Swansea ease past Morecambe to progress in Luke Williams’ first match in charge
Swansea eased their way into the FA Cup fourth round with a 2-0 win against Sky Bet League Two strugglers Morecambe.
Second-half goals from midfielders Charlie Patino and Jerry Yates saw the Sky Bet Championship side safely into the hat and secured victory in new manager Luke Williams’ opening match in charge.
While Swansea were never seriously troubled, they were laboured at times and made harder work of the win than Williams would have liked.
But the 42-year-old, who had a spell at Swansea as assistant under former boss Russell Martin before leaving to guide Notts County back into the Football League, will be relieved there was no cup slip-up.
Williams, brought in as replacement for the sacked Michael Duff after a recruitment process that dragged on over a month, was introduced to the crowd before kick-off.
There was warmth and tangible optimism in the reception he received but Williams has a considerable revival job on his hands, with the Swans well off the Championship play-offs pace in 16th position.
He opted to make 11 changes to the side which began the last league outing – a 1-0 win against West Brom.
But with the likes of captain Joe Allen, defenders Nathan Wood and Kyle Naughton and midfielders Charlie Patino and Ollie Cooper, there was no shortage of recognised first-choice players in the starting line-up.
It was no surprise the Swans monopolised possession from the first whistle, but their failure to seriously threaten the Morecambe goal frustrated home fans.
A deflected effort from midfielder Azeem Abdulai that fizzed just wide in the sixth minute looked like a sign of things to come.
Arsenal-loanee Patino forced Shrimps goalkeeper Adam Smith to tip his header over the crossbar in the 14th minute after left wiger Yannick Bolassie nodded across goal.
The impressive Bolasie went close eight minutes before the interval when his fierce effort from range narrowly cleared the bar.
But Swansea were thwarted for long spells by a well-drilled and disciplined Morecambe side content to limit their ambition to sporadic counter-attacks.
The pattern did not last long after the interval.
Just two minutes after the restart Patino made the breakthrough, ghosting in at the far post unmarked to side-foot volley a cross by Sam Parker underneath the body of Smith for the opener.
Morecambe did exert some pressure as the match entered its closing stages, but failed to create a single clearcut chance to equalise.
Their challenge was extinguished in the 87th minute when Yates found space on the edge of the 18-yard box and sent a low left-footed shot into the bottom corner of Smith’s net.
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