Report | Bristol City U23s 3 Swansea City U23s 0
Swansea City Under-23s suffered their first defeat of the Professional Development League season against Bristol City at the Optima Stadium.
Louis Britton’s hat-trick did the damage against a youthful Swansea, whose matchday squad consisted of 15 teenagers with skipper Matthew Blake the only player aged 20 or above.
Coach Jon Grey made seven changes to the team that began the 5-1 rout of Cardiff City, handing debuts to first-year scholars Harry Jones and Harry Pinchard, as well as new signing Jamie Searle in goal.
There was also a first start at this level for 16-year-old Cameron Congreve, while first-year pros Jacob Jones, Ali Al-Hamadi and Bradley Gibbings were all recalled.
Both sides had chances during a fairly even first half, but it was the hosts who took the lead just before the break when Britton beat Searle.
The Bristol striker doubled his tally 10 minutes into the second half, reacting quickest to slide home after a long throw-in had ricocheted kindly into his path.
Britton completed his hat-trick 18 minutes from time, controlling a long ball on his chest before combining with Sam Bell and applying the finishing touch.
“We’re disappointed with how we played with the ball, we fell into their trap a little bit,” said Grey.
“But we’re more disappointed with how we defended. Wherever these young players end up in their careers, they will have to deal with direct play at some point. That’s something we have to address going forward.
“On a positive note, we were in the game for a long period with a very young team predominantly made up of 17 and 18-year-olds. Our teams are getting younger all the time, which is what we’re trying to do.
“It was a tough day, but it will be a great learning experience for the boys.”
Bristol City U23s: Harvey Wiles-Richards, Barney Soady, Vince Harper, Ryley Towler, Tom Harrison, Josh Owers, Opi Edwards (capt), Ayman Benarous (Harry Leeson, 85), Louis Britton (Prince Henry, 75), Sam Bell, Zac Smith (Alex Scott, 75).
Sub not used: James Walker.
Swans U23s: Jamie Searle, Harry Jones, Jacob Jones (Josh Thomas, 58), Jake Thomas, Scott Butler, Matthew Blake (capt), Harry Pinchard, Ryan Bevan, Ali Al-Hamadi, Cameron Congreve (Morgan Clarke, 58), Bradley Gibbings.
Subs not used: Tyler Evans, Kai Ludvigsen, Erick Kenko.