FULL-TIME: Cardiff U21s 0 Swans U21s 1
20th April 2015
The Under-21s sealed a place in this season's play-offs after a narrow victory over Cardiff.
Top scorer Kenji Gorre's goal proved to be the difference, his deflected shot looping over Ben Wilson midway through the first half.
Cardiff were reduced to ten men before the interval as Ben Watkins was shown a straight red card, while the hosts hit the woodwork in the second period through Kadeem Harris.
But the Swans held firm to consolidate second place in the table ahead of their final league fixture against Ipswich Town at Landore on Thursday (11am).
The Swans made four changes to the side that lost to Millwall last time out as Daniel Alfei, Jay Fulton, Joseph Jones and Matt Grimes were all named in the starting line-up.
Cardiff, meanwhile, also opted for experience in their ranks as Ben Turner started in defence, while Republic of Ireland international Anthony Pilkington and former Crystal Palace man Kigasho Dikgacoi were also included.
CARDIFF U21s: Ben Wilson, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Thomas James, Kigasho Dikgacoi (Abdi Noor, 90), Semi Ajayi, Ben Turner, Matt Kennedy, Ben Watkins, Kadeem Harris, Anthony Pilkington (Robbie Patten, 64), Tyler Roche (Macauley Southam, 79).
SUBS: Dylan Rees, Joe Massaro.
SWANS U21s: Oliver Davies, Daniel Alfei, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Joseph Jones, Raheem Hanley, Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes, Adam King, Henry Jones (Stephen Fallon, 57), James Loveridge (Owain Jones, 41), Kenji Gorre,
SUBS: Gregor Zabret, Alex Gogic.
The visitors came into this fixture just one place and three points above Cardiff, knowing victory would all but seal a place in this season's play-offs.
But it was the hosts who almost opened the scoring inside the first minute as Kadeem Harris won possession on the edge of the Swans penalty area before seeing his goal-bound effort well blocked by Joseph Jones.
Despite a slightly slow start, the visitors soon found their rhythm as Adam King fired narrowly wide of the right-hand post, while James Loveridge saw his effort tipped round the post by Ben Wilson.
Former Norwich man Anthony Pilkington then shot wide of goal from 25 yards before the Swans broke the deadlock on 23 minutes.
After good play from the impressive Matt Grimes, the midfielder fed Kenji Gorre inside the box and after he beat two men his shot deflected and somehow looped in off the far post.
Gorre almost grabbed a second shortly after as he volleyed over after another fine cross from Hanley, while Semi Ajayi headed over from six yards out at the other end.
But the game turned on its head again eight minutes before the break as Cardiff were reduced to ten men following Ben Watkins' poor challenge on James Loveridge being deemed worthy of a straight red card by referee Mark Dadds.
Loveridge - despite continuing for a few minutes - was eventually replaced by Owain Jones as the Swans went into the break with a man and goal advantage.
Half-time: Cardiff U21s 0-1 Swans U21s
Neither side made any changes at the break, but it was the hosts who began on the front foot; skipper Tom James and midfielder Matt Kennedy both seeing efforts saved by Oliver Davies.
But the Swans remained a threat at the other end and Kenji Gorre nearly doubled the lead on 55 minutes as his low strike from the right edge of the box was superbly tipped away by Ben Wilson.
Cardiff responded well and came even closer to drawing level as Kadeem Harris beat two defenders before seeing a curling effort come back off the crossbar with Davies beaten.
The Swans slowly began to resume control as the second half ticked on, with Cardiff reduced to long-range efforts in their attempt to draw level.
However, the hosts did come mightily close to equalising in the closing stages as substitute Macauley Southam's dipping volley was inches wide of the right-hand post.
But the Swans held on to secure a vital win and secure their place in this season's play-offs.