Report | Swansea City U21s 4 Sheffield United U21s 1

24th April
Filip Lissah celebrates with goalscorer Josh Thomas

Josh Thomas scored a brace as Swansea City Under-21s returned to winning ways and maintained their 100 per cent record at the Stadium with victory over Sheffield United in the Professional Development League.

Taking on the champions of the northern section of the competition, the hosts took the lead through a Levis Pitan own goal, before Jili Buyabu levelled for the Blades.

But Thomas won and converted a penalty to put the Swans back in front before the break, and then fired in a low strike to seal the three points in the closing stages, before substitute Joe Thomas finished a superb team move to put the icing on the cake.

It meant Anthony Wright’s side bounced back from consecutive defeats, and back up wins here against Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic and Hull City with another three-point haul at the home of the senior side.

It also marked the first time the visitors had lost in the league since November.

The Swans showed two changes from their defeat at Barnsley last time out, with Harry Jones and Azeem Abdulai coming in for Kian Jenkins and Ben Blythe respectively.

The home side started well, zipping the ball about and denying the visitors an early foothold in the game.

Joe Thomas celebrates against Sheffield United

Ben Lloyd, fresh from signing a new contract just last week, showed good skill and acceleration to fire a threatening ball across the face of goal before the midfielder could not quite get on the end of a Liam Smith pull-back.

But it was Remy Mitchell in the Swansea goal who made the first save of the game, getting solidly behind Antwoine Hackford’s low strike from just inside the area.

However, it was the Swans who took the lead in the 20th minute, Smith driving towards the byline to deliver and see his cross inadvertently turned into his own net by Pitan.

The Blades sought a quick response and Luther Williams headed just over the bar from a corner a few minutes later.

The Swans responded with a lovely flowing move, working their way from back to front, where Josh Thomas saw his strike saved by Luke Faxon in the United goal.

But the visitors levelled from their next attack, Sai Sachdev driving forward down the right and picking out Buyabu for a simply finish at the far post.

However, the Sheffield youngster blotted his copybook a few moments later, bundling Josh Thomas over as he burst into the box and the Swansea striker found the net from the resulting penalty despite Faxon getting both hands to his effort.

The Swans retained their lead at the interval, but had a let-off early in the second period when Azeem Abdulai was caught in possession and Louie Marsh sent a curling shot narrowly over the bar.

It was proving a keenly-fought contest and Buyabu and Abdulai went in the book after an altercation near the touchline as the teams battled for the ascendancy.

Ben Lloyd and Josh Thomas celebrate

Kai Ludvigsen then made an important challenge as Hackford looked to turn him and get in behind the Swansea defence.

The Swans put the game to bed with 17 minutes to play, the hosts recycled the ball after Joel Cotterill’s volley had been saved and it was worked to the right side of the area for Josh Thomas to drill home his second goal of the game.

Swansea wanted more, Lloyd stinging the gloves of Faxon at the end of a flowing move, and they did added a fourth goal through substitute Joe Thomas after a sweeping move also involving Cotterill and Smith.

Swansea City Under-21s: Remy Mitchell, Harry Jones (Joe Thomas (77), Sam Leverett, Azeem Abdulai (Ben Blythe 89), Kai Ludvigsen, Filip Lissah, Cameron Congreve (Ruben Davies 69), Joel Cotterill (captain), Josh Thomas (Mitchell Bates 77), Ben Lloyd, Liam Smith.

Unused Substitutes: Kit Margetson.

Sheffield United Under-21s: Luke Faxon, Sai Sachdev, Jili Buyabu, Levis Pitan, Luther Williams, Kyron Gordon, Sydie Peck (captain), Charlie Staniland, Antwoine Hackford, Louie Marsh, Josh Smith (Fernando Macedo 73).

Unused Substitutes: Jack Waldron, Callum Yam, Ben Drake, Sam Aston