Report | Swansea City U21s 0 AFC Bournemouth U21s 3

3rd August 2022
Azeem Abdulai

Swansea City Under-21s fell to defeat against AFC Bournemouth in their final pre-season friendly match ahead of the new campaign.

A first-half brace for Nathan Moira-Welsh and a second-half header by Ben Greenwood sealed defeat for the Swans, who failed to convert a penalty late on.

Moira-Welsh gave the visitors the lead inside two minutes when a misplaced back pass put the forward one-on-one with Archie Matthews. The keeper came off his line quickly, but was bested by a neat chipped finish.

Swans did have the ball in the net two minutes later when Dan Williams and Ollie Cooper combined. It was a calm finish from the latter, but he was denied by the assistant referee’s flag.

While Bournemouth were creating a number of chances with crosses from wide flashing across the face of the Swans goal, Matthews first real intervention was to take the ball off the toes of a visiting striker to deny what had looked a certain goal after the offside trap had been beaten.

At the other end, Josh Thomas had two half-chances, but found himself crowded out both times by a well-organised Cherries’ defence.

Swans first shot on target came from Joel Cotterill when he tested the keeper direct from a free-kick at the edge of the box.

But Bournemouth’s pressure eventually told with less than five minutes remaining in the half. The ball down the line and the cut-back caused Swansea problems and, while Matthews was able to block the first shot, the rebound fell for Moira-Welsh to fire a low effort just inside the near post to double the visitors' lead.

Cooper could have got one back for the Swans with the final kick of the half after good work from Thomas set him up, but he got the ball tangled in his feet and Bournemouth were able to clear the danger.

Ben Lloyd had a few early chances for the Swans in the second half. Excellent individual skill from the 17-year-old saw him glide beyond the challenges of the visitors, but his shot was blocked. He then blasted over after Cotterill found him with a cut-back.

Matthews pulled off a fingertip save, to deny Bournemouth a third before the visitors headed inches wide from the resulting corner.

Greenwood scored Bournemouth’s third with 20 minutes remaining and Moira-Welsh was involved again. He stepped over the cross from the right, before the Cherries’ skipper tapped in at the back post.

The Swans continued to struggle to take their chances in front of goal, but Lloyd looked the most likely. He had two chances in quick succession before being brought down in the Bournemouth box to win a penalty.

However, Thomas’ spot-kick was saved to sum up the hosts' afternoon in front of goal.

And Thomas would have been scratching his head as to how his effort at the near post a few minutes later stayed out. After rebounding between the upright and the keeper’s back, the ball somehow ended up in the keeper’s hands to ensure the Swans would end the game goalless.