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Swansea ease past Stoke to climb into second place

Swansea City v Sheffield Wednesday – Sky Bet Championship – Liberty Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Swansea moved into second place in the Championship after beating Stoke 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

Jay Fulton scored his first goal of the season in the 30th minute and Kasey Palmer grabbed a debut strike three minutes from the end to condemn Stoke to their first loss in seven games.

Not since September 20 had Michael O’Neill’s side tasted defeat while it was a first win in four games for the home side.

Swansea made a fast start as they looked to banish the frustrations of last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bristol City.

A great one-two between Connor Roberts and Yan Dhanda down the right allowed the latter to let rip with a fierce left-footed shot which rattled against the post with the game less than two minutes old.

All the pressure came from the home side and Jamal Lowe headed over the bar minutes later and then Dhanda had another chance to shine when he was set free.

This time his touch was too strong and Stoke keeper Adam Davies was able to clear and another golden chance was lost for the home side.

As the pressure mounted on the visitors something had to give and after half an hour the first goal finally arrived.

Centre-back Marc Guehi floated over a cross from the left and Davies’ weak punch merely gifted the ball to Fulton.

The midfielder nonchalantly used the outside of his right boot to scoop the ball into the top-left corner to give his side a deserved lead.

On the stroke of half-time the home side had another great chance to increase their lead but Roberts blasted his free-kick from the edge of the area into the wall and then Dhanda sent his shot from the rebound over the bar.

Stoke pressed forward more in the second half and their first real threat on the home goal came just short of the hour mark when James McClean burst into the box to cause some unrest.

Nothing came of it in the end, nor from a corner which was pushed too close to Freddie Woodman moments later.

Swansea went close again in the 69th minute when substitute goalkeeper Angus Gunn, who replaced Wales international Davies at half-time, tripped over as he went for a back pass and had to put out his hand to stop the ball rolling beyond him towards the goal.

Referee Andre Marriner awarded an indirect free-kick seven yards out and Andre Ayew’s cannonball shot was kept out by the defensive wall on the line.

But Palmer finished the job three minutes from time when he latched onto a Jake Bidwell cross and headed over Gunn for his first goal for the club since signing on loan from Bristol City.