Report | Queens Park Rangers U21s 3 Swansea City U21s 1
Swansea City Under-21s fell to defeat away to table-toppers Queens Park Rangers in a hard-fought contest at the Powerday Stadium in the Professional Development League.
Both sides exchanged chances in the opening quarter. DC United loanee Kristian Fletcher proved dangerous up front, but the hosts broke the deadlock through Kayden Harrack, who drilled home following a Rangers’ corner.
The home side made it two following the restart through Elijah Dixon-Bonner, but Filip Lissah fired home not long after to halve Swansea’s deficit.
However, the Hoops hit back to restore their two-goal advantage, with Alfie Lloyd finishing off a fine solo run.
Ben Hughes returned in between the sticks for the first time since the Swans victory over Crewe Alexandra at the Swansea.com Stadium, while Nathan Tjoe-A-On got more minutes under his belt after signing in the summer.
Fletcher made his first start in Swans colours since his arrival earlier this month, with Dan Watts and Harry Jones coming into the starting XI after being on the bench against Cardiff City last time out.
Hughes was forced into action early on as Dixon-Bonner’s shot from a tight angle was parried away for a corner, before Lloyd guided a free header into the hands of the Swans stopper.
The Swans started to settle nearing the 10-minute mark and threatened following a pacy counter from a Hoops corner. Fletcher initiated the attack with a fine slide-rule pass to Maliq Cadogan, before the 19-year-old was dispossessed in the middle of the park.
The visitors then had the first clear-cut chance of the evening, and it was through some fluid passing in midfield. Cameron Congreve’s drilled pass released Fletcher, who drove into the box before shooting twice, with the latter flashing wide after being tipped away by the fingertips of Matteo Salamon in the QPR goal.
The hosts had been dangerous from set-pieces, and their opener soon came from a corner.
Harrack fired home after a lay-off from Rayan Kolli inside of a crowded penalty area.
Fletcher was eager to respond and the American was denied twice in quick succession down the other end. The Swans soon came forward again, this time through Kyrell Wilson, whose curled strike flew well over the bar.
The home side retained their lead at the break and started the second half on the front foot.
Their high press soon allowed them to double their advantage, Dixon-Bonner embarking on a solo run down the left before sweeping the ball into the far corner.
A frantic five minutes followed, as the Swans pulled one back almost immediately after QPR’s second. Lissah appeared unmarked in front of goal and tapped home to halve the deficit.
However, with 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Rangers restored their two-goal lead.
Lloyd latched on to a long ball in the Swans' half, and drove down forward before firing the ball into the centre of the net, securing the three points and extending Rangers’ lead at the top of the PDL South.
Queens Park Rangers Under-21s: Matteo Salamon (captain), Arkell Jude-Boyd, Ziyad Larkeche, Kayden Harrack, Henry Hawkins, Aaron Drewe, Taylor Richards, Alex Aoraha, Alfi Lloyd, Elijah Dixon-Bonner, Rayan Kolli.
Substitutes: Steven Bala, Harry Cant, Rafferty Pedder, Lorent Talla, Casey Shann.
Swansea City Under-21s: Ben Hughes, Harry Jones (Joe Thomas 71), Nathan Tjoe-A-On, Dan Watts, Filip Lissah (captain), Kai Ludvigsen, Maliq Cadogan, Cameron Congreve, Kristian Fletcher (Liam Smith 46), Ben Lloyd (Ruben Davies 71), Kyrell Wilson.
Substitutes: Kit Margetson, Kian Jenkins.