Report | Swansea City U23s 2 Wigan Athletic U23s 0

27th April
Ali Al-Hamadi

Ali Al-Hamadi bagged a brace as Swansea City Under-23s earned all three points against Wigan Athletic at Landore.

The striker was on target in each half to give the young Swans their first victory under Kris O'Leary in the Professional Development League encounter.

Al-Hamadi was in the right place at the right time to open the scoring four minutes before the break.

And the 19-year-old demonstrated terrific instincts to turn home a trialist's cross and double his tally with 20 minutes remaining.

This was the young Swans' first win in five games, while they have now lost just once in their last seven.

O'Leary made four changes from the goalless draw with Coventry City last time out.

Ollie Cooper was handed the opportunity to get valuable minutes under his belt, while there were also recalls for Lewis Webb, Scott Butler and Jake Thomas.

Wigan arrived in South Wales unbeaten in three games and went close to breaking the deadlock in the eighth minute, as Thomas turned a low cross against his own post before Webb gratefully gathered the loose ball.

The Swans' starting 11 included three trialists and one of them demonstrated great awareness to pick out Cooper with a lofted ball in the 27th minute.

The winger subsequently raced away from his marker, before drawing a smart save out of Sam Tickle from a tight angle.

At the other end, Kyle Joseph squandered a tremendous opportunity for the visitors, blazing over from inside the six-yard box after connecting with an inviting cross.

But it was the Swans who drew first blood four minutes before the break.

A cross from the right ricocheted kindly for Al-Hamadi and, although needing a second bite at it, he eventually tucked away from close range.

Wigan looked to respond after the break and twice went close through Joseph.

On both occasions, the striker worked space to shoot, only to drag his efforts wide of the far post.

The Swans went close to doubling their lead midway through the second half as one of the trialists embarked on an impressive individual run before shooting straight at Tickle.

But the Wigan goalkeeper was helpless as the hosts grabbed the all-important second goal with 20 minutes remaining.

The same trialist delivered a brilliant cross from the right, with Al-Hamadi perfectly placed to apply the finishing touch.

The Iraqi-born forward should have completed his hat-trick in the dying moments, but was just unable to turn home another inviting centre.

Nevertheless, his double took his tally for the season to seven goals, and was enough to secure a first win of the O'Leary reign.

Swans U23s: Lewis Webb; Harry Jones, Scott Butler, Jake Thomas, Trialist; Ryan Bevan, Daniel Williams (capt), Trialist (Michael Murphy, 77); Trialist, Ali Al-Hamadi, Ollie Cooper (Bradley Gibbings, 61).

Subs not used: Jamie Searle, Jacob Jones, Rio Campbell.

Wigan U23s: Sam Tickle, Scott Smith, Adam Long, Trialist, Jack Sanders (Kieran Lloyd, 89), Chris Merrie, Trialist, Alex Perry, Kyle Joseph, Chris Sze (Tom Costello, 73), Trialist.

Subs not used: Tom Watson, Harry McHugh.