Report | Swansea City U23s 1 Ipswich Town U23s 1

8th March 2021
Ali Al-Hamadi

Swansea City Under-23s began life under Kris O'Leary with a draw against Ipswich Town at Landore.

After Josh Gould saved Kai Brown's penalty, the Swans took a deserved first-half lead through Ali Al-Hamadi's fifth goal of the season.

But Ipswich equalised midway through the second with Zak Brown slotting home from the spot.

The young Swans can count themselves unlucky not to have taken maximum points from the Professional Development League South encounter.

They created numerous opportunities to add to their tally, but were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Ipswich finished the game with 10 men after substitute Cameron Humphreys was shown a second yellow card in stoppage time.

In his first game in charge, O'Leary made three changes from last week's win at Millwall.

He handed starts to Gould and Brandon Cooper, who were given the opportunity to get valuable game time under their belts after returning from loan spells at Barry Town United and Newport respectively, while Rio Campbell was also recalled.

Seeking a third consecutive win, the hosts made a bright start and had a great chance to break the deadlock after just three minutes.

Cameron Congreve's neat through ball released Al-Hamadi in behind the defence, but Ipswich keeper Bert White did well to deny the striker before Morgan Clarke's follow-up was blocked.

Fresh from two goals in two games for the under-18s, Campbell then went close as he fired just over from Clarke's low cross.

Ipswich had slowly grown into the contest, but were awarded a penalty against the run of play in the 18th minute after Campbell tripped Kai Brown.

However, Gould came to the Swans' rescue; guessing correctly to push Brown's spot-kick wide.

The Swans subsequently turned up the pressure and grabbed a thoroughly deserved opening goal just three minutes later.

Once again, Campbell was involved as he controlled Daniel Williams' terrific diagonal ball before crossing for Al-Hamadi, who swept home.

The hosts threatened a second before the break with Ryan Bevan shooting straight at the goalkeeper, who then got down well to hold onto Al-Hamadi's low drive.

Swansea were then denied by the woodwork twice early in the second half.

First, Al-Hamadi rattled the crossbar following a fine individual run, before Williams' fierce long-range strike clipped the outside of the post.

Al-Hamadi had another opportunity soon after as he raced in behind the defence, but his hesitation at the vital moment allowed White to close the angle and save.

And having ridden their luck, Ipswich equalised at the midway point in the second half.

Jake Thomas was penalised for bringing down Zak Brown, who picked himself up to send Gould the wrong way.

The Swans looked to respond immediately and thought they had regained the lead when Al-Hamadi tucked the ball home.

But the assistant denied the hosts as Cooper had marginally strayed into an offside position before nodding the ball into the path of the striker.

The hosts finished strongly at Landore as they desperately sought a winning goal.

A combination of good saves and bad luck denied Al-Hamadi on a couple of occasions, while substitute Jordi Govea hit the side-netting after rounding the goalkeeper, who then tipped away Williams' long-range strike.

The Swans survived a scare right at the death when Humphreys went down in the box, but the referee issued the substitute with a second yellow card for simulation.

Swansea City U23s: Josh Gould; Harry Jones, Jake Thomas, Brandon Cooper, Cian Williams (Scott Butler, 70); Daniel Williams (captain), Ryan Bevan, Cameron Congreve (Ben Lloyd, 81); Morgan Clarke, Ali Al-Hamadi, Rio Campbell (Jordi Govea, 62).

Subs not used: Jamie Searle, Joel Cotterill.

Ipswich Town U23s: Bert White, Dylan Crowe, Ross Crane, Fraser Alexander, Elkan Baggott, Bailey Clements (captain; Cameron Humphreys, 51), Kai Brown (Colin Oppong, 51), Callum Page, Zak Brown, Armando Dobra, Zader Siziba.

Subs: Tyreece Simpson, Kai Brown, Ross Crane.