Saturday, March 24, 2007

Swansea City FC

Swansea City 2 Northampton Town 1 - Football League One

The city of Swansea is situated on the South Wales coast immediately to the east of the Gower Peninsula and is the second largest city in Wales. It grew to its present importance during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, becoming a centre of heavy industry. The name Swansea is believed to come from "Sweyn's Ey" ("ey" being the Old Norse word for "island") and to have originated in the period when the Vikings plundered the south Wales coast. Consequently it is pronounced Swan's-y not Swan-sea. Swansea became an important port: some coal and vast amounts of limestone (for fertiliser) were being shipped out from the town by 1550. As the Industrial Revolution reached Wales, the combination of port, local coal, and trading links with the West Country, Cornwall and Devon, meant that Swansea was the logical place to site copper smelting works. Smelters were operating by 1720 and proliferated. Following this, more coal mines were opened and smelters (mostly along the Tawe valley) were opened and flourished. Over the next century and a half, works were established to process arsenic, zinc and tin and to create tinplate and pottery. The city expanded rapidly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and was termed "Copperopolis". By the mid-nineteenth century Swansea docks was the largest exporter of coal in the world.

Courtesy of the Daily Mail offer, we were able to get a very good deal on Great Western and arrived in Swansea before 11.00am.

Whist waiting for the Ciderman to arrive, we ventured over to Swansea's former home, the Vetch Field. Still there at present, but looking rather sad. (I am informed that 'The Vetch' will be demolished soon - Ed)

Vegetating Vetch
Swansea City FC moved from the Vetch Field (The Pieman attended this venue on a number of occasions) to the new Liberty Stadium at the start of the 2005-2006 season, winning promotion to League One in their final year at their old home.

From the train as it approaches Swansea
The Liberty Stadium can be seen from the train as it arrives in Swansea and the walk to the stadium from the railway station takes little more than twenty minutes. As with the majority of new built stadiums, this place fits Ciderman's 'functional' description. Having said that, it is tidy and offers a consistent good view from all areas.

Visitors Northampton Town dominated the majority of the 1st half and were certainly worth their 6th minute lead courtesy of a swerving Brad Johnson free kick.

Amazingly, two goals in little more than 30 seconds either side of the break (Dennis Lawrence with the penultimate kick off the first half and Andy Robinson 25 seconds into the second half) assured Swansea of the points and ensured that Roberto Martinez maintained his unbeaten start to his managership of the Welsh club.

If travelling by train, the return service to London Paddington at 17.30 should always be reachable. We picked up a bus after 5 minutes which facilitated some decent fish & chips from the High Street. A worthwhile venue to visit.

Attendance: 11,071
Admission: £15
Programme: £3
Fare: £12.00 Return Paddington - Swansea (Daily Mail offer)
Bus back to town: £1


Subsequent visits to the Liberty Stadium

31 December 2011 - Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1 - Premier League - Attendance: 20393
30 March 2013 - Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2 - Premier League - Attendance: 20604
19 January 2014 - Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3 - Premier League - Attendance: 20769
14 December 2014 - Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2 - Premier League - Attendance: 20650
4 October 2015 - Swansea City 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2 - Premier League - Attendance: 20845
5 April 2017 - Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3 - Premier League - Attendance: 20855
2 January 2018 - Swansea City 0 Tottenha Hotspur 2 - Premier League - Attendance: 20,615
17 March 2018 - Swansea City 0 Tottenha Hotspur 3 - FA Cup, 6th Round - Attendance: 17,498

Total 9

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