Emirates FA CUP: Bristol City – Swansea City 1:1 ciagreement continues

Both sides kicked off their Emirates FA Cup campaign in the West Country in City’s first meeting at Bristol City Stadium in the new year of 2023 .

Swansea City dominated the first half at Ashton Gate and went into the lead after just 15 minutes thanks to Piroe’s ninth goal of the season, which came after a defensive error by the home team.

However, the Robins improved in the second half and earned a draw thanks to Semenyo’s header, meaning the sides will meet again in South Wales later this month to battle for a place in the fourth round of the competition.

Russell Martin made just one change to the squad that started the 2-1 game against Championship leaders Burnley. Nathan Wood came on for Harry Darling, who was joined by Nathanael Ogbeta and Joel Cotterill.

The Robins had a goal-scoring opportunity as early as the first minute when Semenyo was fumbled by Ben Cabango outside Swansea’s penalty area and Kal Naismith fired into a packed hall of 2,500 passionate The Jacks supporters.

Swansea soon settled down and almost struck gold after a counter-attack from the next set-piece when Piroe found Ollie Cooper in space, although Ryan Manning was unable to pick out a teammate in the box.

That quickly set the tone for what was to come as the Swans looked comfortable playing their way through Nigel Pearson’s side and were also extremely dangerous on the break.

The Robins clearly had leftover Christmas cheer to spread as they gifted Swansea the opening goal as early as the 15th minute. Rob Atkinson mistimed a pass to Zak Vyner and Liam Cullen was on hand to pass to Piroe, who had the simple task of hitting the net from close range.

This caused pandemonium among the travelling supporters, who were thrilled by the energy shown by those in black.

The scares were few and far between, but even when Bristol City threatened, Ben Cabango was on hand to tackle Semenyo in his own penalty area and clear the danger.

Former Swansea transfer target Nahki Wells replaced the injured Tommy Conway in the 25th minute as the home side desperately tried to take control of the match.

Martin’s players continued to be confident and, although they did not trouble Max O’Leary from the start of the game, the Swansea boss was well aware that a second goal could prove decisive.

Bristol City were furious after referee Craig Pawson failed to point to the spot after attacking Atkinson in the penalty area, which undoubtedly reminded the Swans that they had to finish the encounter, although Martin hoped that the work his troops had put into the Robins’ legs in the first 45 minutes was starting to bear fruit in the second half.

 

Darling replaced Cabango before the start of the second 45 minutes as the Swans attacked their supporters’ group, although it was Bristol City who had the first try of the second half when Andreas Weimann tipped the ball over from a corner in the second period.

It was the sort of sloppiness from the Swans that gave the home fans hope, and that sloppiness suited the home side.

Steven Benda, however, remained relentless, with Joe Allen and Jay Fulton scoring tries from distance as the Swans regained control.

The visitors survived a huge scare 20 minutes before the end of the match when Weimann beat the oncoming Benda after a Cameron Pring centring pass, but the Austrian’s header flew over the crossbar. Swansea equalised shortly afterwards, Weimann passing to Semenyo, who struck with his head from close range.

That shook the Swans, and Benda no doubt felt he could have done more to keep the lead. The German missed when Olivier Ntcham and Luke Cundle replaced Cullen and Allen, and the visitors began to falter.

Fulton stung O’Leary with a strike from distance and the match turned into a basketball duel with neither side looking to add to their tally in the replay.

Cameron Congreve replaced Cooper four minutes before the end of the match, which was Martin’s last move of the game, after Piroe was unable to pull the trigger after Darling’s centre, although neither side were able to find a late winner to secure a replay at Swansea.com Stadium later this month.

The Emirates FA CUP return match will be on 17 January in Swansea at 7.45pm at the Welshpool

Bristol City 1-1 Swansea City

Goal: Semenyo 75, Goal: Piroe 15

Yellow cards: Naismith 39, Pring 84 , Allen 45+3, Wood 61, Darling 69

Bristol City: O’Leary; Vyner, Atkinson, Naismith (Williams 72); Tanner (Sykes 72), Weimann (C), James, Scott (Bell 84), Pring; Semenyo, Conway (Wells 25).

Swansea City: Benda; Latibeaudiere, Cabango (Darling 46), Wood, Manning; Allen (Cundle 76); Fulton, Grimes (C); Cooper (Congreve 86); Piroe, Cullen (Ntcham 76).

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