Swansea City Arsenal Under-18s Eric Ramsay FA Youth Cup
16th January 2016
Under-18s coach Eric Ramsay hailed the young Swans character and resilience despite losing 3-1 to Arsenal in the 4th round of the FA Youth Cup on Friday.
Both sides battled a difficult pitch at Llanelli's Stebonheath Park with the Swans going close through Daniel James and Aaron Lewis.
Despite the chances it was Arsenal who broke the deadlock with two goals in two minutes from Donyell Malen and an individual effort from Jeff Reine -Adelaide.
Swansea pulled a goal back through Liam Cullen as Arsenal were reduced to ten men when defender Tyrell Robinson saw red minutes before the break.
The young Swans dominated large spells of the second half but could not find the back of the net before Arsenal's Stephy Mavididi secured the win with Arsenal's third late on.
Despite the disappointment of the cup exit, Ramsay paid tribute to the team and expressed his pride with the Swans attacking display.
"Myself and Chris (Llewellyn) are really pleased with the performance and proud of the players for their effort," he said. "We had a game plan to contain their attack and hit them on the counter which we did for large spells.
"We are disappointed to concede two goals in quick succession but we showed great character and resilience to get a goal back through Liam Cullen.
"We created good chances in the second-half and should have scored two goals, but we did not take the chances we created which has cost us.
"There are a lot of positives to take, it was a very different game compared to when we played them in the league six days ago.
"We were always going to be underdogs but we more than matched Arsenal for large spells of the game.
"We leave here disappointed with the result but proud of the nature of the performance and the chances we created."
The game saw a long delay in play following the third goal as Swans goalkeeper Lewis Thomas took a knock to the head.
The 18-year-old captain received treatment from both Swansea and Arsenal's physio's for twenty minutes before being substituted.
Following the game Ramsay reassured fans that the young keeper was ok and in good hands.
"Lewis is fine, he is conscious, talking and being treated by the medics who were on site," he continued.
"We have spoken to him and he is speaking well which is good news after the knock he took.
"Our thanks to the medial staff on site including the team from Arsenal who helped give treatment."