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Ayew’s last-minute penalty sees Swans close the gap on top two

Andre Ayew scores the winning penalty

SWANSEA City’s Andre Ayew scored an injury time penalty to see his side to a 2-1 victory away at Stoke City on Wednesday night (Mar 3).

The win means the Swans are now just a point behind the top two and they have two games in hand on their nearest rivals.

The Swans came into the game having been beaten by Bristol City on Saturday in their previous game and things didn’t start well for them against Stoke.

With six minutes gone, Marc Guehi looked to switch the play but his pass was intercepted and it fell kindly for Nick Powell who slotted in past Freddie Woodman.

However, the Swans were not behind for long as Ryan Manning’s cross from the left was met by Connor Roberts who got ahead of the defender to steer the ball in with a first time effort.

Ten minutes later, Stoke came close to regaining the lead but Tommy Smith saw his shot bounce out off the post.

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It was Swansea’s turn for an attempt at goal but this time Manning sent his shot straight into the arms of Stoke keeper Angus Gunn.

Manning came close again moments after but his effort went wide of the posts.

On the stroke of half time, Woodman had to be alert to beat away Harry Souttarr’s snap shot.

The sides remained level at the break but, five minutes into the second half, Stoke had a golden chance to take the lead.

A cross to the far post found Steven Fletcher but his shot cannoned out off the bar and James Chester lashed the rebound over the bar.

That was a big let-off for the visitors and Woodman had to be alert again when a ball was played over the top but Woodman came out to clear the danger.

The Swans began to up the pressure on the Stoke goal and came close with eight minutes to go when substitute Conor Hourihane crossed for Roberts but his volley was straight at the keeper.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added and with time almost up the Swans were awarded a penalty.

Andre Ayew held his nerve to fire the ball in to seal Swansea’s first win in Stoke since 2001.

Stoke boss Michael O’Neill was left unhappy by the awarding of the late spot kick but the Swans did not care as they celebrated victory.

On Saturday, March 6, Swansea are at home to Middlesbrough who sit just outside the Championship play off places.