Swansea City Arsenal Under-21s Premier League Division Two
14th April 2016
Swansea City Under-21s confirmed a play-off place in Premier League Division Two with a 3-1 win over Arsenal at Landore on Thursday afternoon.
First-half strikes from Adam King and Kenji Gorre gave the Swans a deserved 2-0 lead at half-time.
Serge Gnabry reduced the deficit in the second half before Swans sub Alex Bray put the game beyond doubt ten minutes from time.
Gary Richards and Cameron Toshack named an unchanged side.
Jay Fulton continued as captain while striker Owain Jones - who had scored seven goals in four games - led the line up front.
Ryan Hedges was included on the bench following a return from his loan at League Two side Stevenage this month.
Arsenal included first-team players Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Serge Gnabry in their starting line-up.
SWANS U21s: Josh Vickers, Aaron Lewis, Stephen Kingsley, Jay Fulton (capt), Keston Davies, Joe Rodon, Dan James, Adam King, Owain Jones (Alex Bray, 46), Adnan Maric, Kenji Gorre.
SUBS NOT USED: Gregor Zabret, Alex Gogic, Ryan Blair, Ryan Hedges.
ARSENAL U21s: Matthew Macey, Tafari Moore, Marc Bola, Christopher Willock (Reiss Nelson, 61), Krystian Bielick, Julio Pleguezuelo (capt), Tomas Rosicky (Ben Sheaf, 69), Jeff Reine-Adelaide (Daniel Crowley, 81), Kaylen Hinds, Jack Wilshere, Serge Gnabry.
SUBS NOT USED: Hugo Keto, Stefan O'Connor.
Arsenal started the brighter side at Landore, with Serge Gnabry firing in a dangerous cross but he couldn't pick out a team-mate..
Minutes later the winger found space on the edge of the box only for his stinging shot to be punched clear by keeper Josh Vickers.
Swansea slowly started to create chances down the flanks and almost took the lead after 14 minutes, only for centre-back Joe Rodon to see his header cannon off the crossbar.
But the development squad were in front just two minutes later when midfielder Adam King headed home Adnan Maric's cross from the left wing.
King was denied a second later in the half when his close range effort was stopped on the line by keeper Matthew Macey while right-back Tafari Moore narrowly shot wide at the other end.
Despite Arsenal's chances, Swansea doubled their advantage after 36 minutes when winger Kenji Gorre turned with his back to goal before unleashing a superb curling effort to beat Macey.
Vickers' finger-tip save denied midfielder Kaylen Hinds at the other end to maintain Swansea's deserved 2-0 lead at the break.
HALF TIME: Swans U21s 2 Arsenal U21s 0
Arsenal showed their intent on getting back into the game in the early stages, with Hinds flicking a header just wide.
At the other end, sub Alex Bray - on for striker Owain Jones - almost capitalised on Kystian Bielick's mistake at the back as he stole possession from the defender only to shoot inches wide.
Vickers was on hand again to deny another fine low shot from Gnabry from the left flank before Gorre went close to extending the home advantage.
Bray almost added a third after he shook off three markers and fired at goal, with Macey clawing the ball from the path of Adam King who was running in for the follow up.
Arsenal's attack persisted with Gnabry's powerful strike pulling a goal back for the Gunners after 78 minutes.
But Swansea restored their two-goal lead seconds after the kick-off, with Bray latching onto a loose ball before netting his first of the season.
Quick feet and a piece of magic from Gorre saw the winger carve his way past three players into the box before Macey pulled off a fine save.
Vickers then pulled off two outstanding saves before the full-time whistle to deny his former side, meaning the U21s secured a 3-1 win and a play-off place in Premier League Division Two.