01/05/2018 18:30 v Cardiff City U19s

17th September 2018

Steven Benda was the hero as Swansea City Under-19s retained the FAW Youth Cup for the ninth consecutive year after beating Cardiff City 3-2 on penalties at the Liberty Stadium.

Nothing could separate the two sides after 120 minutes as Joe Lewis’ opener for the Swans was cancelled out by Mark Harris, and the final went all the way to spot-kicks.

Causso Darame, Matthew Blake and Kees de Boer were all on target for the young Swans from 12 yards, while Benda performed heroics to deny Trystan Jones and Isaac Davies.

Less than a month after his penalty-saving exploits helped Swansea City Under-23s advance to the Premier League Cup semi-finals, the German goalkeeper took centre stage once again to give the under-19s an 18th victory in the competition.

The Swans started brightly and dominated the early stages of the contest.

Oliver Cooper hit the bar with a close-range header and Blake’s looping cross was clawed away by George Ratcliffe, who also got a good hand to Keiran Evans’ low drive.

However, the Swans made their pressure tell in the 22nd minute, when de Boer’s cross was glanced home by Lewis.

Cardiff responded well, though, and equalised on the half-hour mark, as Harris headed past Benda from Sion Spence’s vicious centre.

The Swans had chances to regain the lead after the break with Liam Cullen shooting straight at Ratcliffe and substitute Mason Jones-Thomas pulling an effort wide.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Benda did well to push a fierce Connor Davies drive away from danger.

Chances were few and far between from then on and the game headed for extra time, where the sides could still not be separated.

But the Swans held their nerve in the shootout to maintain their hold on the trophy.

Swans U19s: Steven Benda, Cameron Evans (Mason Jones-Thomas, ht), Matthew Blake, Marco Dulca, Joe Lewis, Ben Cabango (capt), Tom Price, Kees de Boer, Liam Cullen, Oliver Cooper (Causso Darame, 65), Keiran Evans (Cameron Berry, 89).

Subs not used: Nathan Shepperd, Shaquille Wynter-Coles.

Cardiff U19s: George Ratcliffe, Cameron Coxe, Trystan Jones, Jack Bodenham (capt), James Waite, Keenan Patten, Connor Davies (Ryan Reynolds, 90), Laurence Wootton (Isaac Davies, 65), Mark Harris, Sion Spence, Sam Bowen (Kieron Evans, 100).

Subs not used: Henry Smith, Ben Margetson.