Routledge leads Swans to comfortable win - by Fraser Watson

Vastly experienced Wayne Routledge has scored for Swansea City ten seasons on the bounce 

FA Cup Third Round:

Stevenage 0 - Swansea City 2 

It wasn’t 90 minutes which conjured up ‘the magic of the cup’, but it was an efficient enough display from Swansea City at Stevenage as Steve Cooper’s side progressed into round four. 
The manager himself had spoken in the week of the need to maintain momentum and headed goals from Wayne Routledge and Viktor Gyokores, plus a 14th clean sheet of the season, ensured his side made it five league and cup games unbeaten. 

Cooper changes have a positive effect

Indeed, in a competition his side could arguably do without this season, Cooper would have seen enough to label the afternoon a useful exercise. With seven changes from the side that beat Watford, there was an impressive debut for 19-year-old Cameron Evans in the back three – while the goal for Gyokores represented his first for the club having underwhelmed since signing on loan from Brighton in September. 
But at the other end of the scale to Evans, there was a recall for Wayne Routledge and as so often, the 36-year-old delivered. 

Swans take an early lead . . .

The tie was just seven minutes old when Yan Dhanda’s chipped cross was nodded in from close range by the veteran winger, meaning he has now been on the scoresheet in 10 consecutive seasons for Swansea. 
He celebrated by holding up a shirt with a message in tribute to former Swans employee Nick Eames - and dad of current kitman Mike - who died this week. It read: 'RIP Nick Always in our hearts'. 

. . . But miss other first-half chances as homesters fight back

The pressure continued with Gyokores turning in the area but then putting his low shot too close to home keeper Jamie Cumming - before a golden chance when begging.

Jordan Garrick, deployed in a seemingly experimental right wing back role, showed searing pace to get into the area only to pull his pass wastefully behind the Swedish striker. 
Stevenage, whose lowly position in League Two would perhaps suggest they too could do without the rigours of an intense cup tie, did mount some pressure late in the half. 
Firstly, Tom Pett’s 20 yard drive rebounded back of his own teammate, Danny Newton blasted over and then Ben Coker’s low left footed free kick was narrowly wide - but in truth Swansea keeper Freddie Woodman strolled off at half time without having had a meaningful save to make. 

Swans double their lead

But he did have to be alert to gather Coker’s flicked header straight after the break but within five minutes of the restart, the Swans had breathing space. 
Again, Garrick found space down the right and this time, his delivery was spot on as he crossed for Gyokores to head home. 

Woodman saves keep Stevenage out late on

That seemingly settled matters but just as the tie appeared to be petering out, Stevenage began to rally in the final 10 minutes and when Ryan Manning was adjudged to have handled in his own area, they were given the perfect chance to set up a frantic finish. 
However, Luke Norris’ effort was brilliant tipped away by Woodman, the keeper’s fourth spot kick save in seven since joining the club – and he was at his best moments afterwards to push away an Arthur Read free kick. 

Late changes give subs chance to show their worth

But the late flurry of action ultimately mattered little and Cooper, who also gave game time to Jake Bidwell, Liam Cullen, Korey Smith and another debutant in Ollie Cooper in the second half, would have been satisfied. 
Swansea will learn their round four opponents on Monday but it is next Saturday where their focus will now lie – with an away trip to Barnsley. 
Swansea City: Woodman; Naughton, Cabango, Evans (Bidwell 72); Garrick (Cooper 82), Byers, Fulton (Smith 46), Manning; Dhanda; Routledge (Cullen 64), Gyokeres. 
Subs not used: Webb, Guehi, Grimes, Williams, Lowe.