Report: Swans U21s 1 Bristol Rovers 2

5th December 2018

Alex Jakubiak struck in the 89th minute to send Swansea City Under-21s crashing out of the Checkatrade Trophy following a 2-1 defeat by Bristol Rovers at the Liberty Stadium.

The young Swans took the lead in the 54th minute of the round-two clash through Jordon Garrick, only for Rovers skipper Tony Craig to equalise soon after.

And the hosts’ hearts were broken in the dying moments as substitute Jakubiak scored a magnificent individual goal to send the visitors through to the next round.

Joel Asoro came in as one of four changes to the Swans side that beat Charlton Athletic 1-0 at The Valley last month. The Swedish winger had the first chance of the game following a swift counter-attack by the hosts, but was brilliantly denied by Jack Bonham after being picked out by Garrick.

At the other end, Stefan Payne headed over from Daniel Leadbitter’s dangerous cross, while Cian Harries made a crucial last-ditch intervention to prevent Tom Nichols from breaking the deadlock.

Steven Benda then produced brilliant reflexes in the 33rd minute to spring across goal and beat away Alex Rodman’s strike. Eight minutes later, the German keeper’s long kick downfield found Garrick, but he was unable to keep his shot down.

The Swans had the woodwork to thank eight minutes after the break, as Nichols was denied from turning home Rodman’s low cross at the far post.

And they made the most of their good fortune less than 60 seconds later following a neat move that saw George Byers find Yan Dhanda, whose clever backheel was clinically dispatched by Garrick.

However, the lead lasted just five minutes as Craig turned a free-kick beyond the dive of Benda.

The Swans had a couple of chances to regain their advantage as the clock ticked down. Aaron Lewis unleashed a fierce left-footed strike that flashed narrowly wide of the near post, before Byers shot straight at the goalkeeper from inside the area.

And the home side were stung late on as substitute Jakubiak intercepted a stray Garrick pass before running half the length of the field and slotting through the legs of Benda.

Swans U21s: Steven Benda, Tyler Reid (Jordi Govea, 62), Brandon Cooper, Cian Harries (capt), Aaron Lewis, Adnan Maric, Simon Paulet (Liam Cullen 90+1), Jordon Garrick, George Byers, Joel Asoro (Botti Biabi, 80), Yan Dhanda.

Subs not used: Gregor Zabret, Joe Lewis, Adam King, Oli Cooper

Bristol Rovers: Jack Bonham, Daniel Leadbitter, Tony Craig (capt), Ed Upson, Liam Sercombe, Stefan Payne (Alex Jakubiak, 75), Tom Nichols (Gavin Reilly, 75), James Clarke, Kyle Bennett (Sam Matthews, 87), Michael Kelly, Alex Rodman.

Subs not used: Adam Smith, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Rollin Menayese, Luke Russe.