Report | Swansea City U23s 5 Cardiff City U23s 1
Swansea City Under-23s made a blistering start to the Professional Development League season with a thumping victory over Cardiff City at Landore.
Goals from Daniel Williams, Kristoffer Peterson and Jordon Garrick gave the development side a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time, while further strikes from Ali Al-Hamadi and Cameron Evans after the break completed the rout.
For their first competitive game in six months, the young Swans fielded a starting XI featuring four first-year pros and two scholars, while Garrick and Peterson were given the opportunity to get valuable minutes under their belts.
Jon Grey and Martin Davies also handed an under-23s' debut to 16-year-old Cameron Congreve in the latter stages, against a Cardiff side featuring six players with over 700 Football League appearances between them.
But after an even opening, the hosts took full control of the contest.
They broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute when Williams left Cardiff keeper Joe Day clutching at thin air with a magnificent 25-yard free-kick that curled in off the post for his first goal at this level.
Peterson doubled the lead four minutes before half-time, showing great composure under extreme pressure in the box with a couple of neat touches to beat his opponents before slotting home.
Within three minutes it was 3-0, as a long ball broke kindly for Garrick, who fired a low shot into the bottom corner.
Steve Morison’s Cardiff narrowed the deficit 17 minutes into the second half with one of the few clear chances they created, as substitute Isaak Davies set up Chanka Zimba to pull one back.
Davies then shot agonisingly wide soon after as the visitors looked to build on their momentum.
But the Swans responded in the 72nd minute when substitute Al-Hamadi finished from a rebound after initially playing in Garrick, who was denied by Day.
Garrick was involved again as Evans put the icing on the cake 12 minutes from time.
Picking up the ball inside his own half, the skipper ran into the open space and exchanged passes with Garrick before firing home to round off a five-goal, five-star performance.
“I’m over the moon with how we’ve started,” said under-23s' coach Grey.
“All credit to the boys, they’ve put in a good shift in really warm conditions and absolutely worked their socks off.
“After 15 minutes it was close but, after that, we completely dominated the game and fully deserved the victory.
“Credit must also be given to the first-team players that dropped in – they worked their socks off too and showed the gaffer that they’re ready to go if and when they’re needed.”
Swansea City U23s: Lewis Webb, Tivonge Rushesha, Jacob Jones, Jake Thomas, Cameron Evans (captain), Scott Butler, Daniel Williams, Oli Cooper, Jordon Garrick (Bradley Gibbings, 80), Ryan Bevan (Cameron Congreve, 80), Kristoffer Peterson (Ali Al-Hamadi, 60).
Unused substitutes: Tyler Evans, Harry Jones.
Cardiff City U23s: Joe Day, Cameron McWilliams, Greg Cunningham, Tavio D’Almeida (captain), Aden Flint, Joel Bagan, Ryan Kavanagh (Sam Bowen, 46), Tom Sang, Chanka Zimba (Rubin Colwill, 80), Mark Harris, Kieron Evans (Isaak Davies, 61).
Unused substitutes: Jaimie Cogman, Oliver Denham.