Report | Swansea City U18s 2 Birmingham City U18s 2

18th March 2023
Dan Watts

Goals from Dan Watts and Richard Faakye wasn't enough for Swansea City Under-21s to claim all three points against ten-man Birmingham City as they had to settle for a point in their Professional Development League clash at Landore.

The Swans took a 10th minute lead through Watts’ brilliant free-kick from outside the box, But Birmingham's O'Shea Ellis levelled for the visitors.

The home side were unable to capitalise on their chances as Alvaro Ruiz-Rente tapped in from close range in the opening stages of the second half to give Birmingham the lead, but the Swans hit back to earn a point as Faakye converted from the penalty spot.

Under-16 Callum Deacon made his first start for the upper-age group, after featuring as a substitute for the previous two outings.  

And new scholar Jack Fanning made his first appearance for his new club after being introduced at half-time, whilst Jada Mawongo returned to the side after a slight knock. 

It is the first time the two sides have met in the Professional Development League, after the Blues were to operate as a category two academy set-up ahead of this season.  

There was an anxious moment early on for the Swans as Ben Beresford capitalised on a loose ball to take it round Kit Margetson, but the keeper did well to stop the forward from going any further. 

The opening stages were quiet at either end of the pitch, but the Swans were soon on the front foot. 

A free-kick was awarded in a dangerous position after a foul on the edge of the area, with Dan Watts producing a lovely strike to send the ball flying past Ollie Sayer.  

Ruiz-Rente and Stoyan Pergelov both saw headers blocked in the Swans box, with Margetson and Arthur Parker both making crucial interventions to deny the visitors an equaliser.

Richard Faakye embarked on a lovely mazy run down the left flank that took him from his own half to the edge of the Blues area, before teeing up Rohan Davies to fire home - only for the offside flag to deny him.

Richard Faakye

Birmingham sent more players forward in search of a leveller, as Thomas Woodward did brilliantly to block Pergelov’s volley before Beresford’s strike had Margetson scampering.  

After a couple of slips of possession, the Swans let the visitors back in. Ellis had plenty of time to gather himself outside the area, before sweeping it home past the advancing Margetson to level proceedings. 

A quick release from Ruiz-Rente had him on course for a solo goal just before the break, but David Roberts’ physicality fairly brought the striker down before he could cause any danger. 

The restart saw the introduction of Thomas Searle and Fanning, with the former seeing his first touch on the ball punched away by Sayer. 

But it wasn't long before the game turned on its head. Cameron Eubank's initial right-footed shot parried off the near post and Ruiz-Rente was on hand to slot home the rebound to put the Blues ahead.

There was another unlucky moment for the home side as Faakye's header found the net following a Swans corner, but the flag was raised once more to deny the hosts.

Things looked to get better for the Swans as Faakye - who had been dangerously tackled moments earlier - won his team a spot-kick after being fouled in the box. The midfielder took it upon himself take the penalty, and he stepped up to fire home the equaliser.

The drama continued into stoppage time as a Blues defender was shown a red card for a foul on Caio Ifans and there were calls for another penalty, but the referee waved them away. 

Despite a handful of chances from Faakye and Woodward in the closing stages, the Swans had to settle for a point. 

Swansea City Under-18s: Kit Margetson, David Roberts, Arthur Parker, Jacob Cook, Jada Mawongo (Jack Fanning 45'), Richard Faakye, Thomas Woodward, Dan Watts (Caio Ifans 85'), Iwan Morgan (Thomas Searle 45'), Rohan Davies, Callum Deacon. 

Unused Subs: Ewan Griffiths. 

Birmingham City Under-18s: Ollie Sayer, Ife Oni, Godfred Boakye (Trae Briscoe 78'), Zach Willis, Chris Ogar, Engwau Oduka, Cameron Eubank (Niall Rushton 67'), O’Shea Ellis, Ben Beresford, Alvaro Ruiz-Rente (Morgan Dance 67'), Stoyan Pergeelov (Tyreece Thomas 60') 

Unused Subs: Will O’Sullivan.