Report | Cardiff City U21s 4 Swansea City U21s 3
Ten-man Swansea City Under-21s fell to a 4-3 defeat at Cardiff City in a seven-goal thriller which saw two first-half penalties and a red card.
James Crole was the man to open the scoring for the home side before bagging a second inside 20 minutes.
The Swans were rewarded a penalty minutes later after a handball in the box. Joel Cotterill eased the ball into the back of the net to halve the deficit, but the Swans saw the dismissal of in-form striker Josh Thomas in the aftermath.
Before the interval, Wasiri Williams headed home from a Cotterill corner-kick, leaving the 10-man side deservedly level heading into the break.
The second half saw more goals, as Williams was on target once again from a set-piece, firing the Swans' ahead. But the lead was short-lived as substitute, Isaac Jefferies equalised minutes after being introduced.
The Bluebirds regained the lead five minutes from the whistle, as Jack Leahy's strike from distance found the net to snatch the three points.
The Bluebirds had the first real chance of the afternoon as Leahy advanced through the middle to pick out Ollie Tanner on the left, but his resulting ball rolled just wide of the far post.
Josh Thomas produced a fine run down the right to set up Tarrelle Whittaker, who was then brought down by a Cardiff man. Cotterill stepped up to take the resulting free kick, but Williams headed over.
Just minutes later, Lincoln Mcfayden found the back of the net but was flagged offside in the build-up.
The Swans once again looked to advance through Mcfayden who had been causing trouble down the left, as Nathanael Ogbeta teed him up beautifully, but his shot dragged wide.
It took 10 minutes for the deadlock to be broken and it was Crole got the opener, as he curled his shot just beyond the fingertips of Swans stopper Remy Mitchell.
It was soon to be two for the Bluebirds, as Mitchell brought down Cardiff goal scorer, Crole, in the area. He stepped up to the spot and converted for his second of the afternoon.
The penalty drama didn’t stop there as moments later, the Swans were awarded a spot-kick up the other end for a handball. Cotterill was the one to convert for the Swans, pulling a goal back to halve the deficit.
In the aftermath, the visitors were reduced to 10 men. As a melee between Josh Thomas and Cardiff keeper Matthew Turner saw the striker dismissed.
Five minutes from the interval, the Swans drew level as a Cotterill corner found Williams who jumped highest to head a powerful ball into the back of the net.
It should have been 3-2 at the break as Mcfayden caused trouble in the area once again. Whittaker put in a fine through ball to set the left-back up; Mcfayden’s initial shot was stopped by Turner, and the following rebound cannoned off the post.
The Swans gained the lead after an impressive spell from the restart, and it was from yet another corner kick. Ben Lloyd whipped the ball in from the left, and Williams, once again, proved too strong for the Cardiff defence and headed home.
Cardiff’s introduction of fresh legs through Jefferies and Morgan Wigley, made an instant impact for the Bluebirds. Leahy played Jefferies through on goal with the latter slotting home into the bottom corner to bring the scores level.
Lloyd tried his luck from distance with a thunderous shot which pinged off the woodwork, the deflection looked like it was heading in for a Swansea City fourth but was cleared off the line.
Moments later, Lloyd looked to get stuck in again as he was played through one-on-one with Turner, but the Cardiff man made a crucial save to deny the young Swan.
Cardiff retook the lead five minutes from time, as Leahy’s strike found the top corner of the net from 30 yards.
Swansea City Under-21s: Remy Mitchell, Joe Thomas, Wasiri Williams, Azeem Abdulai, Brandon Cooper (captain), Nathaniel Ogbeta, Tarrelle Whittaker, Josh Thomas, Ben Lloyd, Lincoln McFayden.
Unused subs: Harry Jones, Ben Hughes, Kyrell Wilson, Geoff Bony, Kai Ludvigsen.
Cardiff City Under-21s: Matthew Turner, Jai Semenyo, Joel Baghn, Sebastien Kristiansen, Xavier Benjamin (captain), Cameron Antwi, Ollie Tanner, Joel Colwill, James Crole, Jack Leahy, Caleb Hughes (Raheem Conte
Unused subs: Matt Bloxham.