Report | Plymouth Argyle U18s 1 Swansea City U18s 0
Swansea City Under-18s' Professional Development League Cup campaign came to an end after a first-half goal from Joe Hatch prevented them reaching the quarter-finals at Plymouth.
Wales Under-17's international Hatch converted the winner from a Plymouth corner, just five minutes before half-time, and the defeat was not enough to keep the Swans in the competition despite having started the weekend well-placed in Group E.
Yori Griffith had kept his place after making an impressive step up from under-16 level, while Aimar Govea was back after a three-week stint away with his native Ecuador.
The Swans charged through on goal from the whistle, Rohan Davies and Geoff Bony linked up on the edge of the area, but Bony’s shot cannoned into one of his team-mates and out for a goal-kick.
Bony soon had another chance to break the deadlock for the Swans, Govea drilled a low cross into the box from the left finding Bony free. However, the Plymouth defence made sure to deny the striker from finding the net.
Argyle went close in the search for the opener after being rewarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, Lewis Colwell stepped up for the young Pilgrims, but his strike missed the target by inches.
A chipped ball over the top found Davies’ head, and he was able to direct it in the path of Iwan Morgan, but Argyle’s Cole Gibbings got to ground to deny the striker.
Instead it was the home side who took the lead.
The Pilgrims’ Hatch was found unmarked in the penalty area after a corner, and converted the set-piece with a powerful header into the top of the net.
Hatch caused trouble for the yet Swans again, just seconds before the interval. The striker produced yet another fine header, but Ewan Griffiths did fantastically to deny the Plymouth man a quickfire brace.
Plymouth started the second half with confidence, enjoying repeated spells of possession in the Swans’ half. A great defensive display from Jada Mawongo and Arthur Parker ensured the Pilgrims were not able to double their lead, with Hatch again being denied.
Plymouth keeper Zak Baker was forced to come off his line to intercept a powerful half-shot, half-cross from Govea on the left, while Griffiths made an excellent save at the other end to keep out a curling strike from Jack Matthews
The Swans attempted to hit back through Bony, who proved too strong for his marker down the left flank, but could not beat Baker with an angled strike.
The visitors had one last chance as Jacob Cook deflected shot looked set to find the bottom corner, but Baker produced a magnificent fingertip stop to seal Plymouth's victory.
Plymouth Argyle Under-18s: Zak Baker, Jensen Ireland, Joel Sullivan, Cole Fisher, Cole Gibbings, Jack Matthews, Lewis Colwell, Kieran Edworthy, Henry Donovan, Joe Hatch, Jack Endacott (captain)
Unused subs: Jadore Lawson, Dan Holman, Tesan Finn.
Swansea City Under-18s: Ewan Griffiths, Arthur Parker, Zane Myers, Richard Faakye, Jada Mawongo, Dan Watts, Kyrell Wilson, Geoff Bony (captain), Rohan Davies (Jacob Cook 58), Iwan Morgan, Aimar Govea (Yori Griffith 65)
Unused subs: Kit Margetson, Cameron Llewellyn.