Report | Swansea City U21s 5 Burnley U21s 2
Swansea City Under-21s produced a superb second-half fightback to beat Burnley and claim the opening victory of their Premier League Cup Group G campaign at Landore.
The Swans had trailed to a Michael Mellon double at the interval, but a magnificent display after the break saw Ben Lloyd grab a brace, while Lincoln McFayden, Cameron Congreve and Joe Thomas were also on the scoresheet.
The display was the perfect response to the league defeat at Coventry in their previous outing, and nicely tees up this weekend’s cup meeting with Arsenal in SA1.
Kian Jenkins, Azeem Abdulai and Lloyd had come into the home line-up as in for Brandon Cooper, Nathanael Ogbeta and Josh Thomas came out of the side.
In a high-paced start, it was the hosts who started the brightest. Joel Cotterill found space on the left and picked out Congreve on the edge of the penalty area, but the midfielder dragged his final shot wide of goal.
At the other end Ben Hughes saved a tame header from Mellon, while Lloyd then fizzed an effort wide of the Burnley goal after more good work from Congreve.
It was the visitors who would take the lead, though, at the mid-point of the opening half. Jack Turner’s cross fell kindly for Mellon, and his powerful effort cannoned into the net off keeper Hughes.
The Clarets nearly doubled the lead five minutes later, imposing centre-half Turner powerfully connected with a header from a Marcel Lewis corner but could not find the target.
Hughes then made a big double save, denying Mellon after the striker had sprinted in on goal, before acrobatically tipping over Marcel Lewis’ chip.
But there was nothing the keeper could do as Mellon found the mark again, bundling in from close range after neat work by his strike partner Joe Westley.
It was 2-0 at the break, and only Hughes’ alertness prevented Westley making it 3-0 as he denied the forward with a succession of saves.
And the home side made full use of the keeper’s heroics by pulling one back. Some lovely invention from Congreve allowed McFayden to tee up Lloyd, who found the bottom corner.
Moments later and the scores were level. Abdulai’s lovely ball over the top found the onrushing McFayden, who coolly steered the ball into the corner of the net.
The momentum was firmly with the Swans and they made the most of it by taking the lead with 15 minutes to go. Substitute Tarrelle Whittaker found space down the left and he picked out Lloyd for the midfielder to fire home his second of the game.
Burnley looked shell shocked, and things went from bad to worse for the young Clarets as the Swans scored their fourth.
Thomas was worked into space on the right and then picked out playmaker Congreve, who sent a curling effort into the bottom left-hand corner from the edge of the box.
Mellon flashed an effort across goal as Burnley desperately sought a way back into the game, but instead the young Swans struck their fifth.
Thomas headed home a stoppage-time corner to round off a rampant second-half display from the Swans.
Swansea City Under-21s: Ben Hughes, Joe Thomas, Kai Ludvigsen, Kian Jenkins, Azeem Abdulai (Sam Leverett 85), Harry Jones, Cameron Congreve, Joel Cotterill (captain), Iwan Morgan (Tarrelle Whittaker 60), Ben Lloyd (Corey Hurford 90), Lincoln McFayden.
Unused subs: Ewan Griffiths, Richard Faakye.
Burnley Under-21s: Lewis Thomas, Will Hugull (Alex Byrne 45), Bradley Helm (captain), Jack Turner, Joe Bauress, Seb Thompson (Jack Rogers 77), Kade Ratchford (Frankie Deane 60), Joe Westley. Michael Mellon, Marcel Lewis.
Unused subs: J Robinson, W Bromek.