Swansea City 6 HORSHAM 2
Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Attendance:5911
Monday 10th December 2007
FA Cup Second Round replay
Referee: Pat Miller 
 

Horsham's record breaking FA Cup run finally ran out of steam against Swansea City but not before they had given the League One leaders a fright by twice taking the lead through opportunist first half strikes from Lee Farrell. But it was a blistering spell from the home side in the closing stages of a pulsating first 45 minutes that ultimately decided the fate of this contest when they ran in three unanswered goals to turn around with a 4-2 lead and, once Andy Robinson had rammed home the Swans' fifth, nine minutes after the break, it became a case of damage limitation for John Maggs' brave side. A final scoreline of 6-2 was harsh on the gallant part-timers who battled gamely to the end, roared on by some 400 travelling supporters who helped make this first ever FA Cup tie at the impressive Liberty Stadium an evening to remember.

After the absorbing 1-1 draw at a rain-soaked Queen Street, many were suggesting that Swansea would have little difficulty in picking off their non-league opponents on one of the widest and best kept pitches in the Football League. Horsham were missing leading scorer Carl Rook through suspension but Paul Seuke retained his place in goal, after his inspired display in that drawn fixture, in what was otherwise a full strength squad but, with Swans boss Roberto Martinez deciding to go with a virtual first choice eleven following Saturday's postponed fixture against Bristol Rovers, the odds on a cup upset were very slim. Yet the 6,000 crowd - and a watching worldwide audience of several million - were as surprised as Martinez as Horsham took the early initiative and might have earned themselves a penalty just eight seconds in when Lee Carney was felled in the box by Kevin Austin after an incisive passing move between Carney and Lewis Taylor. Sadly for the Hornets, referee Pat Miller chose to wave away the appeals and the shellshocked home side were free to regroup.

Undeterred by this setback, the visitors continued to play the ball about with confidence and Gary Charman dragged his shot across the face of goal before going even closer to carving out an opening when his low pass in to the box just eluded Farrell at the far post. A minute later, Jason Scotland brought Seuke's first save of the night, a routine collect after Kevin Hemsley had hurried the powerful striker into a tame shot. Simon Austin will also feel that he should have done better when Carney and Farrell combined to send the former Maidstone United man in on goal but his side footed effort was all too comfortable for goalkeeper Dorus De Vries. Swansea were beginning to settle in to the game, after a nervy opening quarter of an hour, and Seuke did well to push Britton's firmly struck shot away before Scotland's attempt went narrowly past the upright.

However, just as it seemed as though the Welshmen had weathered the early storm, Horsham struck with a well worked goal. Darren Pratley's misdirected header fell kindly for Austin who turned and picked his moment to release Farrell who escaped the attentions of skipper Alan Tate and Kevin Austin to coolly lob the advancing De Vries. The travelling contingent were in ecstasy, the small section of the stand behind Seuke's goal erupting in a frenzied celebration of yellow and green scarves, hats, wigs and flags. However, the jubilant scenes were rapidly cut short when the hosts immediately countered and a fine touch and lay-off from Scotland enabled Darren Pratley to surge forward and finish well beyond Seuke's despairing lunge. If two goals in two minutes had left supporters catching their breath, nothing had prepared them for the next instalment of this cracking cup tie when De Vries, under no apparent pressure, miskicked a clearance straight to the predatory Farrell who gleefully smashed the ball back past the errant 'keeper to restore Horsham's lead on 23 minutes to the delight of his manager who danced a jig of delight on the touchline. Worryingly, Farrell had to leave the pitch for treatment immediately following the goal after suffering a knock and the Hornets were forced to play with ten men while their goalscoring hero received treatment.

With numerical parity restored, and no further addition to the score, Hemsley was forced to block an effort from Robinson before Austin was booked for a late challenge on the diminutive Leon Britton. The home fans, frustrated at their side's inability to dictate the pattern of play, were becoming restless as Maggs' men worked tirelessly to deny the Swansea players time and space on the ball. However, a 33rd minute curler from Ferrie Bodde indicated the Swans' increasing attacking threat and Seuke was quickly off his line to deny Scotland as the Trinidadian forward burst in to the penalty area. Seven minutes from the break came the breakthrough and, as it transpired, the beginning of the end for Horsham. A long, diagonal ball out of defence cleared the head of Hemsley to land at the feet of Scotland who turned impressively on the edge of the box to set up the overlapping Britton to finish well inside Seuke's left hand upright despite a crunching challenge from Nigel Brake that left the Horsham man hobbling.

It was fitting that Swansea's two most influential players should play such a major role in dragging their side back in to the game and, after Robinson had pulled a fine effort just the wrong side of the post, Scotland had an even more emphatic input when he gave the hosts the lead for the first time. Anderson attacked down the left, capitalising on Brakes' reduced mobility, and pulled the ball back beyond Hemsley for the big number nine to convert his eleventh goal of the season. The Horsham fans instantly renewed their support for their side, trying to raise their heroes' spirits, but they were dealt a cruel blow when their backline was breached a further time on 43 minutes with a fourth goal. Bodde was the prominent force as Swansea immediately regained possession from the restart and, when Anderson was afforded the freedom of the Gower Peninsula down the left, Bodde timed his run to perfection to steal in unmarked and bury a header off Seuke's body from close range. It was a desperate end to the half for the Hornets who frantically defended their goal for the few minutes that remained before trudging off to listen to Maggs' hastily re-written team-talk.

