Swansea 1 Rochdale 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 05 October 2002

Swans manager Brian Flynn called his side a 45-minute team as they threw away a lead at home to Rochdale.

A 71st minute strike from Dale forward Paul Connor cancelled out James Thomas' opener, continuing the Swans' dismal third division record.

But Flynn promised: "We'll get it right. I'm certain of that."

The Swans had started brightly, putting early pressure on second placed Rochdale and any threat was calmly dealt with by the now injury-free Jason Smith.

The towering central defender looked like he had never been away prompting Flynn to describe him as one of the most dominant centre-halves in the division.

A more comfortable and stable backline allowed the Swans to utilize makeshift wide men Gareth Phillips and Lee Jenkins in attack.

And it was Jenkins' build-up that provided the opener after 32 minutes. An early cross allowed Thomas to expertly swivel and shoot home to make to 1-0.

The visitors came further unstuck when striker Clive Platt was sent off for a late challenge on Smith just before the break.

The challenge saw angry reactions from some Swansea players and resulted in a 12-man melee.

But, if anything, this incident inspired Rochdale. When Swansea stretched but failed to crush their defeated opposition, Dale seized the initiative.

A generous amount of time and space was given to Connor by Kris O'Leary and it was enough for him to curl a shot past Roger Freestone for the equaliser.

A desperate switch to three up-front in search of the winner proved in vain for Swansea with Andrew Mumford, David Moss and substitute John Keaveney all being denied by former Wales Under-21 keeper Neil Edwards.

But Flynn was positive in his reflections at full-time: "At least we're unbeaten in two games and I said when we started that we had to start turning defeats into draws and that's what we're doing.

"Now what we have to do next is to turn draws into wins."

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