Report | Sheffield United U21s 4 Swansea City U21s 2

20th May
Glory Nzingo v Sheffield United

Swansea City Under-21s were eliminated from the Professional Development League play-offs after defeat to Sheffield United Under-21s in their semi-final at Bramall Lane.

The Swans had been looking to reach a second final of the season, having been runners-up in the Nathaniel MG Cup, but they trailed when Louie Marsh fired the hosts ahead after 11 minutes.

Jay Tinsdale then doubled United’s lead with a low strike, but Glory Nzingo pulled a goal back for the Swans before the break with a fine solo effort.

However, Sheffield United’s two-goal lead would be restored three minutes into the second half as Marsh turned provider for Sam Aston to tap home.

Zain Tahir tucked away the home side’s fourth goal, and while Thomas Woodward responded for the Swans it was too little, too late for the visitors.

But the development side can still take plenty from a season where they reached the final of a senior men’s tournament and achieved their target of a play-off place.

The hosts had topped the northern section of the Professional Development League, and they came out of the blocks quickly.

Aston tested Evan Watts in the Swansea goal early with a flicked effort, but the visiting keeper was equal to it.

Watts was called into action again two minutes later as a ball over the top set Sai Sachdev through on goal, but his volleyed effort couldn’t beat the Wales Under-21 international.

Swansea responded and a Joe Thomas delivery caused consternation in the Blades defence until the keeper managed to punch clear before Ben Lloyd could reach the cross.

But the Blades would make their early pressure count, Marsh picked up the ball on the edge of the box and fired a low shot into the bottom corner.

Lloyd had the chance to quickly pull the Swans level. Cameron Congreve played in the midfielder, but his effort was blocked by covering defender.

Instead Sheffield United would double their lead 10 minutes later, Tinsdale arrowing a low shot into the net to make it 2-0.

Nzingo came close just minutes later, finding space on the edge to get away a shot that flew just past the post.

But there would be no denying the forward when he set his sights again a few moments later, his curling strike leaving the keeper no chance as it found the top corner.

It ensured Swansea were just a goal down at the break, but the Blades started the second half in emphatic fashion to re-establish their two-goal lead.

Barely three minutes of the second period had elapsed when Marsh’s smart flick freed up space for him to lay the ball on a plate for Aston, who made no mistake with his close-range finish.

United would have their fourth goal 13 minutes later, Tahir tucked the chance away after a good ball from Billy Blacker had put him through on goal.

Swansea kept going and would pull one back with seven minutes to go as substitute Woodward’s low strike proved too powerful for Luke Faxon in the Blades goal as the keeper got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

But it wouldn’t be enough for the Swans as their season came to an end in south Yorkshire.

Sheffield United U21s: Luke Faxon, Levis Pitan, Zain Tahir, Owen Hampson (captain), Dovydas Sasnauskas, Evan Easton, Sai Sachdev, Billy Blacker, Sam Aston, Louie Marsh (Marshall Francis 91), Jay Tinsdale.

Unused Substitutes: Jack Waldron, Trialist, Seth Okyere, Zach Giggs.

Swansea City U21s: Evans Watts, Joe Thomas, Seb Dabrowski (Josh Carey 59), Joel Cotterill (captain), Kai Ludvigsen, (Dan Watts 75) Kian Jenkins, Cameron Congreve (Thomas Woodward 75), Mitchell Bates (Jacob Cook 75), Glory Nzingo, Ben Lloyd, Aimar Govea.

Unused Substitutes: Remy Mitchell.