Report | Charlton Athletic U21s 1 Swansea City U21s 1
Swansea City Under-21s kicked off 2023 with a draw away to Charlton Athletic after a fine Tarrelle Whittaker strike secured a point in their Professional Development League clash.
The young Addicks took the lead shortly before the interval after Dylan Gavin fired home from close range.
But in-form forward Whittaker was on target for the visitors with a fine free-kick as it ended all-square at Princes Park.
Joel Cotterill captained the Swans just 24 hours after being on the bench for the senior team's 1-1 draw with Bristol City in the Emirates FA Cup.
The Swans bench was mostly made up of under-18s' scholars, including their topscorer Iwan Morgan.
The visitors started strongly, with both Lincoln McFayden and Whittaker asking questions of the home defence, with the former seeing his effort deflected wide.
McFayden was soon on another foray forward, breaking and finding Ben Blythe, but the defender's cross was too heavy for any white shirts to get on the end of.
At the other end, Swansea keeper Ben Hughes was forced into action for the first time as he took in a cross-cum-shot from Sahid Kamara, but the Swans were soon back on the front foot as Whittaker was unable to finish after good work from a trialist and Kian Jenkins.
It was proving to be an end-to-end affair, and Kamara led a sharp break from the Addicks which required good defensive work from Blythe and Wasiri Williams to snuff out the danger.
But Kamara was proving a real nuisance, and he soon forced Hughes into a fingertip save before the Swansea keeper denied the midfielder again just moments later.
Charlton were starting to enjoy some ascendancy, with skipper Kardy Anderson firing just wide on the angle, and it was no surprise when the hosts took the lead just before the break.
Gavin broke the deadlock from close range after advancing onto Deji Elewere's pass to slide the ball beyond the advancing Hughes.
It ensured the home side led at the break, but their advantage would not last long thanks to Whittaker.
The forward was brought down on the edge of the area, but dusted himself off to send the ball over the Charlton wall and into the back of the net.
The goal kicked off a frantic spell. Harry Jones survived a handball appeal after blocking Kamara's latest strike, while Hughes palmed an Anderson shot away to safety.
Swansea responded, with Morgan's fresh legs from the bench providing an injection of pace, and he so nearly gave the visitors the lead.
McFayden made a superb run down the left to find the striker, who neatly chipped the ball into the net, only for the offside flag to stop the celebrations.
Morgan was then unable to convert after good work between Cotterill and Sam Parker had opened up the Charlton defence, and was then denied by keeper Ahmed Kone's fingertips as the Swans finished strongly.
They could not find a winner, but nevertheless record a fine draw against last season's league champions.
Charlton Athletic Under-21s: Ahmed Kone, Nathan Asiimwe, Samuel Oguntayo, Harvey Kedwell, Harris O’Connor, Deji Elerewe, Mack Reilly, Kardy Anderson (captain), Dylan Gavin (Ryan Viggars 62'), Jason Adigun, Sahid Kamara.
Unused subs: Matt Dench, Nathan Harvey.
Swansea City Under-21s: Ben Hughes, Harry Jones, Ben Blythe (Richard Faakye 60'), Sam Leverett, Wasiri Williams, Kian Jenkins (Iwan Morgan 60'), Trialist, Joel Cotterill (captain), Corey Hurford (Sam Parker 70'), Tarrelle Whittaker (Josh Carey 85'), Lincoln McFayden.
Unused subs: Remy Mitchell.