th minute from the spot.

Referee Keith Stroud adjudged that Luke McNally’s challenge on Cooper had happened inside the box, and skipper Grimes made no mistake as he thumped his penalty high into the net.

Another smart set-piece routine nearly extended Swansea’s lead further as Cullen swept narrowly wide, with Cabango just unable to turn the ball in as it bounced past the far post.

Josh Key Stoke

Stoke boss Steven Schumacher turned to his bench. Making a trio of changes in addition to the half-time introduction of former Swans Luke Cundle.

The Potters had a spell of pressure as they rained balls into the Swansea box, but the hosts stood strong as the final 20 minutes arrived.

And they put the seal on the win with an outstanding third goal.

Jamal Lowe skipped away from McNally on halfway and set off towards goal. The forward took a moment to assess his options and picked out the onrushing Key, who took the ball beyond the last defender to lash a left-footed effort high inside the near post.

Lowe then landed an audacious chip on the roof of the net as the Swans eased to victory.


Swansea City: Carl Rushworth, Josh Key (Azeem Abdulai 79), Jay Fulton (Liam Walsh 77), Ben Cabango, Harry Darling, Matt Grimes (captain), Jamie Paterson (Aimar Govea 79), Josh Tymon, Liam Cullen (Charlie Patino 83), Ollie Cooper (Jamal Lowe 69), Ronald. 

Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Jerry Yates, Mykola Kuharevich, Bashir Humphreys

Stoke City: Daniel Iversen, Enda Stevens (Lewis Baker 79), Michael Rose, Wouter Burger (Jordan Thompson 63), Andre Vidigal, Niall Ennis (Tyrese Campbell 63), Ji-Jana Hoever, Bae Junho (Luke Cundle 46), Luke McNally, Josh Laurent (captain), Million Manhoef (Mehdi Leris 63).

Unused Substitutes: Jack Bonham, Ben Wilmot, Sead Haksabanovic, Junior Tchamadeu.

Referee: Keith Stroud