Report | Fulham U23s 1 Swansea City U23s 1
Swansea City Under-23s ended their four-match losing streak with a hard-earned 1-1 draw against Fulham in Premier League 2 Division Two.
Will Rickard gave the Swans a first-half lead at Motspur Park with what was his first goal for the development side.
However, Martell Taylor-Crossdale’s second-half equaliser ensured a share of the spoils for the hosts, who finished the game with 10 men after the striker was sent off for a second bookable offence within five minutes of levelling the contest.
Aiming to end a run of four consecutive defeats in all competitions, the Swans made three changes to the side that were narrowly beaten by Reading in the Premier League Cup before the international break.
Josh Gould returned in goal ahead of Lewis Webb and Matthew Blake replaced Scott Butler in defence, with Brandon Cooper moving across into the centre alongside Cameron Evans.
Meanwhile, there was a first Swansea appearance in three months for Aldo Kalulu, who marked his return from injury by playing the opening 45 minutes.
Appearing for the first time since August’s 3-2 victory over Preston North End at the Liberty, the Frenchman – on loan from Basel – played a crucial role as the Swans took the lead in the 18th minute.
Following some good work down the right, Kalulu showed good awareness to pick out Rickard who, arriving from the left, netted his first goal for the under-23s.
The winger went close to doubling his and the visitors’ tally soon after – heading just wide as they continued to threaten throughout the first half.
However, Fulham responded after the break and equalised within five minutes of the restart. Some sloppy play was pounced on by the hosts, with Taylor-Crossdale providing a calm finish.
But the striker went from hero to villain five minutes later – receiving a second yellow card for a rash challenge on substitute Ali Al-Hamadi.
Despite the numerical advantage, the Swans were just unable to break down their stubborn opponents and had to settle for a share of the spoils in West London.
Swansea City U23s: Josh Gould; Ryan Bevan, Cameron Evans, Brandon Cooper, Matthew Blake; Jack Evans (capt), Kees de Boer; Aldo Kalulu (Ali Al-Hamadi, ht), Simon Paulet, Will Rickard (Josh Thomas, 80); Liam Cullen.
Subs not used: Lewis Webb, Jake Thomas, Morgan Clarke.