Swansea City Under-21s Derby Gary Richards Jefferson Montero
7th March 2016
Gary Richards hailed Swansea City Under-21s' 'fighting spirit' as they came from behind to end Derby's six game unbeaten run with a 2-1 victory in Barclays Premier League Division Two.
The Rams capitalised on a short clearance from the Swans defence to take a 1-0 lead in the first 15 minutes as Offrande Zanzala beat two defenders before firing into the roof of the net.
But the young Swans were level just after the half-hour mark as midfielder Adam King pounced on a parried shot to equalise from close range.
Kenji Gorre made sure of the three points from the penalty spot after Botti Biabi was fouled following Jefferson Montero's neat run and threaded pass.
"It was a good comeback today," said Richards. "Derby are a good side and top for a reason, so it is a pleasing result especially after two defeats.
"We are a hard team to break down at home, so it was disappointing to fall behind to a sloppy goal, but we showed true character to come back into the game.
"We showed fighting spirit to recover and we need to push on from here to ensure we keep creating chances to earn results."
The development squad made seven changes before the match and were boosted with the inclusion of first team winger Montero as the side's overage player.
The Ecuadorian international played 75 minutes in which he struck the post during the first half.
"It was great to have him part of the team," added Richards. "Having a player like Jeff in the squad gives the team a lift and helps our players learn from an experienced player, which is what the league is set up for.
"He started the game really well and created three or four chances with some good crosses from the flanks.
"He also played a key role helping us win the game - his through ball to Botti led to the penalty and second goal.
"From here - as a team - we must continue to improve our performances.
"We have to build on results like this. We have six games left and must make sure the performance levels stay high to end the season well."
The win moves the Under-21s up to seventh in the division two table, level on points with Fulham.