Report | Cardiff City U23s 2 Swansea City U23s 1

19th January
Morgan Clarke

Swansea City Under-23s were beaten by Cardiff City in their Professional Development League South encounter in Leckwith.

The young Swans made the perfect start at the Cardiff International Sports Stadium; taking a seventh-minute lead through Bradley Gibbings’ first goal for the development side.

However, they struggled to pose a genuine attacking threat thereon, and were undone by two set-pieces in quick succession during the second half with Taylor Jones and Jack Bodenham turning the contest on its head.

And the Swans’ misery was compounded with four minutes remaining, when Scott Butler was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Jon Grey named an unchanged team from last week’s hard-earned 0-0 draw with league leaders Millwall, and saw his side make the best possible start.

Just seven minutes were on the clock when a well-worked short corner was poked home by Gibbings from close range.

Cardiff responded well and the young Swans had Jamie Searle to thank, as the goalkeeper made smart saves to keep out Rubin Colwill and Sam Bowen.

The visitors, who lost Joe Lewis to injury before the break, also went close at the other end.

Adrian Akande shot just over following a good run and cross by Morgan Clarke, while Rio Campbell saw a fierce low drive turned behind.

The hosts continued to apply the pressure in the second half. A quickfire break saw Owen Pritchard release Isaak Davies through on goal, only for the striker to blaze over when one on one with Searle.

The Swansea keeper then produced a magnificent double-save; keeping out Davies from close range after parrying Colwill’s initial effort.

But there was nothing he could do as Cardiff finally made their pressure tell by equalising in the 68th minute. A free-kick into the box broke kindly for Jones, who fired home.

And the turnaround was completed just six minutes later from another set-piece – albeit a harsh one awarded against Butler, who received what subsequently proved to be a costly yellow card.

The hosts took full advantage with skipper Bodenham heading in from Evans’ delivery.

Unable to respond, Swansea were reduced to 10 men with four minutes to play as Butler was shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge.

Cardiff U23s: George Ratcliffe, Taylor Jones, Tom Davies (Cameron McWilliams, 68), Sam Bowen, Oli Denham, Jack Bodenham (capt), Rubin Colwill, Owen Pritchard, Isaak Davies, Roland Idowu (Chanka Zimba, ht), Kieron Evans.

Subs not used: Bradley Stewart, Tom Chiabi.

Swans U23s: Jamie Searle; Morgan Clarke, Scott Butler, Jake Thomas, Joe Lewis (Cameron Congreve, 39), Matthew Blake (capt); Erick Kenko, Ryan Bevan, Adrian Akande; Bradley Gibbings, Rio Campbell (Michael Murphy, 77).

Subs not used: Tyler Evans, Ryan Bassett, Aaron Hillier.