Chalobah late strike wins thriller for Town
Trevoh Chalobah’s header six minutes from time gave Paul Hurst his first win as Town boss in an enthralling encounter at the Liberty Stadium.
The Chelsea loanee got on the end of Grant Ward’s corner to grab his second goal of the season.
Town had to come from behind to take the points against the recently relegated Premier League club, Janoi Donacien’s own goal giving the Swans an early advantage.
Gwion Edwards equalised against his boyhood club and on the half hour Blues were in front through a Mike van der Hoorn own goal.
Former Town loanee Bersant Celina produced a top quality equaliser in the second-half but Blues wouldn’t be denied and Chalobah had the final word.
Andre Dozzell came in for his first start of the season, with Matt Pennington returning after suspension. Freddie Sears was also handed a starting role in the three changes from the midweek defeat against Middlesbrough.
It needed an excellent save from Dean Gerken to stop Town going behind 20 seconds after kick-off, the Town ‘keeper beating out Dan James’ effort, the rebound smothered away from danger.
Town then had a gilt-edged chance to strike, Dozzell releasing Sears in on goal but his shot was blocked but on 10 minutes the Swans were ahead, James escaping down the left, his cross was inches away from being converted from Ollie McBurnie, but the ball was recycled by Connor Roberts and deflected by Donacien past Gerken.
Celina created an opening for James down the left, Gerken at full stretch to punch clear, James again the provider with another terrific delivery from the left - McBurnie again inches away.
James was enjoying far too much space down the flank and his pass inside found Celina 15 yards out but his right foot effort was wide.
It was Town who struck next though, Sears’ driving run and excellent cross headed home by Edwards midway through the half.
The former Swan then turned provider on the half hour, his cross met by Sears, the ball going into the net off the head of van der Hoorn.
McBurnie was denied an immediate equaliser by the feet of Gerken, Toto Nsiala doing enough to clear from McBurnie as he looked to get in, then the signing from Shrewsbury got his body in the way of Joe Rodon’s strike.
Cole Skuse’s superb ball over the top released the pace of Edwards and this time it was Sears who was just short of getting on the end of the cross as an entertaining first-half came to an end.
Jonas Knudsen replaced the injured Donacien at the break, Joel Asoro on for Kyle Naughton. Celina blazed the ball over the bar after a corner hadn’t been cleared as Swansea threatened an equaliser inside two minutes of the second-half.
Town responded with a Sears strike blocked inside the box, then Skuse won a free-kick 25 yards out, Dozzell’s free-kick sailing over.
Blues had an escape on 55 minutes, Rodon’s header hitting the bar while at the other end, Edwards got on the end of Ward’s cross but his header went to safety.
Leroy Fer replaced Byers, Ward then leading a Town break and fizzing a shot just wide from 25 yards as Blues looked for a third.
James was again the provider for Swans, with a run and then cross that begged to be put in but the ball escaped McBurnie, Luke Chambers bravely clearing from Asoro’s cross, then the skipper in the right place to clear from Asoro again.
Barrie McKay replaced van der Hoorn in Swansea’s final change, Pennington and Chambers combining to prevent Celina getting in, Chambers then
denied at the other end as he looked to get on the end of a corner.
Dozzell couldn’t force the ball home from Sears’ cross, Swansea playing it out from their goalline and when Celina picked the ball up 25 yards out, he cut inside and buried his shot into the bottom corner.
Flynn Downes replaced Dozzell for the last 10 minutes, Skuse smashing a volley that was deflected wide as the points hung in the balance.
With six minutes left, Chalobah rose highest to Ward’s corner to put Town ahead right in front of the Blue Army and secure that first win of the season.
Swansea: Nordfeldt, van der Hoorn (McKay 74), McBurnie, Celina, Carroll, James, Grimes, Rodon, Roberts, Naughton (Asoro 55), Byers (Fer 58). Subs not used: Mulder, Olsson, Carter-Vickers, Fulton. Booked: Rodon.
Town: Gerken, Pennington, Chambers, Nsiala, Donacien (Knudsen 46), Edwards (Jackson 90), Dozzell (Downes 78), Skuse, Chalobah, Ward, Sears. Subs not used: Bialkowski, Nolan, Lankester, Graham. Booked: Dozzell, Chalobah.