Liam Cullen hands Swansea win over West Brom
Liam Cullen gave Swansea’s caretaker boss Alan Sheehan the perfect New Year’s gift as he scored the only goal in a home win over West Brom in atrocious conditions.
After a 5-0 drubbing at Southampton on Boxing Day and a 2-2 draw at Coventry three days later, it was a return to winning ways for the west Wales club thanks to Cullen’s 55th-minute strike.
The home side, still managerless after the departure of Michael Duff last month, made a solid start but despite many passes and much probing could not find a way through the Albion defensive lines.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, with Conor Townsend’s rasping shot from the left edge of the box after a wonderful through ball from Cedric Kipre forcing Carl Rushworth to stretch full length and tip the ball away for a corner in the 20th minute.
Swansea’s first chance fell to Cullen after a cross from the left by Josh Tymon but his header was saved before Jay Fulton’s first-time shot sailed wide.
The visitors should have replied soon after when Fulton gave the ball away and Brandon Thomas-Asante picked up the pieces and drove deep into the home half before crossing for Jayson Molumby to head over.
The impressive Tom Fellows then set-up Thomas-Asante for a clear run on goal with a brilliant turn and lay-off pass but he could only strike the ball straight at Rushworth.
Swansea must have had a stern half-time lecture from Sheehan because they were a side transformed after the break, moving the ball more quickly and were far more direct.
That caught Albion on the hop and Jamie Paterson’s volley from a cross from Charlie Patino was blocked.
Jut before the goal, a Paterson free-kick from the right was headed goalwards by Harry Darling and it took a brilliant reflex save from Alex Palmer to keep it out.
But the Swans now had real momentum and a Tymon cross from the left into the path of Jamal Lowe allowed him to force another good save out of Palmer.
From the corner, the ball was headed clear, only to be pumped back into the box by home skipper Matt Grimes. Darling rose high to head the ball down and Cullen was on hand to sweep the ball past Palmer.
Tymon then hit the right hand post with a chip shot before the visitors mounted pressure at the other end to try to rescue a point.
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