Ten years at the Liberty: The first competitive game

26th January 2016

To celebrate Swansea City's tenth season at the Liberty Stadium, we will be looking back on the stand-out moments over the last decade.
Here, we kick-off our new feature with the first competitive game to be held at the new stadium.

Swansea City 1 Tranmere Rovers 0
Coca Cola League One
August 6, 2005

After 93 years of countless memories - good and bad - it was time for Swansea City to leave the Vetch Field and move into the brand new Liberty Stadium situated in Landore.
The pristine Liberty pitch had already been graced for legend Alan Curtis' testimonial and a pre-season friendly against Blackburn Rovers, but an opening day of the season clash with highly fancied Tranmere Rovers saw the Swans play their first competitive fixture at the club's new home.
Led by former Aston Villa man Brian Little, Tranmere headed to SA1 on the back of an agonising play-off semi-final defeat to Hartlepool United at the end of last season.
But despite their underdog status, the Swans set the pace during the opening quarter of the game, with new signing Bayo Akinfenwa signalling his intentions with a snap shot that went wide of goal just 30 seconds into the contest.
The Swans continued to pressure the League One favourites, and it was only a goal-line clearance by full-back Paul Linwood that prevented Lee Trundle from opening his account for the season.

But after a shaky start the Merseysiders began to assert themselves on proceedings, and with former Liverpool favourite and Tranmere captain Jason McAteer probing from midfield, the visitors created some half chances that on another day might have led to a goal.
But on the half-hour mark, the first goal of the new season arrived as Akinfenwa christened his Liberty debut with a goal to give the Swans the lead.
After Sam Ricketts found Lee Trundle on the edge of the Tranmere box with a throw-in, Magic Daps turned his marker and delivered a cross that was met with power by the giant Akinfenwa from three yards out.
Shaken as they were, Tranmere were handed an opportunity to level the scores when a clumsy challenge by Ricketts on Calvin Zola saw referee Lee Probert award the visitors a penalty five minutes before the interval.
But a tame spot kick from McAteer was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Willy Gueret, before the Swans were awarded a penalty of their own in added time of the first half.

Regular spot-kick taker Trundle, who scored seven goals from the spot during the previous season, stepped up to attempt to double Swansea's advantage, only to see his effort saved by John Achterberg.
The Swans were dealt another blow at the midway point as Garry Monk was forced off through injury to be replaced by Alan Tate.
Spurred on by their first-half let off, Rovers came out for the second period intent on getting back on level terms, and it took every last inch of Swansea's resilience to keep the promotion favourites at bay.
Gueret was once again called into action to deny Chris Greenacre, before Villa boss Little threw on Ian Hulme - an explosive winger - in an attempt to break down the compact home defence.
The last 15 minutes of the fixture saw the Swans holding firm against determined opponents, but with forwards Trundle and co relying on scraps.
With only minutes left on the clock, Trundle had the opportunity to put the result beyond doubt when he broke clear of Tranmere's defence but, having rounded the 'keeper, drove his shot wide of an empty goal.
But it didn't matter. A raucous cheer from the Jack Army, who could celebrate a historic result to kick off a new era at their new stadium, greeted the full-time whistle.

Player Profile
Bayo Akinfenwa (2005-2007)

When Adebayo Akinfenwa signed for the Swans at the beginning of the 2005 season, he had the distinction of being the strongest professional in world football at that time.
The London-born forward began his professional career with Lithuanian side FK Atlantas, before moving back to the UK when he joined Welsh Premier League champions Barry Town.
After helping Barry to Welsh Cup and Welsh Premier League silverware, Akinfenwa signed for Football League outfit Leyton Orient following a brief stint with Boston United.
Leading a nomadic existence, Bayo played for various clubs in the Football League before signing for the Swans from Torquay United in time for the club's move to the Liberty Stadium in August 2005.
He has the record for scoring in the first ever competitive fixture at the Liberty as the Swans beat Tranmere Rovers 1-0 and went on to a form an impressive strike partnership with fans' favourite Lee Trundle.
Akinfenwa and Trundle both scored goals as the Swans beat Carlisle United 2-1 in the final of the Football League Trophy in 2006, but Bayo was one of two players that suffered the heartache of missing a penalty in the play-off final shootout against Barnsley a couple of months later.
He was a regular starter for the club the following season, until sustaining a broken right leg in a home fixture against Scunthorpe United, which put an end to his season.
In the summer of 2007, Akinfenwa rejected a new contract with the club and joined Millwall on a month-to-month contract.
Since then, he has continued to move around the Football League, featuring for Northampton Town (twice) and Gillingham (twice), while last season he turned out for AFC Wimbledon.