Report | Swansea City U23s 3 Colchester United U23s 3
Swansea City Under-23s were held to a 3-3 draw by Colchester United in an entertaining Professional Development League encounter at Landore.
A Liam Cullen brace sandwiched a fine strike by Oli Cooper as the young Swans opened up commanding 3-0 lead early in the second half.
However, Colchester fought back to snatch a point, although the hosts did well to hold on for a share of the spoils after Daniel Williams’ red card in the latter stages of the contest.
Jon Grey and Martin Davies made eight changes to the side that were beaten 3-0 by Bristol City last time out, with Cullen and Jordon Garrick handed opportunities to get some valuable game time under their belts.
There was also a first start of the season for Joe Lewis in defence, while 16-year-old summer arrival Adrian Akandi was handed a debut at this level.
The Swans took the lead from the penalty spot in the 27th minute. Cullen marked his first under-23s appearance in just over eight months by finding the net after Garrick was pushed in the box.
Cooper doubled the advantage just eight minutes later with a fine strike following a wonderful move of over 20 passes by the hosts.
Nine minutes into the second half, it was three with Cullen notching his second after connecting with Williams’ inviting free-kick – making it 12 goals in his last five appearances for the development side.
At that point, the Swans were cruising, but they were pegged back within a minute after a neat cross was met by a half-volley that left Jamie Searle with no chance.
Searle was beaten again by a header at the far post in the 65th minute as the visitors capitalised after the hosts failed to take opportunities to kill off the game.
And a penalty completed Colchester’s comeback four minutes from time as Williams was penalised for a tug in the box and subsequently shown a second yellow card.
“We’re a little bit disappointed with the result,” said under-23s coach Grey.
“We were 3-0 up at one point and we’ve and created and missed enough chances to win three or four games; the game should have been out of sight.
“There were times in the game when we needed possession of the ball rather than trying to score whenever we had it.
“We created that many chances that we just thought we’d score every time we went forward. In the end, the game became like a basketball match.
“Overall, there are plenty of positives with players getting game time and scoring goals, but the lesson we want them to learn is that if you’re cruising, we don’t need to score every time we go forward.
“When you’re winning a game comfortably and dominating, the players must learn that we don’t always have to be so open. It’s then time to kill the game.
“There were mistakes made, but the most important thing is that we learn from them.”
Swansea City U23s: Jamie Searle; Tivonge Rushesha, Cameron Evans (capt), Joe Lewis, Matthew Blake; Daniel Williams, Harry Pinchard; Jordon Garrick (Ali Al-Hamadi, ht; Bradley Gibbings, 70), Oli Cooper (Ryan Bevan, 78), Adrian Akandi; Liam Cullen.
Subs not used: Tyler Evans, Jacob Jones.