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Andy Fisher Hooks Another Point For Swansea City, But Russell Martin Admits Frustration

By David Williams

Swansea City head coach Russell Martin has praised Andy Fisher for keeping the clean sheet that earned his side a point in an otherwise disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Coventry City.

Fisher pulled off two saves to keep play-off-chasing Coventry scoreless and extend the Swans’ unbeaten stretch to three matches.

The Sky Blues’ hopes of bridging the gap to the play-off places took another dent as they made it five dropped points at the start of April and they dropped one place into the bargain.

The only recompense for Coventry is the gap to sixth is still three points.

“I thought it was a really good game, I thought it was two good teams,” said Martin.

“They had two really good chances in the game, but ‘Fish’ made two brilliant saves. I’m really pleased for him today, and that’s two clean sheets in three now.

“We created some really good chances and the lads are really frustrated we haven’t won the game, which I’m pleased about.

“On the whole, I think both managers will think they could have had three points. At the end, Morgan Whittaker had a big chance. He just had to try and throw everything at it.

“The thing that’s got us through it is courage and conviction. The energy was great, we started the game so well and we started the second half so well. The energy’s been great all week in training and the fans created another wonderful atmosphere.”

Coventry boss Mark Robins said: “It’s a decent point. We have got to take that if we can’t take the chances we had.

“Swansea are a brilliant team – I think they are really good. They play in a way that is clever and they have got some top technical players.

“They are a technical team, but they have quality as well. The way they play can flummox you, as they did when we went 3-0 up against them at home and then drew 3-3.

“Tactically, we got everything right and it was a real good performance out of possession. We’ve kept a clean sheet and we have picked up a point.

“ We are three points away [from the top six] and we’re still in with a shout of gatecrashing something and making it a really special season.”

Martin stuck to the team that had pulled off a remarkable south Wales derby triumph at Cardiff in the previous game following a 99th-minute winner from Ben Cabango as his side went in search of three wins in a row for the first time in six months.

The Sky Blues arrived hoping to put an end to a wretched record against the Swans, having not won a game between the sides since 1981.

Robins also wanted his team to recover from their 4-0 home defeat to Stoke, which ended a run of nine games without a loss.

As expected, Swansea dominated the ball in the opening quarter and a Ryan Manning cross in the seventh minute was headed into the side-netting by Harry Darling.

Coventry were content to press and try to hit their hosts on the counter-attack and had the two best chances of the opening half.

After 18 minutes, former Swansea man Viktor Gyokeres received a short corner, turned his man at the byline and then pulled the ball back to the edge of the six-yard box to give defender Callum Doyle the chance to shoot. His left-footed shot was on target, but saved by the feet of Andy Fisher in the home goal.

Fisher pulled off an even better save in the 34th minute after Manning had gifted the ball to Gustavo Hamer 25 yards out with an awful back pass.

As the Republic of Ireland wing-back put his head in his hands, Hamer drove forward unopposed to the edge of the box for a one-on-one with Fisher, but the Swansea goalkeeper won the battle with a great left-handed save.

Swansea’s best moments in the first half came from a Liam Walsh shot that hit the post from an offside position, and when Olivier Ntcham and top scorer Joel Piroe let rip with shots that went over the bar.

The home side had two great opportunities in the opening minutes of the second half to break the deadlock.

Firstly, a Manning cross from the left was volleyed goalwards by the impressive Walsh and Darling blasted the rebound over the top when well placed six yards out.

Moments later, Piroe found himself free on the penalty spot and nudged his shot past the on-rushing Ben Wilson, but just past the left-hand post.

Coventry hit back with good runs into the home box and shots from Hamer, that required a save, and Ben Sheaf that did not. Then, Matt Godden squandered a golden chance 18 minutes from the end after a defensive error.

Ntcham forced a great save out of Wilson with a 30-yard thunderbolt before Piroe failed to tap in from close range.

Read more about Russell Martin

Russell Martin Demands Swansea City Hat-trick . . . A First Since October

 

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