Swansea City Under-18s Arsenal FA Youth Cup

15th January 2016

Swansea City Under-18s exited the FA Youth Cup at the 4th round stage at Stebonheath Park on Friday night losing 3-1 to Arsenal's ten men.
The young Swans started brightly as they looked to avoid a second defeat in a week against the Gunners but could not capitalise on their early chances through Aaron Lewis and Daniel James.
Two goals from Arsenal in the space of two minutes gave the London side the lead in the first half when striker Donyell Malen stabbed home a corner before a fine individual effort from Jeff Reine-Adelaide.
A goal from Liam Cullen got the young Swans back into the game before Arsenal's Tyrell Robinson saw red before the break.
Swansea pushed for an equaliser in the second half but an third from Stephy Mavididi ended all chance of progression for the home side who lost goalkeeper Lewis Thomas to a serious injury before the final whistle.

The Swans made four changes to the team that lost 5-2 against the Gunners at their Training Centre last Saturday.
The scholars were boosted with the return of defender Joe Rodon and winger Daniel James to the starting line-up - the pair had been included in Alan Curtis' first-team squad for last weekend's FA Cup tie at Oxford United.
Defender Dan Jefferies and midfielder Tom Dyson also returned to the Swans starting XI.
Meanwhile, Arsenal made nine changes to the side that beat the Swans the previous weekend. Goalkeeper Hugo Keto and defender Marc Bola were the only two players to keep their place in the Gunners starting line-up.

SWANS U18s: Lewis Thomas (Capt), Brandon Cooper, Connor Quigley, Jack Evans, Joe Rodon, Dan Jefferies, Aaron Lewis (Brandon Griffiths, 73) Tom Dyson (Jordan Jones, 73), Liam Cullen, Daniel James, Liam Edwards (Keiran Evans, 61)

SUBS NOT USED: Mael Davies, Ross Treacy (GK), 

ARSENAL U18s: Hugo Keto, Ben Sheaf (Reiss Nelson, 64), Tyrell Robinson, Marcus McGuane, Krystian Bielik (Capt), Marc Bola, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ismael Bennacer, Donyell Malen (Kris da Graca, HT), Stephy Mavididi, Chris Willock (Savvas Mourgos, 90)

SUBS NOT USED: George Phillips (GK), Aaron Eyoma

The Under-18s started brightly and attacked from the kick-off, midfielder Aaron Lewis saw his cross blocked on three minutes after Dan James has created space in the centre.

A minute later Lewis tried his luck again, this time the attacker found space to shoot inside the area only to find his effort tipped round the post by Arsenal keeper Hugo Keto.

Daniel James burst through the midfield toward goal on 20 minutes, his low shot from the edge of the area well saved by Keto to prevent the Swans taking the lead.

Despite a strong start from the home side Arsenal took advantage of a corner to take the lead minutes later when striker Donyell Malen stabbed home Ben Sheaf's corner at the far post.

The Gunners doubled their lead within a minute of the kick-off when the highly rated midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide beat the Swans defence to fire home on the half volley.

The young Swans grabbed a goal back ten minutes later when striker Liam Cullen fired home Aaron Lewis' cross inside the area leaving Keto helpless.

Arsenal were reduced to 10 men minutes before the half-time whistle when defender Tyrell Robinson saw red for a push on Daniel James - the Swans midfielder also received a yellow card.

HALF-TIME: Swans U18s 1 Arsenal U18s 2

With the one man advantage Swansea looked to capitalise early in the second-half and immediately went on the attack, striker Liam Cullen found space to shoot inches over the bar.

Five minutes later Daniel James raced through the midfield beating three defenders only to see his shot blocked by captain Krystian Bielik.

Minutes later Swans defender Connor Quigley missed a golden opportunity to equalise when he latched onto a loose ball in the area only to fire over the bar from close range.

Daniel James, Liam Cullen and substitute Keiran Evans saw efforts saved by Keto as the young Swans pressed for a second goal.

Arsenal capitalised at the back in the final ten minutes for Stephy Mavididi to tap home a cross from Reiss Nelson to beat Lewis Thomas.

The Swans keeper was badly injured during the goal resulting in a 20 minute stoppage - when play resumed both sides played out a subdued remaining seven minutes with Arsenal progressing to the next round of the cup.