Report | Swansea City U18s 0 Middlesbrough U18s 1

2nd April
Adrian Akande

Swansea City Under-18s bowed out in the FA Youth Cup fourth round following a narrow defeat by Middlesbrough.

Appearing at this stage for the first time in three years, Byron Anthony's side produced a hugely spirited display against their Premier League North opponents at Landore.

However, they were undone in the 56th minute with Callum Kavanagh's strike breaking the deadlock.

And for all their possession and good play, the young Swans were unable to turn it into an equaliser.

Anthony made a whopping nine changes from Tuesday's defeat at Charlton.

Jacob Edwards was one of the two players to retain their places in the starting line-up along with Morgan Clarke, who scored the winner against Queens Park Rangers in round three.

Targeting a first-ever appearance in the fifth round of the competition, the Swans made a bright start with Rio Campbell's shot deflecting wide inside two minutes.

The hosts then suffered a scare at the other end when a deep cross was met by Josh Marshall, who could only direct his header wide of the target.

Swansea continued to look threatening going forward. 

Cameron Congreve could not quite apply the finishing touch to Campbell's neat through ball, while Ben Lloyd saw a low shot deflected wide.

Middlesbrough, who beat Millwall 4-0 in round three, were defensively stubborn and it took an important last-ditch intervention to deny Adrian Akande at the start of the second half.

But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in the 56th minute as the Swans defence was carved open, enabling Kavanagh to cut back onto his right foot and fire past Tyler Evans.

The goalkeeper came the hosts' rescue two minutes later, springing across well to deny the goalscorer, who had been neatly played in by Pharrell Willis.

To their credit, the Swans responded well to falling behind. Anthony introduced Michael Murphy to add creativity to the hosts' ranks as they launched a late rally.

The crossbar denied them an equaliser in the 78th minute when Clarke's deflected strike crashed against the upright.

But the Swans were unable to turn their promising play into an equaliser, as Boro held on to prevail.

Swans U18s: Tyler Evans, Jacob Edwards (Michael Murphy, 70), Scott Butler (capt), Harry Jones, Cian Williams; Joel Cotterill, Morgan Clarke, Ben Lloyd; Adrian Akande, Cameron Congreve, Rio Campbell.

Subs not used: Josh Hutchings, Ryan Bassett, Panashe Makokowe, Josh Carey, Aaron Hillier, Geoff Bony.

Middlesbrough U18s: Max Metcalfe, George Gitau, Josh Marshall, Jack Hannah (capt), Ben Beals, Andrew Nelson, Alfie Doherty, George Waites (Nathan Simpson, ht), Callum Kavanagh, Jack Scott, Pharrell Willis (Fenton John, 80).

Subs not used: Alex Hutchinson, Afonso Lindo, Henry Poppie.