FULL-TIME: Swans Under-21s 2 Leeds United 1
30th March 2015
Swans Under-21s returned to the top of Development League Two South after coming from behind to beat Leeds United 2-1 at the Liberty.
The young Swans, who were missing a number of key players due to international call-ups and loan commitments, fell behind after Brian Montenegro made the most of a defensive lapse to coolly chip onrushing keeper Oliver Davies in the 61st minute.
But that lead only lasted six minutes as another defensive error saw centre-back Ross Killock deflect Raheem Hanley's cross into his own net.
The Swans continued to push for a winner, and they got it with four minutes remaining.
Fine work from James Loveridge down the left paid off as his cross found sub Stephen Fallon at the back post, and he tucked home from close range.
This victory means the Swans moved three points clear of second-placed Crystal Palace - who play on Tuesday - having played three more games than the Eagles.
The Swans named a young side as they were without Gregor Zabret, Giancarlo Gallifuoco and Matt Grimes due to international call-ups, while Liam Shephard, Stephen Kingsley, Josh Sheehan and Ryan Hedges are all on loan with Yeovil and Leyton Orient.
SWANS U21s: Oliver Davies, Connor Roberts, Raheem Hanley, Trialist, Keston Davies (Joe Rodon, 71), Joseph Jones, James Loveridge, Henry Jones (capt), James Demetriou (Stephen Fallon, 59), Adnan Maric (Sam Evans, 80), Kenji Gorre.
SUBS: Lewis Thomas, Alex Samuel.
LEEDS U21s: Alex Cairns, Lewie Coyle, Tyler Denton, Alex Purver (capt), Ross Killock, Jake Skelton, Chris Dawson, Kalvin Phillips, Brian Montenegro, Luke Parkin (Tom Lyman, 83), Evan Mulhern (Robbie McDaid, 83).
SUBS: Eric Grimes, Afolabi Coker.
In damp conditions, both teams looked to control and protect possession as they eased their way into the game.
Oliver Davies had to be alert after Keston Davies' weak passback caught the attention of Evan Mulhern, but the Swans keeper just managed to clear the danger in time.
At the other end, James Demetriou was awarded a corner instead of a penalty after the Australian striker appealed following a strong challenge in the box.
Then captain Henry Jones looked to make the most of the swirling wind with a 30-yard free-kick, but Leeds stopper Alex Cairns was up to the task.
Cairns could only watch on as a superb crossfield pass from James Loveridge found Kenji Gorre, who cut inside before racing on and firing a thunderous effort just past the far post.
The rain continued to fall, and the conditions almost caught out keeper Davies when Tyler Denton's intended pass for Luke Parkin bounced past the Swans stopper, but Keston Davies was alert to sweep up and clear the danger.
The Swans thought they had a decent appeal for a penalty when Gorre's goalbound effort struck the arm of Ross Killock before bouncing wide for a corner. Referee Scott Jackson, however, awarded the corner rather than pointing to the spot.
Half-time: Swans U21s 0 Leeds 0
The visitors almost made the breakthrough a few minutes into the second half as the Swans defence played themselves into trouble. Parkin founds himself in possession just outside the box down his side's left flank, but keeper Davies raced out to deny the striker from an acute angle.
The Swans reacted with Loveridge racing down the right before his cross found Adnan Maric six yards out, but the midfielder's effort was bravely nudged wide by Lewie Coyle.
Another swift Swans counter attack sent Raheem Hanley speeding along the left before his cross was spilled by Leeds stopper Cairns, and Jake Skelton was on hand to clear for a corner.
Back came Leeds, and Brian Montenegro found himself racing in on goal but Davies came off his line to deflect his effort out for a corner.
The hosts made their first change just before the hour as Stephen Fallon came on in place of striker Demetriou. That saw the sub move onto the wing with Loveridge pushed up front.
And a minute later the visitors did take the lead as they made the most of a defensive mix-up. Brian Montenegro latched onto a underhit passback, and he coolly chipped the advancing Davies from 20 yards.
But they didn't hold onto their lead for long as the Swans were back on level terms in the 67th minute.
After Henry Jones' free-kick was cleared to Hanley, the left-back's cross deflected off Ross Killock and past the helpless Cairns.
Soon after the Swans made another change with Joe Rodon replacing Keston Davies for the final 20 minutes, while Sam Evans came on for Maric.
And it was a substitute who made the big difference in the 86th minute as Fallon tapped home Loveridge's cross following some excellent work down the left by the latter.
The Swans almost doubled their lead with two minutes left but Gorre was denied from close range by Cairns.
But it mattered not, though, as the hosts celebrated victory soon after.