Stevenage 0-2 Swansea: Wayne Routledge and Victor Gyokeres book FA Cup fourth round place for Swans as late Freddie Woodman penalty save helps kill off hopes of fightback from League Two side
- Swansea City beat League Two side Stevenage 2-0 in the FA Cup third round
- Wayne Routledge headed Swansea in a seventh-minute lead at the Lamex
- Viktor Gyokeres put the Swans in control early in the second half with header
- Stevenage threatened throughout the game and Luke Norris missed late penalty
Perhaps Wayne Routledge held a decade-long grudge and finally got his revenge.
This match marked the 10-year anniversary of Stevenage defeating Premier League Newcastle in the FA Cup’s third round, with Routledge among those playing for the losers that day.
But it was a header from the 5ft 7in striker, now 36 years old, which ensured Championship high-flyers Swansea would not exit the competition to League Two opposition.
Swansea booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round with a 2-0 victory over Stevenage
36-year-old Wayne Routledge celebrates putting the Swans into an early FA Cup lead
Victor Gyokeres headed home early in the second half to put the Championship side in control
That gave the side pushing for promotion to the Premier League a lead they would never lose, with Viktor Gyokeres – the Swedish international on loan from Brighton – later doubling their lead.
Stevenage could have set up a grandstand finish but substitute Luke Norris saw his 80th-minute penalty saved by Freddie Woodman, the Newcastle loanee who refused to be beaten here.
It was in the minuses at a foggy Lamex Stadium and you felt for Stevenage captain Scott Cuthbert when he took a ball to the face within 30 seconds.
Captain for the day headed the Championship promotion chasers ahead in the seventh minute
League Two side had plenty of chances at foggy Lamex Stadium but couldn’t break through
Charlie Carter was dejected after missing a chance to bring his side level in the second half
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
Stevenage (4-4-2): Cumming 5.5; Wildin 6, Vancooten 6, Cuthbert 6, Coker 5.5; Lines 6 (Aitchison 63, 6), Smith 6 (Vincelot 76), Read 6, Pett 5.5 (Norris 45, 6); Carter 6, Newton 5.5 (Oteh 63, 6)
Subs (not used): Prosser, Marsh, Johnson, List, Marshall
Manager: Alex Revell 6
Swansea (4-4-2): Woodman 8; Naughton 6.5, Cabango 6.5, Evans 6.5 (Bidwell 72, 6), Manning 7; Garrick 6.5 (Cooper 83), Byers 6.5, Fulton 6 (Smith 45, 6), Dhanda 7; Routledge 7.5 (Cullen 65, 6), Gyokeres 6.5
Subs (not used): Guehi, Grimes, Lowe, Williams, Webb
Scorers: Routledge (7), Gyokeres (50)
Manager: Steve Cooper 7
Referee: Michael Salisbury 6
That stung, then Swansea took the lead with Yan Dhanda crossing for possibly the smallest player on the pitch in Routledge who won the header and beat Jamie Cumming.
Routledge ran to the technical area to get a shirt with a message on the front for beloved former Swans employee Nick Eames – the dad of kit-man Mike. It read: ‘RIP Nick. Always in our hearts.’
Swansea should have led 2-0 after 20 minutes when Routledge played a perfectly-weighted through-ball for Jordon Garrick. The winger should have shot but in trying to square the ball to Gyokeres instead, he got his timing all wrong and played it behind his team-mate.
Stevenage wanted to make them pay for that miss and were coming close. Danny Newton’s shot curled just over the crossbar, before Charlie Carter’s header was deflected narrowly wide.
The hosts were pressing aggressively – not the worst way to keep warm – but were left with a mountain to climb when Swansea made it 2-0 early in the second half.
Garrick sprinted down the right wing, crossed and Gyokeres nodded the ball beyond Cumming.
In the 80th minute, Gyokeres handled the ball in the area to give Stevenage the opportunity to set up a grandstand finish. Norris took the penalty, but Woodman got down to his right to produce a strong save and protect their 2-0 lead.
Luke Norris saw a late penalty saved well by Freddie Woodman to kill off fightback hopes
The Swansea goalkeeper made a string of saves to ensure there was no cup upset on the cards