Swansea boss frustrated after Bristol City hit back to earn FA Cup replay
Russell Martin rued Swansea’s failure to capitalise on a “brilliant” first half after his side were denied a win in their FA Cup third-round tie at Bristol City.
Liam Cullen capitalised on an error from Rob Atkinson to set up Joel Piroe to shoot into an unguarded net on 15 minutes but the Swans failed to build on their advantage despite dominating before the break.
Antoine Semenyo rewarded the hosts’ second-half improvement with a 75th-minute header from Andreas Weimann’s cross to earn a 1-1 draw and a replay.
Visiting boss Martin said: “We were brilliant in the first half. Some of our build-up play was incredible.
“But we need to make more of the moments when we get into the opposition box. The boys were in a bit of a rush at times and there was a lack of quality.
“They had a couple of penalty shouts but I was really pleased with our composure at the back, which limited them to very few chances.
“We spoke at half-time about the need to retain the same intensity. But Bristol changed shape, threw caution to the wind, and we didn’t play with enough aggression to hold on.
“They gambled on getting extra men forward. A couple of our players dipped a bit on the heavy pitch and we let the game develop into a typical cup tie.
“We didn’t have the tools to kill the game off and have ended up conceding a really soft goal.”
Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson said: “There were two penalty decisions which went against us in the first half when first Antoine Semenyo and then Rob Atkinson went down. I have no idea why.
“Then in the second half, every time balls were played into the box, they were allowed to grab our players and pull them to the ground.
“Rob Atkinson dealt with his mistake well. He didn’t dwell on it and I couldn’t fault the efforts of any player.
“In the first half we didn’t get the timing of our press right. It was important to get to half-time only a goal down so we could reassess things.
“We switched to 4-3-3 for the second half and caused them more problems.
“Going to the World Cup with Ghana was good for Antoine Semenyo. He had only just recovered from a broken shin at the start of the season, so missed much of the build-up.
“It wasn’t the most powerful of headers, but it went in, which showed the value of getting efforts on target.”
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