SWANS PAY PENALTY AS MAN­NING COM­PLETES COME­BACK

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT - AN­DREW GWILYM Foot­ball Cor­re­spon­dent an­[email protected]­line.co.uk

SWANSEA City let slip a golden op­por­tu­nity to se­cure three league wins in a row for the first time in 18 months as two highly de­bat­able penal­ties con­demned them to de­feat at Rotherham.

Gra­ham Pot­ter’s men com­pletely dom­i­nated at the New York Sta­dium and took a de­served lead through Oli McBurnie’s close-range strike from a Daniel James cross.

They had chances to pout the game to bed and their in­abil­ity to take them proved costly when Kristof­fer Nord­feldt was ad­judged to have fouled exSwan Jamie Proc­tor as they con­tested an aerial ball.

Ryan Man­ning tucked that spot­kick away, and then did the same when Tony Har­ring­ton de­cided Leroy Fer had han­dledWill Vaulk’s shot.

It was a sick­ener for the Swans, who had to­tally bossed the vast ma­jor­ity of the con­test play­ing some of their best foot­ball since Pot­ter’s ap­point­ment.

They started on the front foot and rarely re­lented from there, although they had to deal with some rather agri­cul­tural chal­lenges - par­tic­u­larly on winger James - dur­ing the early go­ing, much to the frus­tra­tion of vis­it­ing play­ers and staff.

How­ever, with James con­tin­u­ing to threaten and Ber­sant Celina on in­spired form, they caused all man- ner of prob­lems for their hosts with­out quite find­ing the killer touch in the fi­nal third.

But that all changed in the 25th minute. Celina’s clipped pass sent James scur­ry­ing for­ward once more, and his cross was on the money as McBurnie tucked in from the edge of the six-yard box.

Op­por­tu­ni­ties kept com­ing. James fired over af­ter ex­cel­lent work from McBurnie and Con­nor Roberts, while Celina could not beat Marek Ro­dak in the Millers’ goal af­ter pulling down a lofted pass su­perbly.

Ro­dak made a vi­tal stop four min­utes into the sec­ond half as the hosts were cut open again, Kyle Naughton and Roberts link­ing well to find Leroy Fer, but the cap­tain’s shot was well saved by the Slo­vakian keeper.

Swansea re­mained firmly in the as­cen­dancy with Jay Ful­ton fir­ing high and wide af­ter a driv­ing for­ward run.

Rotherham briefly mus­tered a mean­ing­ful at­tack as a Jon Tay­lor cross caused con­ster­na­tion in the Swans de­fence on the edge of the six­yard box. Swansea scram­bled clear be­fore Nord­feldt made a sharp stop to keep out Man­ning’s dip­ping free-kick.

Celina was de­nied by Ro­dak again af­ter James’ pace led an end-to-end counter-at­tack be­fore Swansea were stung.

Nord­feldt hes­i­tated to claim a cross that held up in the breeze and when he jumped with Jamie Proc­tor the ref­eree judged that he had fouled the striker and Man­ning net­ted from the spot.

Then, with three min­utes left, short free-kick was played to Will Vaulks whose pow­er­ful shot was ad­judged to have been han­dled by Fer.

Man­ning again stepped up and fired into the top cor­ner to seal an as­ton­ish­ing turn­around.

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