Report: Manchester United U23s 1 Swans U23s 1
Swansea City Under-23s claimed their first point in Premier League 2 Division 1 after a hard-earned draw against Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village.
After surviving a seventh-minute penalty miss by Demetri Mitchell, the Swans defence stayed strong to hold out a number of United attacks.
The breakthrough came ten minutes after the break, and it proved a familiar face to United as Kenji Gorre capped off a fine solo run – started within his own half – with a fine curling finish into the far corner.
United, who fielded six players with first-team experience, then hit the crossbar through Mitchell but their pressure finally told after Indy Boonen latched onto a loose ball in the box before beating Gregor Zabret.
The Swans, though, were at least rewarded for their efforts by picking up a point against a United side which boasted the experience of England internationals Luke Shaw and Ashley Young.
Gary Richards and Cameron Toshack made two changes to the team that beat Cheltenham Town in the Checkatrade Trophy last week.
Goalscorer Kenji Gorre returned to the starting XI after coming off the bench to net the young Swans' equaliser against the Robins on Tuesday.
Courtney Baker-Richardson made his first start for the U23s following his debut in the same game.
The Swans were given a major let off in the opening exchanges.
With just seven minutes on the clock, Aaron Lewis’ intended pass for Joe Rodon led to the latter tripping Joshua Bohui inside the box.
Up stepped Demetri Mitchell, but he squandered the opportunity to put United ahead as he fired wide.
The hosts dominated possession and territory, but the young Swans were proving a stern unit to break down.
The visitors were looking lively on the break, and an inviting cross from Lewis almost found Courtney Baker-Richardson only for keeper Joel Pereira to race out and collect.
The Swans grew as the half progressed, and the pace of and power of Baker-Richardson proved a thorn in the home defence. He outmuscled Alex Tuanzebe down the Swans’ right and raced into the box before firing low and into the sidenetting.
But the Swans did find the breakthrough ten minutes into the second half as Kenji Gorre countered from just inside his own half before racing on and cutting back onto his right before curling in an effort off the far post.
United looked for an immediate reply, and they went close as Mitchell’s cross almost caught out Gregor Zabret but it bounced out and the Swans defence cleared.
It was then a case of United probing for an equaliser while the visitors remained a dangerous threat on the counter.
The United pressure finally told, though, as the game entered the final stages.
After the ball took a few deflections in the visitors’ box, Indy Boonen took advantage and neatly slotted past the onrushing Zabret.
The young Swans then held out for six minutes of additional time to pick up a hard-earned point.
MAN UTD U23s: Joel Pereira, Matthew Olosunde, Luke Shaw (Joe Riley, 56) Ro-Shaun Williams (Tyrell Warren 2), Axel Tuanzebe, Matthew Willock, Ashley Young (Tosin Kehinde, 56), Scott McTominay (Capt), Joshua Bohui, Indy Boonen, Demetri Mitchell.
SUBS NOT USED: Theo Richardson, Ethan Hamilton.
SWANS U23s: Gregor Zabret, Tyler Reid, Aaron Lewis, Adnan Marić, Cian Harries, Joe Rodon (Capt), Jordan Garrick, Jack Evans (Marco Dulca, 66), Courtney Baker-Richardson (Liam Cullen, 80), George Byers, Kenji Gorrè.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Thomas, Tom Plezier, Jack Bainbridge
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