Report: Wolves U23s 0 Swans U23s 2
Swansea City Under-23s topped Group E of the Premier League Cup thanks to a superb 2-0 win against Wolves at Compton Park.
An own goal in the second half was added to late on by Oli Cooper’s cool finish from close range to ensure the young Swans took top spot from the hosts.
Both sides had already booked their place in the last-16 of the competition but top spot was up for grabs on Tuesday evening with the young Swans knowing anything less than victory would see the development side finish second.
Cameron Toshack and Gary Richards once again opted to give opportunities to the younger members of their squad, naming nine teenagers in the starting XI and making four changes from their last Premier League Cup outing the previous Friday at Hull.
Gregor Zabret replaced Steven Benda in goal, while Matthew Blake returned from suspension at left-back. There was also a place in the starting XI for under-18s midfielder Daniel Williams with Cameron Berry also returning.
The home side created the first chance of the game inside the opening five minutes as Paulo Alves weaved his way past three players in the midfield only to fire his 20-yard drive wide of goal.
Sixteen-year-old Tivonge Rushesha – in the starting XI for the young Swans once again – forced Wolves’ keeper Andreas Sandergaard to punch away his deep cross from the edge of the area.
Wolves almost led on the half hour mark had it not been for a reflex save from Gregor Zabret to deny Enzo Sauvage at the near post.
Mason Jones-Thomas threatened with a driving run down the right flank, but Oli Cooper’s shot was cleared away before the break.
Zabret was called into action minutes into the second half as Austin Samuels beat his man to race into the box only for his effort to be palmed away by the Slovenian.
The Swans used the flanks to good effect as Mason Jones-Thomas was denied from the right, but Wolves could not prevent Blake’s from the left just after the hour mark as an unfortunate Max Kilman sliced the ball into his own net.
Jones-Thomas almost added a second with an ambitious curling effort before Zabret denied Wolves again. This time John Kitolano was prevented from finding the net after a sweeping counter-attack.
The Swans look good for the win but the three points was confirmed in stoppage time with the best move of the game as Jones-Thomas found Cooper to take the ball into the area and sweep the ball home at the near post.
The victory sees the Swans finish top of Group E with the last-16 of the Premier League Cup now waiting for the development side in March.
Wolves U23s: Andreas Sandergaard, Callum Thompson (Oskar Buur, 72’), Alexander Molberg, Maximilian Kilman, Lewis Richards, John Kitolano, Carlos Heredia, Ed Francis (Sadou Diallo, 64’), Austin Samuels (Terry Taylor 82’), Paulo Alves, Enzo Sauvage.
Subs not used: Harry Beasley, Zhenyu He.
Swans U23s: Gregor Zabret, Tivonge Rushesha, Matthew Blake, Daniel Williams, Ben Cabango, Joe Lewis, Tom Price, Adam King (capt), Mason Jones-Thomas, Oli Cooper, Cameron Berry (Jayden Reid, 79’).
Subs not used: Nathan Shepperd, Kees de Boer, Brandon Cooper Marco Dulca.