H/T Swansea City 4 Horsham 2

Horsham almost made a calamitous start to the second half when Robinson saw his cleverly struck right-footed effort cannon back off of the far post and Lawrence could only guide the rebound safely back into Seuke's arms with just 43 seconds on the clock. With a comfortable lead established before the break, this was a different Swansea side that began the second period than the first. Patient, controlled and well in command, they gave their opponents a lesson in keeping the ball while Horsham's attacking moves frequently broke down with a misplaced pass or a tidy intervention from the home side. Scotland's shot was blocked by Graves, and Britton blazed high and wide, as Martinez's side dictated the early exchanges. Ironically, the Hornets' best move brought about a fifth goal for the hosts when Charman's inviting cross was returned into the danger zone by Graves only for De Vries to steal in ahead of Hemsley to pluck the ball off the defender's foot and begin a counter-attack. With Graves now out of position, Pratley raced away down the right and crossed low in to the box where Robinson tapped home from close range and suddenly, after such a promising start, the Hornets were now playing for pride alone.

With their supporters now very much behind them, Swansea were starting to turn on the style but Horsham refused to abandon their own freestyle of play and battled gamely to construct some decent moves of their own. The Horsham fans, although resigned to defeat, continued to be united in their support of their side and raised the noise levels with their own brand of humour. "We're going to win 6-5" came a chant and, when asked to sit down by safety officers, a chorus of "Stand up if love Horsham" was met with almost total unity as fans stood as one. When one wag replied "Sit down if you love Horsham", even the stewards were forced into a smile as the away end resembled a game of musical bumps at a children's party.

Job done, Martinez replaced the excellent Britton and Scotland with Warren Feeney and Guillem Bauza, scorer in the Queen Street mud 10 days before, while Maggs sent on the affable Yinka Salaam for Stuart Myall with half an hour remaining. Bauza made an immediate impact, beginning a move in which the five man midfield overwhelmed their West Sussex counterparts before the ball was moved out wide to Robinson. A quick pass in to the box saw Bauza's snapshot rattle the base of the post and Robinson, continuing his run, slammed home the rebound only to be harshly denied by the linesman's raised flag. Robinson was then brought down on the edge of the area by Mingle, who received a yellow card for his indiscretion, but the Swans' Player of the Year couldn't keep the free-kick down and it sailed harmlessly over Seuke's goal.

Bauza was in the mood and Hemsley and Charman had to perform heroics at the back to prevent the Spaniard from claiming his 6th goal of the season. A brief spell of good possession from the visitors was ended when Mingle's attempted pass towards Austin was cleared upfield by Bodde and Feeney was in behind Hemsley but the Northern Ireland international will be disappointed with his finish, a tame effort that brought a comfortable low save from Seuke. The tiring Horsham players were blowing hard and their cause wouldn't have been helped by the introduction of former Alaves midfielder Andrea Orlandi with a quarter of an hour remaining. The gifted Spaniard, who had spent the last two seasons on loan at Barcelona, had been the pick of the Swansea players in the first match and he was determined to register his first goal for his new employers, forcing a corner off Brake and then hitting the stanchion behind the goal within minutes of coming on.

Club captain Eddie French was rewarded with a piece of the action when he replaced Charman but, within seconds, he was lining up for the kick-off as the Swans grabbed their sixth, and final, goal of the night. A weak header from Mingle yielded possession to Bauza whose pass to Feeney enabled the substitute to beat French and then Seuke with a powerful shot that the goalkeeper would probably feel he should have done better with.

The travelling fans longed for a goal at 'their' end and they were on their feet when the tireless Carney got the side moving forward from midfield but Taylor, given a glimpse of a shooting chance, fired high over the crossbar from 20 yards. The home side's unrelenting quest for goals almost produced another when Orlandi skipped clear inside the Horsham penalty area, only for his inviting pass to be frantically cleared at the expense of a corner. How much time the Horsham players had spent practising free-kick and corner routines on the build up to the game is anyone's guess but incredibly, despite their fine showing, they failed to force a corner all night and when Mingle curled a last gasp free-kick past the post, their chance of further celebration had ended. There was just enough time for Feeney to shoot wide from another promising attack, and for Seuke to perform an athletic close range save to deny Bauza, before referee Miller brought the proceedings to a close and the Horsham players fully deserved the standing ovation they received from both sets of fans at the final whistle.

HORSHAM
1.Paul Seuke
2.Stuart Myall (Salaam,58)
3.Nigel Brake
4.Tom Graves
12.Kevin Hemsley
6.Lee Carney
7.Jacob Mingle
8.Lewis Taylor
9.Simon Austin
10.Lee Farrell
11.Gary Charman (French,79)
Subs:
5.Eddie French
14.Ian Payne
15.Andy Howard
16.Yinka Salaam
17.Alan Mansfield
Goalscorer
Farrell (20, 23)
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SWANSEA CITY
21.Dorus De Vries
22.Angel Rangel
3.Kevin Austin
15.Dennis Lawrence
5.Alan Tate
7.Leon Britton (Feeney)
6.Ferrie Bodde
8.Darren Pratley
18.Andy Robinson
26.Paul Anderson (Orlandi)
9.Jason Scotland (Bauza)
Subs:
4.Kristian O'Leary
10.Andrea Orlandi
23.Guillem Bauza
28.Thomas Butler
35.Warren Feeney
Goalscorer
Pratley (21), Britton (38), Scotland (42) Bodde (43), Robinson (56), Feeney (79)