MATCH REPORT: Swans U21s 2 Crewe U21s 1
13th October 2014
Second-half goals from Ryan Hedges and Owain Jones gave the Under-21s a deserved victory over Crewe.
After chances for both sides early on, the visitors broke the deadlock just before half time when John Johnston finished well from just inside the box.
However, the Swans hit back just three minutes after the break as Ryan Hedges saw his half volley fly into the bottom corner.
And it got better for the hosts midway through the second period when Owain Jones finished well at the far post after good work from Connor Roberts down the right.
SWANS U21s: Oliver Davies, Connor Roberts, Alex Gogic, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Raheem Hanley, Kurtis March (Adnan Maric, 90), Henry Jones (capt), Corey Francis (Alex Samuel, ht), Kenji Gorre, Ryan Hedges, Owain Jones (Liam Cullen, 79).
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Thomas, Joseph Jones.
CREWE U21s: Scott Shearer, James Bailee (capt), Joe Kearns, Harry Davis, Perry Ng, Liam Nolan, Chris Atkinson, Jamie Ness, Callum Saunders, Chris Speed (Joe Howell, 77), John Johnston (Andre Brown, 61).
SUBS: Callum Pritchard-Ellis, Jon Moran.
Chris Llewellyn named a youthful squad, with four of the club's Under-18 players - including 15-year-old Liam Cullen - all being involved.
Connor Roberts returned from injury while Scott Tancock and James Loveridge were unavailable due to their loan spell at League Two side Newport County.
Alex Bray, Sam Evans, Stephen Kingsley, Gregor Zabret and James Demetriou all missed out through injury while Jay Fulton, Adam King, Josh Sheehan, Liam Shephard and Modou Barrow were all involved with first-team training.
But it was Crewe - who arrived in SA1 on the back of a three-game unbeaten run - who started the brighter of the two sides and could have gone ahead inside two minutes as Chris Speed's effort was cleared off the line by Connor Roberts.
The hosts responded well as Henry Jones whipped a great free kick into the box that was met by Ryan Hedges, but his header was tipped onto the bar by Scott Shearer.
The same two players combined shortly after the half-hour mark as Jones's shot was poked wide by Hedges, before Crewe broke the deadlock on 40 minutes.
A long ball upfield was met by John Johnston and the winger kept his cool to coolly slot past Oliver Davies.
And it nearly got worse on the stroke of half-time as Callum Saunders - son of former Swans striker Dean - tried to beat Davies at his near post, but the keeper saved well with his legs.
Half time: Swans U21s 0 Crewe U21s 1
The hosts made a change at the interval as Corey Francis was replaced by Alex Samuel, and they were certainly rewarded for their positive start to the second period.
After Liam Shephard had seen his shot come back off the post, Owain Jones crossed from the left for Ryan Hedges who unleashed a fine half volley past Shearer.
Raheem Hanley was experiencing some joy down the left flank and after he curled an effort just over the bar, Oliver Davies had to be on his toes at the other end to keep out a Jamie Ness free kick.
However, the hosts completed the turnaround on 67 minutes as Henry Jones released Connor Roberts down the right and his low cross was slotted home at the far post by Owain Jones.
Hedges nearly made it three shortly after when he shot a fraction wide of the left-hand post.
15-year-old Liam Cullen was introduced with ten minutes remaining for goal scorer Owain Jones, while Henry Jones almost wrapped the game up when his effort was tipped over by Shearer.
At the other end, Jamie Ness curled a free kick a yard wide of the top left-hand post as the home side held on for a vital three points.