Swansea City 1-1 Blackpool: Keshi Anderson continues his fine scoring run with late equaliser in tight encounter

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Keshi Anderson continued his fine scoring run to rescue Blackpool a late point against Swansea City.

 

The winger netted his third goal in his last five games four minutes from time to earn Neil Critchley’s side a deserved draw.

The Swans, who had won their last four home games prior to this afternoon’s encounter, looked to be heading for another win courtesy of Joe Piroe’s stunning first-half strike.

Keshi celebrates after scoring for the third time in his last five games

Keshi celebrates after scoring for the third time in his last five games

But the visitors struck at the death to level and even had a chance to win it in dramatic fashion in stoppage time, with Anderson having a similar effort headed off the line.

Critchley sprung another surprise with his team selection, making four changes in total from their last outing, the 1-1 draw against QPR, and switching things up by playing three centre-backs with wing-backs.

Dujon Sterling made his first start since the start of October, lining up on the right-hand side of the back three alongside Marvin Ekpiteta and James Husband.

Jordan Gabriel and Reece James, the two wing-backs, retained their places in the team, while Callum Connolly came in for Kenny Dougall in central midfield.

The Australian, who has just returned from international duty in his homeland and in the United Arab Emirates, began the game on the bench.

Elsewhere, Demetri Mitchell replaced Josh Bowler on the right wing while Jerry Yates, a tireless worker that presses from the front, spearheaded the attack in place of Gary Madine.

The returning Shayne Lavery, who has missed the last seven weeks with a hamstring injury, was named on the bench alongside the likes of Daniel Gretarsson, Owen Dale, Bowler and Madine.

Chris Maxwell (quad), Richard Keogh (achilles), Luke Garbutt (knee), Kevin Stewart (ankle), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles) and CJ Hamilton (foot) all missed out through injury.

Pool made a bright enough start to the game, almost creating an opening inside the first two minutes as Keshi Anderson overhit a through-ball to Jerry Yates.

Defensively, the Seasiders were lining up in a 5-4-1 formation, with the wing-backs James and Gabriel pushing up high whenever the Seasiders looked to aggressively press.

The game’s first shot came from Swansea’s Olivier Ntcham, who brought a fairly routine save out of Dan Grimshaw from 20 yards.

Grimshaw was called into action once again on the 10-minute mark, rushing off his line to thwart Swansea talisman Joel Piroe who had made a clever run off the back of Marvin Ekpiteta.

Pool’s first shot in anger of the afternoon came via lone striker Yates, who shot straight at goalkeeper Ben Hamer after being set free by a smart flick from Demetri Mitchell.

The Seasiders were perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty just before the half-hour mark.

It came after Ethan Laird, a player linked with the Seasiders during the summer, went down in the box under pressure from Reece James.

It looked like a close call for referee Keith Stroud, but fortunately for Pool the man in the middle waved away the appeals.

There was very little to split the two teams, who were beginning to cancel each other out such was the tactical nature of this battle.

But that all changed 10 minutes before the interval when the home side took the lead in spectacular fashion.

Pool will be disappointed with the lack of pressure on the ball, but sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and admit you’ve conceded a great goal.

Piroe, Swansea’s top scorer, was the man to get it, shifting the ball onto his right foot 25 yards from goal before sending a swerving effort into the top corner, giving Grimshaw no chance.

Despite the game’s opening goal, there was still a real dearth of goalmouth action, with Swansea dominating the lion’s share of possession without ever doing a great deal with it.

That almost changed at the start of the second period when the home side patiently worked the ball into the danger area, where fortunately for Pool Marvin Ekpiteta was on hand to make a vital interception just as Laird was about to pull the trigger.

After the hour mark, Pool finally began to pose more of an attacking threat, as Callum Connolly’s dragged shot was charged down after Keshi Anderson’s route into the Swansea box was blocked.

The Seasiders still needed an attacking spark though and Critchley looked to his bench to find it, introducing Josh Bowler for Mitchell in a like-for-like replacement.

A second change soon followed, as the returning Shayne Lavery replaced Yates for his first action since the start of October.

The Seasiders remained neat and tidy in possession of the ball but there was little punch to their play. Indeed, the Swans seemed fairly happy to let Blackpool have the ball in front of them.

In danger of letting the game slip by, Critchley turned to the bench for the third and final time by introducing impact sub Owen Dale. Connolly was the man to make way.

Whatever changes Blackpool made, they struggled to exert sustained pressure on Swansea, who were pressing high up the pitch and protecting their goal well.

Just as it looked as though Swansea would see out the remainder of the game with relative ease, Pool levelled things up with a goal out of nowhere.

With just four minutes left on the clock, Keshi Anderson volleyed home after a Blackpool corner had been partially punched away by Hamer, the winger scoring for the third time in his last five outings.

Both sides ploughed ahead in search of a late winner in the five minutes of stoppage time, Kyle Naughton volleying over from the edge of the box for the hosts.

Pool, meanwhile, went even closer as Anderson almost added a copy-cat second, only this time a Swansea defender was there to head off the line.

The game ended in bizarre fashion, with Swansea fans fighting amongst themselves, causing a slight delay before the referee blew his final whistle.

TEAMS

Swansea: Hamer, Laird, Naughton, Cabango, Manning, Bidwell, Grimes, Downes, Ntcham (Smith), Paterson, Piroe (Obafemi)

Subs not used: Benda, R. Williams, Latibeaudiere, Walsh, Cullen

Blackpool: Grimshaw, Sterling, Ekpiteta, Husband, Gabriel, James, Connolly (Dale), Dougall, Mitchell (Bowler), Anderson, Yates (Lavery)

Subs not used: Grimshaw, Gretarsson, Dougall, Madine

Referee: Keith Stroud

Attendance: 16,886