Wednesday 17th April 2024
The Den

MIL Millwall


SWA Swansea

- Days
- Hrs
- Mins
- Secs

17th April
Thomas eoodward

Swansea City Under 18s suffered heartbreak as two extra-time goals saw them fall to defeat against Millwall in the final of the Professional Development League Cup.

The Swans had taken the lead through a Thomas Woodward goal in the first half, but the Lions – playing the showpiece on home turf at The Den – would level through a long-range strike from Frankie Maciocia.

Neither side could find a winner in normal time, but late goals from Kavalli Heywood during extra-time would settle the contest in the Lions favour.

But the young Swans could be proud of their efforts against a Millwall side who have reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup this season and, despite the disappointment, the young squad will take a lot from experiencing such an occasion.

Swansea had welcomed back the likes of Woodward, first-team squad member Aimar Govea, Yori Griffith and Cameron Llewellyn to their starting line-up.

And the opening chance of the game went their way when Caio Ifans picked up the ball outside the box to send a shot drifting wide of the post.

Harlan Perry fired over the bar in a strong start, but Millwall had the first big opportunity of the night when Abdulahi Abdulazeez got away a shot that Kit Margetson did tremendously well to tip around the post.

Lions keeper Albert Penney matched his opposite number when he got down to deny Griffith’s effort after fine work by Sammy Henia-Kamau.

Henia-Kamau was involved again when he sent in a dangerous cross that Govea was just unable to get a contact on.

But the pair would play a key role in the Swans opening the scoring. Govea picked out Henia-Kamau and, when the forward’s short was cleared off the line by Adedapo Olugbodi, Woodward pounced to tap in from close range.

Swansea so nearly doubled their lead as they carved out a string of chances before the break.

Henia-Kamau was unable to get on to Llewellyn’s cross, while captain Jack Fanning snatched at a shot following a corner.

At the other end, Iestyn Jones made a fantastic block to prevent Jack Howland levelling, and it would be the home side who made the brighter start to the second half.

They levelled the scores within minutes of the restart as Maciocia’s superb strike left Margetson with no chance.

The Swans responded well with Woodward having a close-range effort, with a flurry of navy shirts getting in the way to block the shot. 

Thomas woodward

Soon after, a brilliant long ball from Govea reached Jones, but the defender sent his header straight at Penney.

Fanning looked to have restored Swansea’s lead through a back-post header following a Govea corner, but the officials adjudged there had been a foul on keeper Penney.

Perry had a great chance a few minutes later, but he dragged his close-range effort wide, while Llewellyn placed a shot straight into the gloves of the Millwall keeper. 

The 90 minutes ended level and extra-time was required. Howland sent an effort over the bar for the Lions before the home side were awarded a penalty after a slip by Callum Deacon in his own area.

Heywood stepped up, but Margetson made a wonderful save to keep the scores level.

It was end-to-end stuff as tired legs saw space open up. Ramon Rees-Siso fired over from a Govea cross, but it was Millwall who took the lead when Heywood latched on to a misplace pass and beat a defender before drilling the ball into the bottom corner.

And the forward added another goal in the final moments as he again converted from a loose pall as a great effort from the young Swans unfortunately came up short of silverware.

Millwall Under-18s: Albert Penney, Elias Mansor, Adedapo Olugbodi, Alfie Massey, Harvey Whiteman, Joshua Stephenson, Christopher Ojemen (Sheldon Kendall 71), Frankie Maciocia, Abdulahi Abdulazeez (Elidon O’Boyle 64), Kavalli Heywood, Jack Howland.

Unused substitutes: Jakub Przewozny, Oliver Whitby, Harry Taylor.

Swansea City Under-18s: Kit Margetson, Harlan Perry, Caio Ifans, Jacob Cook, Iestyn Jones, Jack Fanning (Brogan Popham 99), Cameron Llewellyn (Callum Deacon 80), Yori Griffith (Josh Pescatore 92), Sammy Henia-Kamau, Tom Woodward(Ramon Rees-Siso 71), Aimar Govea.

Unused substitutes: Ewan Griffiths.