Report: Swans U23s 2 Brighton U23s 3
Swansea City Under-23s suffered their first defeat in five matches as they were beaten 3-2 by Brighton & Hove Albion in Premier League 2.
The young Swans appeared to be in control on their return to league action as first-half goals from Liam Cullen and Keiran Evans gave them a 2-0 lead.
However, they lived to regret their failure to capitalise on their superiority as two quickfire goals from Aaron Connolly brought the contest level, before Viktor Gyokeres snatched a dramatic late winner.
The hosts made two changes to the side that beat Tottenham Hotspur last time out in Premier League 2.
One of those saw Adam King make his first appearance of the season following his return from a knee injury, while Joe Lewis was also brought back into the starting line-up.
It was a sluggish start for the Swans, who almost fell behind inside the opening minute. Connolly raced in behind the defence, but could only shoot wide of the target from close range.
That seemed to liven up the hosts and they took the lead in the 10th minute as Aaron Lewis’ long throw-in was headed on by Cullen, who then latched onto Jordon Garrick’s neat flick before slotting home his third league goal of the season.
The advantage was doubled six minutes later, when Brighton failed to deal with a cross and Evans drilled past the goalkeeper for his first under-23s strike.
The Swans went close to adding a third in the 26th minute as Simon Paulet’s dangerous cross was cleared in the nick of time with Cullen waiting to pounce.
The hosts were forced to defend well in the second half as Brighton came back into the contest.
And their resistance was broken in the 74th minute when Connolly raced on to Ben White’s long ball before calmly slotting home through the legs of Steven Benda.
The same players combined for the equaliser moments later, as the striker tucked away the full-back’s precise square ball.
Brighton were agonisingly close to completing the turnaround 11 minutes from time when Gyokeres’ cross crashed against the underside of the crossbar with Benda beaten.
But there was no denying the Swedish forward at the end. Once again, Hunt was the provider with another neat ball forward, and Gyokeres sneaked in behind Brandon Cooper before poking home to break the Swans’ hearts.
Swans U23s: Steven Benda, Tyler Reid, Aaron Lewis, Adnan Maric (capt), Brandon Cooper, Joe Lewis, Jordon Garrick, Adam King (Ryan Blair, ht), Liam Cullen, Simon Paulet, Keiran Evans (Oli Cooper, 83).
Subs not used: Gregor Zabret, Jordi Govea, Kees de Boer.
Brighton U23s: Hugo Keto, Ben White, George Cox, Max Sanders, Ben Barclay (capt), Leo Ostigard, Anders Dreyer, Mathias Normann, Aaron Connolly, Jordan Davies (Archie Davies, 65), Viktor Gyokores.
Subs not used: Alex Cochrane, Billy Collings, Warren O'Hora, Stefan Ljubicic.