Report | Swansea City U21s 4 Queens Park Rangers U21s 0
Swansea City Under-21s swept to a fifth win in a row as they eased past their Queens Park Rangers counterparts at the Swansea.com Stadium.
A first-half penalty spot from Joel Cotterill gave the young Swans the half-time lead.
Further goals followed from Lincoln McFayden, Josh Thomas and Tarrelle Whittaker to wrap up the three points and send the Swans up to third in the Professional Development League table.
Coaches Jon Grey and Anthony Wright had been looking for their side to continue their 100 percent home record as they played at the Swansea.com Stadium for the second time this season.
They made three changes to the starting line-up, Harry Jones replacing the suspended Wasiri Williams at the back, Lincoln McFayden coming in for a start in midfield and Josh Thomas returning to the starting line-up for Liam Cullen.
Paul Hall’s struggling visitors, without a win in their last five league outings, were looking for more of the reliance shown to come back from 4-0 down to share a thrilling 4-4 draw against Ipswich in their previous game.
And it was Queens Park Rangers who had the game's first chance as Sean drilled a shot just wide of Ben Hughes’ post after seizing on a loose pass.
The young Hoops came close again moments later, full back Arkel Jude-Boyd forcing Hughes to produce the game's first save.
This sprung the young Swans into life. McFayden had the first opportunity but we denied by QPR keeper Matteo Salamon after a neat cut-back from Cotterill.
Utalising the space of the Swansea.com Stadium pitch to settle into their fluid passing game, Cameron Congreve became increasingly influential for the hosts. He linked well with striker Josh Thomas, before namesake Joe tested the palms of Salamon once more.
Swans keeper Ben Hughes then came to the rescue for his side as the dangerous Jude-Boyd carved an opening for Steven Bala to strike low toward the left-hand corner. Hughes, in fine form that has seen him keep clean sheets in his previous three outings for the under 21s, was up to the task.
However, the hosts looked the more likely to find an opener and they did so five minutes before half-time.
Joe Thomas was rashly challenged by Trent Mahorn-Rande and the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot, with Cotterill firing the spot-kick confidently into the left top corner.
The young Swans could feel aggrieved not to have doubled their lead by the time the half-time whistle sounded.
Firstly, McFayden was denied by Salamon after an excellent turn by Josh Thomas, before the striker rattled the post at the end of a flowing move.
Nevertheless, the young Swans started as they left off in the second period. The impressive trio of Congreve, Cotterill and Josh Thomas fashioning an opportunity with slick interplay, with Thomas’ clever flick unable to beat Salamon.
But the hosts had their reward five minutes later. Josh Thomas crossed low across the box to the back post where an unmarked McFayden finished at the second time of asking.
Thomas then turned from supplier to scorer as Rangers’ challenge faded. A defensive miscommunication between defender and goalkeeper saw the young forward race onto a ball on the halfway line before slotting into an empty net with Salamon stranded.
Rangers never recovered and there were further opportunities for McFayden and Congreve, before substitute Whittaker’s neat clipped finished put further gloss on the score to make it 4-0.
That was how it finished as the development side turned in the latest excellent display in their fine run of form.
Swansea City Under-21s: Ben Hughes, Joe Thomas, Harry Jones (Kai Ludvigsen 77), Azeem Abdulai (Tarrelle Whittaker 65), Brandon Cooper (captain), Nathanael Ogbeta, Cameron Congreve, Joel Cotterill, Josh Thomas, Ben Lloyd (Corey Hurford 77), Lincoln McFayden (Kian Jenkins 70).
Unused subs: Evan Watts.
Queens Park Rangers Under-21s: Matteo Salamon, Arkel Jude-Boyd, Isaac Pitblado, Ivo Rossi, Trent Mahorn-Rendall, Riley Cotter, Steven Bala, Harry Murphy, Alfie Lloyd, Stan Flaherty, Sean Adarkwa.
Unused subs: Elijah Anthony, Harry Cant, Joseph Ajose, Harun Hamid, Samuel Sackey