Report | Swansea City U21s 3 Reading U18s 1

17th March
Corey Hurford

Goals from Ruben Davies, Tivonge Rushesha and Corey Hurford ensured Swansea City Under-21s claimed all three points against Reading at Landore in the Professional Development League. 

Two goals in two minutes from Davies and Rushesha had the Swans well in control in the opening stages. 

The Royals pulled one back in the second half, as Adrian Akande – who spent over a year on Swansea’s books – converted from the spot. Substitutes Iwan Morgan and Hurford made an impact on introduction with the former teeing up the latter beautifully for the Swans' third. 

There were numerous changes to the side that fell to defeat against Queens Park Rangers last time out. Ben Lloyd, Joel Cotterill and Liam Smith returned to the starting line-up, whilst Kian Jenkins, Lincoln McFayden, Cameron Congreve and Josh Thomas missed out with Thomas out through suspension.  

Swansea’s February signing Andreas Søndergaard started between the sticks to earn some needed minutes. Under-18s' Ewan Griffiths on the bench.  

The Swans enjoyed the majority of possession early on. Rushesha slotted in seamlessly to the midfield zipping the ball about with Joe Thomas, winning a couple of key battles before the ball was put out of play by the Royal’s defence. 

Harry Jones chipped a clever ball into the path of Rushesha, who swung in deep to collect, but the assistant had flagged the play offside. 

The home side swiftly took control of proceedings and dominated with the ball at their feet, before they took a 12th minute lead. 

Lloyd drove down the left flank, beating off a crowd of Reading players in the process, before delivering a superb cross to Davies, finishing it off with a tap-in from close range. 

Tivonge Rushesha QPR

Two minutes had barely passed, and the Swans were two goals to the good. Rushesha – with his second goal in as many games – proved untouchable on the edge of the area before firing home a low effort. 

Down the other end, the visitors had their first real chance of the afternoon with Hamid Abdel-Salam's strike from outside the area parried off the crossbar causing no trouble for debutant Søndergaard. 

Smith found the side netting from close range, after a neat one-two play between Rushesha and Jones – who's initial cross evaded the Reading goal before finding the Scottish international.  

Lloyd had a shot saved by Harvey Collins on the stroke of half-time, but the Swans headed back to the dressing room having barely been troubled. 

The Royals had started the second half with energy and renewed purpose – Lui Bradbury’s free-kick challenged the Swans stopper for the first time, but the referee stopped play due a foul in the box.  

Joe Thomas saw a shot blocked by Boyd Beacroft after Rushesha skipped away down the centre finding the right wing-back in a promising position.  

Soon after, Dan Watts and Hurford came off the bench, Joe Thomas and Lloyd made way, with the latter coming off due to a knock.

Iwan Morgan

Rushesha then came close to a second as his firm strike was tipped away for a Swansea corner, which was well cleared by the visitors. 

The game became an end-to-end battle, with Reading becoming more aggressive, and they were to be rewarded a penalty following a foul in the Swans box. 

And it was former Swansea City academy player Akande who converted from the spot. Søndergaard went the right way, but it proved too strong for the Danish keeper. 

However, the Swans weren't left to woe. Substitute Morgan proved to make an immediate impact on arrival, producing a lovely flick back to Hurford who evaded Reading’s wall of defenders to drill home past Collins. 

The men in white eased control in the final stages, and stood their ground to claim the league double over the Royals. 

Swansea City Under-21s: Andreas Søndergaard, Harry Jones (Richard Faakye 72'), Sam Leverett, Azeem Abdulai, Tivonge Rushesha, Joe Thomas (Dan Watts 52'), Liam Smith, Ruben Davies (Iwan Morgan 72'), Joel Cotterill, Ben Lloyd (Corey Hurford 52’) 

Unused subs: Ewan Griffiths.  

Reading Under-21s: Harvey Collins, Sam Paul, Matthew Carson, Josh Green, Boyd Beacroft, Geneiro Maragh, Adrian Akande, Hamid Abdel-Salam (Jeremiah Okine-Peters 32’), Rakaelen Jeffers (Caycan Vickers 50’), Lui Bradbury (Nahum Melvin-Lambert 50’), Mamadi Camara (captain). 

Unused subs: Ayyuba Jambang, Thomas Norcott.