Report | Swansea City U21s 0 Stoke City U21s 4
Swansea City Under-21s face an uphill task to reach the next stage of the Premier League Cup after suffering defeat against Stoke City at Landore.
Four goals from young Potters’ striker Nathan Lowe made the difference as the young Swans found themselves well beaten in the Group G encounter against the category one visitors.
In the first of consecutive fixtures against the Potteries outfit, the Swans had been looking to bounce back from their 4-1 defeat to Arsenal last time out in the competition.
Coaches Jon Grey and Anthony Wright named a youthful side with a number of players away at the first-team training camp in Scotland.
Wasiri Williams skippered the side, with Corey Hurford and Tarrelle Whittaker the other regulars to feature in the starting line-up.
On a cold crisp afternoon, the young Swans started brightly, Hurford fashioning a speculative effort from range to test away keeper Tommy Simkin.
It was Stoke though who came closest in the early stages, Lowe driving an effort wide from the edge of the area after neat play by Josh Roney in midfield.
The Swans then nearly opened the scoring during an open start to proceedings. Sam Leverett forcing Simkin into a fingertip save to tip the midfielder's effort over the bar.
Hurford, prominent early on in the Swansea midfield, then almost caught out Simkin with a deft chip from 20 yards.
But Stoke began to enjoy periods of sustained pressure in the Swansea half, with Remy Mitchell making a good save to deny Kahrel Reddin’s low drive.
But the keeper could do nothing when Geoff Bony’s rash challenge on Lowe led to the award of a penalty, which the Stoke forward duly dispatched.
Lowe was proving a real nuisance and he forced Mitchell into another sharp stop before doubling Stoke’s lead as he coolly steered in Reddin’s excellent cross from the right.
It ensured Stoke led 2-0 at the break and the Swans opened the second period urgently seeking a way back into the game.
Sam Parker fired over the bar from Leverett’s cutback, but there were few further clear opportunities for the hosts and Lowe put the game to bed when he seized on an error to complete his hat-trick 10 minutes from time.
The forward was not done yet, picking up the ball a few minutes later and firing a low drive into the bottom corner.
Bony had a late chance for the Swans, firing wide from the edge of the area as the Potters took the points.
Swansea City U21s: Remy Mitchell, Kai Ludvigsen, Arthur Parker, Sam Leverett, Wasiri Williams (captain), Sam Parker (Cameron Llewellyn 90), Corey Hurford, Dan Watts (Jada Mawongo 85), Geoff Bony (Rohan Davies 90), Tarrelle Whittaker, Zane Myers (Aimar Govea 68).
Unused subs: Ewan Griffiths
Stoke City U21s: Tommy Simkin, Kahrel Reddin (Tom Curl 87), Liam McCarron (Christy Grogan,61), Gabriel Adebambo, Matthew Baker (captain), Josh Roney, Daniel Malone, Ben Kershaw, Nathan Lowe, Sonny Singh (George Lewis 76), Dara McGuiness.
Unused Subs: Tom Curl, Tommy Jackson, Ali Ali Hayder.