Report | Swansea City U21s 2 Millwall U21s 0
Liam Cullen and Cameron Congreve were on the scoresheet as Swansea City Under-21s continued their strong home form with victory over Millwall at Landore in the Professional Development League.
Cullen and Congreve had both featured as late substitutes in the senior side’s south Wales derby victory over Cardiff, and they were quickly back in action as they were among a number of first-team squad members to get valuable game time under their belts.
Cullen opened the scoring as he finished from Congreve’s fine through ball, before the midfielder rattled in a superb strike to double the lead and seal the three points.
Coaches Jon Grey and Anthony Wright had made four changes to their line-up, with Fin Stevens, Armstrong Oko-Flex, Remy Mitchell and Harry Jones all starting.
The young Millwall side came into the match in second place in the Professional Development League South table having won eight of their 10 league matches this campaign, suffering their only defeat in a 2-1 reverse at Reading last month.
Ex-Swansea City striker Kevin Nugent was in charge of the visitors and made two changes to their line-up with captain Besart Topalloj returning in defence, while Raees Bangura-Williams was handed a start in midfield.
The young Swans team started brightly in front of onlooking head coach Russell Martin. Brandon Cooper started a neat move from the back, finding Stevens out wide. His delivery forced an early corner as the Swans looked to claim the early impetus in proceedings.
Ben Lloyd showed neat skill on the left-hand side to create the first opening of the game on nine minutes, taking on full-back George Walker before teeing up Joel Cotterill to drill a low effort at visiting keeper Jordan Gilmore.
There was fluidity to the young Swans play, with Cotterill busy in midfield dictating play. He nearly set Cullen free with one lovely pass only for the move to be halted by the offside flag, while Armstrong Oko-Flex was having plenty of joy down the left flank.
Patience was going to be key for the Swans against a stubborn visiting defence, but the breakthrough did come in the 34th minute as Cullen raced onto Congreve’s pass to beat Gilmore.
Congreve and Cotterill combined to work room for an Oko-Flex shot which flashed across the face of goal as the Swans went in a goal to the good at the interval.
The Swans started the second period as they finished the first, full of energy and invention. Cotterill ran at the Millwall defense before teeing up Congreve, whose shot just went wide of Gillmore’s post.
Congreve was not to be denied though, and moments later he again found room on the edge of the penalty area and bent an effort into the top corner to double the Swans lead.
The young Swans almost got a third minute later as Congreve once again found space from Azeem Abdulai’s pass, but this time he fired over the bar.
A break in play for treatment to players from both sides disrupted the pace of the game as the second half progressed.
But the hosts remained in control and looked the most likely to add to the scoreline, with Remy Mitchell in the Swans goal enjoying a quiet afternoon between the sticks.
Kyle Smith did test the Swans' keeper late on, with the former Arsenal youngster producing a fine reaction save.
And Millwall’s afternoon was summed up when George Walker fired an effort high over the Swans crossbar when well placed in the final moments.
Next up for the young Swans is another home fixture on Friday afternoon in Landore against Charlton Athletic, kick-off is at 2pm and is free for supporters to attend.
Swansea City Under-21s: Remy Mitchell, Fin Stevens (Joe Thomas 60), Harry Jones (Kai Ludvigsen 70), Azeem Abdulai, Brandon Cooper (captain), Nathanael Ogbeta, Cameron Congreve, Joel Cotterill, Liam Cullen, Ben Lloyd (Tarrelle Whittaker 80), Armstrong Oko-Flex (Lincoln McFayden 60).
Unused subs: Ben Hughes
Millwall Under-21s: Jordan Gillmore, George Walker, Nino Adom-Alaki, Besart Topalloj (captain), Kamal Grant, Arthur Penney, Raees Bangura-Williams (Seb Drozd 45), Alfie Allen, Tom Leahy (Kyle Smith 45), Abdul Abdulmalik, Nana Boeteng.
Unused subs: Henry Hearn, Albert Penney, Seb Drozd, Romain Esse.