Report | Watford U18s 3 Swansea City U18s 4
A first-half hat-trick from Geoff Bony and strike from Iwan Morgan ensured Swansea City Under-18s claimed a second consecutive win as they edged Watford to 4-3 win a seven-goal thriller at the Hornets' training base.
The Swans led through Morgan in the early stages, and the score line was soon doubled through Bony just two minutes later, with the Wales Under-17 international involved again.
Bony went on to complete his hat-trick within 45 minutes, the Hornets pulling one back in the mean time through Aaron Benn.
The first-half started in Watford's favour with substitute Bogdan Marion proving the difference, netting two free-kicks from two chances, but the Swans prevailed to hold on to claim the victory.
There was just the one change to the Swans team that claimed victory over Bristol City last time out, with Kit Margetson replacing Ewan Griffiths between the sticks and Under-16s' keeper Isaac Dudding named on the bench for the first time.
The first chance fell to the home side inside five minutes. Andres Aguilar – who netted Watford’s only goal in the reverse fixture – saw his deflected strike fumble into the safe hands of Margetson.
Iwan Morgan then produced a lovely flick on the half-way line to tee in Thomas Woodward on the right.
And with 10 minutes played, the visitors took the lead. Dan Watts won the ball in the Watford half and opted to feed in Morgan from close range who chipped the ball past the Hornets stopper.
It was all Swansea from the restart, and the Swans swept up the other end to double the lead just two minutes later.
Morgan turned provider for the Swans’ second. A driving pass found Bony’s run, and the striker showed great composure to slot home at the near post.
It could have been three for visitors moments later. Zane Myers broke free down the left flank and his superb delivery found Thomas Woodward’s head in the box to direct it into the back of the net, but the assistant had flagged for offside.
But the Swans made up for their offside woes, as Bony would bag a brace before the half-hour mark. Cameron Llewellyn – whose brilliant delivery set up Myers’ goal last time out – produced yet another threatening cross and this time, Bony was there to head in his second of the afternoon.
Nearing the break, the Hornets lessened the deficit after taking advantage of a Swansea defensive mistake. Benn latched on to the loose ball and got ahead of his marker to drill a low effort past Margetson.
However, Swansea soon responded again, with Bony completing his hat-trick. The Ivorian striker cut-in from the left after Watts' cross in was well received, netting his third of the afternoon.
Following the restart, Watford saw two chances denied. Margetson gathered a Zavier Massiah-Edwards' shot before Arthur Parker blocked substitute Marion’s volley from the edge of the area.
But the home-side were rewarded with their press following a string of close-cut chances. The Hornets were gifted a free-kick from 30-yards following a collision. Marion forcefully struck resulting free-kick low straight past the Swansea wall to half the deficit.
Marion proved the maker the difference since his introduction. The Swans were caught out in their own half, and the Hornets were rewarded another set-piece for a foul outside the area, and this time, Marion curved it over the men in white to find the third.
David Roberts produced a last gasp block in front of goal to deny Watford from sharing the spoils at the death.
The closing stages proved to be an end-to-end battle with Watford desperately chasing an equaliser, however, the Swans prevailed for a second consecutive victory in the Professional Development League.
Watford Under-18s: Ortelli Gabriel, Trialist, Harry Amass, Leo Ramirez-Espin, Tom Georgiou, Ben Casey, Aaron Benn (Prince Shikuru 45'), Andres Aguilar (Bogdan Marion 45'), James Collins (captain), David Hamica (Jack Taylor 60'), Zavier Massiah-Edwards.
Unused subs: Roraigh Brown, Billy Osborn.
Swansea City Under-18s: Kit Margetson, David Roberts, Richard Faakye, Jacob Cook, Arthur Parker, Dan Watts, Cameron Llewellyn (Yori Griffith 41'), Thomas Woodward (Callum Deacon 80'), Geoff Bony (captain) (Rohan Davies 82'), Iwan Morgan, Zane Myers.
Unused subs: Isaac Dudding, Caio Ifans