Report | Swansea City U21s 3 Charlton Athletic U21s 2
Swansea City Under 21s sealed a thrilling Professional Development League victory over Charlton Athletic at Landore as substitute Ben Lloyd struck the winner moments after being introduced from the bench.
The sides had gone into the break level after Tarrelle Whittaker’s immediate equaliser cancelled out Daniel Kanu’s 11th minute opener for the Addicks.
Charlton then took the lead five minutes into the second half through Harvey Kedwell, but once again the young Swans levelled with an instant response from Joel Cotterill’s deflected effort, before substitute Lloyd’s strike took all three points for the hosts.
In-form under-18s' striker Geoff Bony had replaced suspended top scorer Josh Thomas for the young Swans, who showed three alterations to the side which lost 4-3 last time out against Cardiff. There was a change in goal with Ben Hughes replacing Remi Mitchel, with Cameron Congreve coming in for Lloyd
The Swans were looking to build on their unbeaten home record in the PDL, while Charlton looking to improve a run of one win from their previous five games.
The game started at a frenetic pace, both sides keen to put their imprint on the opening proceedings, both intent on producing neat crisp passing football, with the Swans edging possession without fashioning a clear-cut opportunity.
It was the visitors who took the lead. A free-kick was whipped in from the right-hand side by Kedwell, to find Lucas Ness at the back post unmarked.
Ben Hughes made a fine stop to keeper out his header, but Kanu was on hand to tap home his seventh goal in five league games this season.
The lead was not to last long. The Swans responded straight away, breaking up the right-hand side with Joe Thomas. His low driven cross across the box found Whittaker unmarked at the far post to smash home his fifth goal of the season.
The goal sparked a dominant spell for the Swans. Congreve stung the palms of the keeper with a rasping effort from range, with Azeem Abdulai also forcing another smart save.
Charlton though were the side to have the next opportunity on the counter-attack. The impressive Kanu and midfielder Tolu Ladapo combined before the latter’s curling effort looked to be heading into the bottom corner from 25 yards, only for Hughes to make an excellent fingertip save.
The young Swans continued to dictate the tempo but could not find the breakthrough as the sides moved into the break level.
Wasiri Williams came close to a third goal in two games just after the restart, but was unable to connect properly with Cotterill's corner.
The Addicks continued to threaten on the counter, but found Hughes in imperious form in the Swans goal, denying Jason Adigun from close range.
It was the Addicks who then re-took the lead after Brandon Cooper was caught in possession by Kedwell. The midfielder raced through on goal to unleash a powerful effort that flew into the net via the woodwork.
But Swansea again replied almost immediately Swans, Cotteril driving in a low corner which found the Charlton net via a deflection.
Both sides had chances to add to their tally but it would be substitute Lloyd who would prove the matchwinner.
Moments after his introduction the young midfielder fired home from Cotterill's centre to put the young Swans side in front for the first time.
The hosts defended well through the latter periods of play to protect their lead and earn an impressive victory, which maintains their 100 percent home record this season against a strong Addicks outfit.
Swansea City Under-21s: Ben Hughes, Joe Thomas, Wasiri Williams, Azeem Abdulai, Brandon Cooper (captain), Nathanael Ogbeta, Tarrelle Whittaker (Corey Hurford 77), Joel Cotterill, Geoff Bony (Ben Lloyd 68), Cameron Congreve, Lincoln McFayden. (Kai Ludvigsen 82).
Unused subs: Remy Mitchell, Kian Jenkins.
Charlton Athletic Under-21s: Ahmed Kone, Richard Chin, Tobey Bower, Karoy Anderson, Lucas Ness (captain), Zach Mitchell, Tolu Ladpo (Mack Reilly 86), Harvey Kedwell (Seydil Toure 62), Daniel Kanu, Jason Adigun, Sahid Kamara (Ryan Viggars 82).
Unused subs: Henry Molyneux, Aaron Henry.