Report | Swansea City U18s 1 Watford U18s 1
Swansea City Under-18s played out an entertaining draw at Landore as they shared the spoils with Watford in the Professional Development League.
The hosts had trailed at the break to an Andres Aguilar free-kick but they responded courtesy of Rohan Davies’ finish.
However, neither side could find a winner as the Swans missed out on recording three league wins in a row.
Darren Davies’ side had Dan Watts, Yori Griffith and Jacob Cook in the starting XI, while Samuel Parker returned to the bench after a two-month spell on the sidelines with injury.
It was the visitors - looking to bounce back their defeat to Peterborough in their previous game - who started the brightest by fashioning the first chance of the game. Prince Siriku’s ball from the right found their trialist in attack, but his final header was straight at Swansea keeper Ewan Griffiths.
But the Swans started to find their rhythm, and neat build- up play in midfield ended with Geoff Bony playing in strike partner Davies, but he could only find the grateful gloves of visiting keeper Gabriel Ortelli.
However, the Hornets stymied Swansea’s growing confidence by taking the lead.
Jada Mawongo was punished for a foul on Michael Adu-Poku on the edge of the penalty area, and Aguilar made the most of the opportunity as he sent a low drive into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
The young Swans responded well with a number of lengthy spells of possession pushing their London rivals deep into their own half, but the hosts could not find the final ball to fashion a clear chance as the contest neared half-time.
All the while, Watford remained dangerous on the counter-attack and came close to doubling their lead. The lively Aguilar produced an excellent cross that Ben Casey should have made more of than heading against the woodwork.
Another chance soon followed as Siriku volleyed an effort over the bar after Adu-Poku found space to cross from the right.
Swansea improved early in the second half with Bony firing an excellent 25-yard strike narrowly over Ortelli’s bar.
And the young Swans continues to prompt and probe as they looked to break down a stubborn Watford rearguard.
Griffith was narrowly off target as his bending strike flew just wide of the target, after Zane Myers had delivered the key pass.
But the Swans would not have to wait long for the equaliser to arrive, substitute Cameron Llewellyn’s astute cutback from the left-hand side allowing Davies to drive a deflected effort past a stranded Ortelli.
With the young Swans in the ascendancy, Davies thought he had given them the lead when he prodded home a cross from the left, only for the offside flag to cut short the celebrations.
Watford also had chances to find a winner, with Sikiru having the best of them as he latched onto a smart knockdown to get away a firm shot that was kept out by a splendid save from keeper Griffiths.
At the other end, Bony dragged an effort wide on the turn for the Swans, while Myers fired a left-footed effort narrowly wide.
But it was not to be for the home side as it ended all-square.
Swansea City Under-18s: Ewan Griffiths, Arthur Parker (Samuel Parker 60), Zane Myers, Dan Watts, Jada Mawongo, Jacob Cook, Trialist, Yori Griffith, Rohan Davies (Thomas Woodward 79), Geoff Bony (captain), Aimar Govea (Cameron Llewellyn 53)
Unused subs: Harvey Rees, Brogan Popham.
Watford Under-18s: Gabriel Ortelli, Hamzat Balogun, Christos Batzelis, Ben Casey, Harvey Peters (captain), Albert Eames, Michael Adu-Poku, Charlie Boulding, Trialist, Andres Aguilar, Prince Sikiru
Unused subs: Amin Nabizad, Roraigh Browne, Max Smith, Leo Ramirez-Espain