x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Scotland king of Wales

Jason Scotland maintains his impressive scoring burst with a 12th goal in as many games, but Swansea have to settle for a replay against Fulham.

Nathan Dyer attempts to skip past Fulham's Clint Dempsey.
Nathan Dyer attempts to skip past Fulham's Clint Dempsey.

Jason Scotland maintained his impressive scoring burst with a 12th goal in as many games, but it was not enough to send Swansea into the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 45 years. The Trinidad and Tobago international's fine 52nd-minute finish earned the Welsh club a replay against Fulham, who had taken a fortunate lead through a Garry Monk own goal.

But Roberto Martinez and his men will wonder how his Championship side did not claim another Premier League scalp, having beaten the holders Portsmouth in the last round. They had dominated most of the match, but Mark Gower failed to make the most of three gilt-edged chances. The former Tottenham trainee, who has yet to score for the Welsh side, first saw his low shot bobble against the post with Mark Schwarzer beaten.

But the big Australian responded to his next two efforts, making a brilliant point-blank save and then a firm parry from Gower's 20-yard effort. To make matters worse, Fulham were gifted their goal just before half-time. Under pressure, Dorus de Vries, the Swansea keeper, made a poor punch to clear a Paul Konchesky corner and it rebounded off Monk into the net. Other teams might have crumbled, but Swansea, unbeaten in their last 15 games, proved they have grit to go with their silky skills, and another fine passing move resulted in a deserved equaliser.

Gower again created danger down the left and found Scotland, whose clever dragback deceived Aaron Hughes and he fired low past Schwarzer. Roy Hodgson's Fulham, who beat Swansea 7-0 in their only other FA Cup meeting in 1995, constantly struggled to cope with the lightning breaks of the home side. The goalscorer Scotland said: "I think we play like that every week, trying to keep our standards high all the time. We need to go to Craven Cottage and prove we can do it."

His manager Martinez added: "It was a big test. We were disappointed with their goal, it came at the wrong time, but I am proud of the players. "[Jason's] goal was fantastic against a good back four. There are many, many positives, but I think we can do certain things better; there is always room for improvement." akhan@thenational.ae