Report | Newcastle United U23s 0 Swansea City U23s 1
Oli Cooper scored a stoppage-time winner as Swansea City Under-23s snatched a dramatic 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
It appeared that the sides were heading for a share of the spoils in a tightly-contested Premier League 2 Division 2 clash.
However, the Swans sealed all three points in the third minute of stoppage time, when Cooper headed Matthew Blake’s home off the underside of the crossbar.
That gave the winger a fourth goal in two games – following his hat-trick in the comprehensive 5-1 victory over Porto in the Premier League International Cup last Wednesday.
Victory moved the under-23s up to fifth place in the table with 10 points from seven games.
Gary Richards and Cameron Toshack made three changes to the development side that overcame their Portuguese counterparts at Landore.
Mason Jones-Thomas and Kees de Boer were recalled to the starting XI, while there was a debut for under-18s defender Jake Thomas in the heart of the back four.
The Swans had the first sight on goal after just six minutes with Keiran Evans seeing a shot well-blocked by Newcastle defender Lewis Cass.
At the other end, Luke Charman glanced a header wide of the target, while Jake Young’s fierce effort was pushed away by Josh Gould.
Newcastle keeper Dan Langley then came to the hosts’ rescue five minutes before the break – saving with his legs to deny Cooper.
The Swans saw a golden chance to take the lead go begging in the 56th minute, when Liam Cullen blazed over with a close-range volley from Matthew Blake’s cross.
Meanwhile, Charman sent another header wide of goal – this time from Jamie Sterry’s free-kick – before Gould did well to beat away Young’s free-kick.
The game appeared to be heading towards a stalemate but there was to be one final twist, as Cooper headed home Blake’s free-kick to snatch all three points.
Swansea City U23s: Josh Gould; Tivonge Rushesha, Cameron Evans, Jake Thomas, Matthew Blake; Jack Evans (capt), Kees de Boer; Oli Cooper, Keiran Evans (Simon Paulet, 90+1), Mason Jones-Thomas (Josh Thomas, 82); Liam Cullen.
Subs not used: Lewis Webb, Jacob Jones, Daniel Williams.