Report: Hull City U23s 2 Swans U23s 2
Swansea City Under-23s booked their place in the Premier League Cup knockout stages despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Hull City at East Riding County FA.
The draw – coupled with Wolves’ 2-0 victory over Oxford United in tonight’s other Group E showdown – was enough to take the young Swans through to the last 16 with a game to spare.
They were pegged back on two occasions as Oli Cooper and Adam King saw efforts cancelled out by a Keane Lewis-Potter brace for the hosts, who finished the game with 10 men after Brandon Fleming was shown a straight red card.
Nevertheless, having bettered Oxford’s result at Molineux, the point secured the Swans’ place in the knockout stages for a third year running.
Cameron Toshack and Gary Richards made five changes to the side that began last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
There was a debut at right-back for 16-year-old Tivonge Rushesha and Mason Jones-Thomas made his first start at this level up front, while there were recalls for Jack Withers, Tom Price and Simon Paulet.
The visitors survived a huge scare inside the opening 60 seconds as Elliot Holmes’ inviting ball fizzed across the face of goal, with nobody in a black and amber shirt there to apply the finishing touch.
And the Swans capitalised on that let-off by edging their noses in front in the 13th minute as, following some good work from Jones-Thomas down the left, he was able to provide the perfect cross for Cooper to tuck away.
They went close to doubling their lead seven minutes later as Paulet latched onto a delicious through ball from captain Adam King, but the Belgian was brilliantly denied by Harvey Cartwright before Jones-Thomas fired the follow-up over.
The Swans continued to control proceedings but were stunned as Hull equalised 13 minutes after the break, with Lewis-Potter looping his header over Steven Benda after latching onto Ahmed Salam’s deep cross.
The visitors looked a little nervy thereon but regained their initiative in the 73rd minute as King slotted home from the penalty spot after Cooper was brought down by Fleming, who was subsequently given his marching orders.
However, back came the hosts, who brought the contest level again within four minutes when Lewis-Potter showed great strength to hold off the challenge of Ben Cabango and beat Benda.
Hull held out for a share of the spoils but, following Wolves’ win over Oxford, it was enough to send the Swans through to the knockout stages.
Hull U23s: Harvey Cartwright, Chams Faraji, Brandon Fleming, Billy Chadwick, Danny Lupano, Lewis Ritson (capt), Dan Hawkins, Ahmed Salam, Keane Lewis-Potter, Elliot Holmes, Callum Smith.
Subs not used: David Robson, Josh Hesson, Jacob Greaves, Will Taylor, Jay Rouse.
Swans U23s: Steven Benda, Tivonge Rushesha, Joe Lewis, Tom Price, Ben Cabango, Jack Withers, Simon Paulet (Kees De Boer, 77), Adam King (capt), Mason Jones-Thomas (Jayden Reid, 77), Keiran Evans, Oli Cooper.
Subs not used: Gregor Zabret, Cameron Berry, Cameron Evans.