Hollins stuck in the majority to the team that won at Bournemouth, leaving Bound and Cusack on the bench replaced by Molby babes O'Leary and Casey. Jones' recovery was not good enough to see a full team start so Jason Price fell back to the wing back position with Stu Roberts taking up a free role on the right wing. Posh keeper Tyler had recovered from the chest infection, which put his place at doubt earlier in the week.
Early in the day many were surprised despite the good weather today that the game was nearly off an hour from KO as the pitch along the Centre Stand was still frozen as no sun had melted the nights frost.
The game started fairly positively for the Swans as they played some good football and many around us had thought we'd broken our poor start record. Roberts in his free role drifted inside into a forward position was looking very positive, but it made the team look very disjointed as the usual right wing attacking position was empty. Jason Price was having enough trouble in his defensive position with out pushing up leaving a big gap behind him. To be fair it was difficult to say what formation we were playing today as it seemed to mix between a 5-3-2 to a 4-3-3 at any given moment!
In the 12th minute though a shot from outside the area by Stu Roberts had Tyler scrambling to push the ball out for a corner. Savarese and Watkin were often dropping back to pick the ball up from midfield to give themselves a chance to run at the Posh defence as they looked very shaky under pressure. The Swans weren't having it all their own way though, after clumsily losing the ball near the half way line, leaving Clarke in one on one situation with Freestone. Roger came outside the area and tackled brilliantly, not once but twice, leaving enough time for men to get behind him before a weak shot was cleared by O'Leary for a corner.
Both Savarese and Watkin had a few half chances saved well by Tyler, until on 33 mins the Posh went ahead. Clarke sucked in 2 defenders before laying the ball off to McKenzie whom had a free run in and scored in the left corner.
Savarese nearly squared the match 3 mins later when a cross from Romo gave him a looping header, which Tyler struggled to grab. Moment's later Sava turned provider when he went to the bi-line to cross to Watkin whose shot was saved past the post by Tyler. From the resulting corner Smith just failed to get a clinical touch that would have scored.
But on 42 mins when Howard was dis-possessed by Hanlon on the right wing, he sent a long cross ball to McKenzie who rounded Price with ease laid the ball off to Clarke who netted a fine goal.
A minute later Posh dangerman Farrell went in high with a two-footed tackle on Stu Roberts in the right wing position. From the resulting free kick Romo and Howard combined a cross to Roberts who missed with a volley from 5 yards out. Price at this point was getting booed everytime he touched the ball after another poor showing.
At the start of the second half many were surprised that the usual HT chat from Hollins had actually given the team a little passion instead of putting them to sleep. Hollins had resorted to using a 4-3-3 formation with Stu being used as an extra forward.
This reaped early rewards, as only 4 mins into the half Savarese got one back. A cross field ball to Roberts from Romo set him free in the right corner, he made himself some space for a great cross, Savarese headed goalwards but was parried by Tyler only for Sava to notch his tenth of the season.
This sent the NB wild and lets Aizlewood know what a complete to55er he is! (Aizlewood had earlier given the NB a one-finger salute from his galley above the NB after a few chants from the NB had upset him!).
Swansea continued the pressure for the equaliser, and on 52 mins they were denied a penalty. A cross/shot from Jenkins was picked up by Sava whose shot was saved low on the line by Drury which he controlled with his arms. After that it all seemed to go pear shaped as the ball seemed to stay in the air for an eternity.
If this match was called Rugby there was plenty of Gary Owen's!
But the Swans finally got the draw they deserved when on 83 mins a curling corner by Howard was rocketed into the roof of the net by Casey who had come on as a sub earlier in the match.
But Posh pushed for the winner in the finale and without some great saves by Roger and a header by Smith all the hard work done in the second half would have come to nothing.