Report | Swansea City U23s 4 Nottingham Forest U23s 2
Josh Thomas scored a hat-trick as Swansea City Under-23s beat high-flying Nottingham Forest 4-2 at Landore.
Kai Ludvigsen was also on target with his first goal at this level as Jon Grey’s side got back to winning ways in the Professional Development League.
Grey made three changes to the side beaten at Barnsley last week.
Matthew Blake returned to captain the young Swans and Erick Kenko was handed an opportunity in the middle of the park, while Declan John got some valuable minutes under his belt.
The hosts took the lead in the 27th minute with Thomas applying the finishing touch to a fantastic one-touch move, for his first under-23s goal in over a year.
He added a second eight minutes later, latching onto Ludvigsen’s clever pass before slotting past Forest keeper Jordan Wright.
The visitors, who arrived in South Wales with seven wins from seven this season, reduced the deficit shortly afterwards courtesy of Ateef Konate’s brilliant free-kick.
But the Swans restored their two-goal advantage just after the restart with Thomas completing his hat-trick after the ball had rebounded kindly for the striker.
Ludvigsen then got in on the act in the 55th minute, turning home Blake’s inviting corner from close range.
Forest pulled a goal back through Alex Gibson-Hammond, but it was no more than a consolation as the Swans registered a well-deserved victory.
“I was very impressed with the way we played,” said under-23s coach Grey.
“Last week, I was quite critical of the boys for not getting on the ball and playing like Swansea City.
“But this was the total opposite. They wanted to get on the ball all through the game against a good team that hadn’t lost all season.
“Declan deserves a special mention. It was his first game in a while but to be fair to him, he demonstrated a first-class attitude and helped the boys throughout the game.
“There were also some really good performances from the younger lads. Obviously, Josh got his hat-trick and both centre-halves were excellent, as was Erick in midfield – he covered a lot of ground and probably had his best game at this level in a Swansea shirt.
“It was a fantastic effort from the boys. I couldn’t have asked for much more from them.”
Swansea City U23s: Jamie Searle, Jacob Jones, Declan John, Erick Kenko, Kai Ludvigsen, Scott Butler, Bradley Gibbings, Ryan Bevan, Josh Thomas, Morgan Clarke, Matthew Blake (capt).
Substitutes: Tyler Evans, Adrian Akande, Rio Campbell, Adnaan Moti, Panashe Makokowe.
Nottingham Forest U23s: Jordan Wright, Rezart Rama, Sam Sanders, Josh Barnes, Baba Fernandes, Riley Harbottle (capt), Malique Spooner, Ethan Dekel-Daks, Elliot Andrew, Ateef Konate, Alex Gibson-Hammond.
Substitutes: Michael Statham, Oliver Hammond, Dale Taylor, Jamie McDonnell, Grigoris Pietris.