Date:Wednesday September 16 2009
The Liberty Stadium, Swansea
15 September 2009, 19:45
City and Swansea predictably cancelled each other out in another stalemate at the Liberty.
The Robins were rocked by losing keeper Dean Gerken, skipper Louis Carey and in-form striker Nicky Maynard to illness before kick off, meaning an enforced change in shape and personnel.
Despite not having the players to successfully revert to a 4-3-3, City had to simply role with it for the first time this season.
In came transfer-listed keeper Adriano Basso, Bradley Orr returned in place of Brian Wilson at right-back, Lee Johnson replaced Cole Skuse and there was a debut handed to Evander Sno on the left.
Most surprisingly of all was winger Ivan Sproule being chosen to flank Saborio in attack, with David Clarkson left on the bench.
The game was subject of an organised boycott from City fans as a result of the South Wales Police forcing our fans to, yet again, travel under 'bubble restrictions'. As a result, only 239 hardy souls made the 80-mile trip over the bridge and hopefully our point has been made for the last time.
Having seen an earlier effort from Swansea's Joe Allen go over the top on 5, City hit their stride and nearly stole an early lead on 12 minutes.
Jamie McAllister's corner was met by Liam Fontaine only for Swans' keeper Dorus se Vries to scramble away off the line.
Shortly after, Sproule was unlucky to see his deflected cross-shot come off Alan Tate and spin just wide of the post.
Evander Sno, being deployed in an unfamiliar left-sided role, came closer still with a rasping effort that flew inches wide of the upright after cutting in onto his favoured right-peg.
Following an encouraging start, Swansea grew in stature before the break and started causing problems of their own with Bristolian Nathan Dyer blazing just wide from a tight angle.
Debutant Cedric van der Gun came closer still, when his flicked header grazed the post from an Orlandi corner seven minutes before the interval.
Swansea were the better side after the break but failed to create any more chances of note, with another van der Gun header forcing Basso into a close range save and substitute Craig Beattie doing likewise on 75.
City's second half performance offered unsurprisingly little in attack with Saborio heading straight at De Vries from a Sno cross.
Jordi Lopez then raced onto a Leon Britton through ball but failed to beat Basso and saw Lewin Nyatanga hack clear as it trickled towards goal.
But City were unlucky not to steal it at the death when Saborio squared the ball to Skuse six-yards out but he shot straight at De Vries from point blank range.
SWANSEA: (4-3-2-1) De Vries, Tate, Bassone, Williams, Richards, Orlandi (Bodde 69), Lopez, Allen (Britton 78), Dyer, Pintado (Beattie 65), van der Gun.
CITY (4-3-3): Basso, Orr, McCombe, Fontaine (Nyatanga 71), McAllister, Hartley, Johnson, Elliott (Skuse 69), Sno (Clarkson 85), Sproule, Saborio.
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northampton)
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Date:Wednesday September 16 2009
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