Swansea City Under-23s Norwich Premier League 2
20th February 2017Under-23s
A 2-0 victory over Norwich City at Landore saw Swansea City Under-23s take a big step towards claiming the Premier League 2 (Division 2) title on Monday.
Both sides battled in the first half but it was the home side who broke the deadlock through a 25-yard drive from defender Connor Roberts.
Swansea doubled their lead minutes later as Roberts turned provider for Adam King to net at the far post.
The Swans hit the woodwork in the second half, but victory was secured with the U23s restoring their ten-point advantage in the table.
Gary Richards and Cameron Toshack made three changes to the side that beat Southampton at Staplewood Campus in the Premier League Cup last week.
Slovenian goalkeeper Gregor Zabret was back in the starting XI to replace Lewis Thomas, who was on the bench.
Defender Aaron Lewis returned at left-back with Connor Roberts on the opposite flank. Botti Biabi recovered from injury to start up front while defender Joe Rodon missed out through injury and striker Oli McBurnie was rested.
SWANS U23s: Gregor Zabret, Connor Roberts, Aaron Lewis, Ryan Blair, Keston Davies (capt), Tyler Reid (George Byers, 63), Daniel James, Adnan Maric, Botti Biabi, Adam King, Jordan Garrick.
UNUSED SUBS: Lewis Thomas, Jack Evans, Matthew Blake, Causso Darame.
NORWICH U23s: Ben Killip (capt), Lewis Ramsay, Michee Efete, Oluwarotimi Odusina, Jamal Lewis, Joe Crowe, Emersson Sambu (Toby Syme, 46), Ebou Adams, Diallang Jaiyesimi (Kieron Higgs, 71), Todd Cantwell, Benny Ashley-Seal.
UNUSED SUBS: Alan Fleming, Aston Oxborough, Owen Wallis.
Both sides had chances on goal inside the opening ten minutes as as Ebous Adam found Norwich winger Diallang Jaiyseimi inside the box to fire at goal from a tight angle, but his effort was well saved by Gregor Zabret.
Two minutes later as Swansea could have taken the lead as a corner found midfielder Adam King only for his effort to be deflected inches wide of goal.
The pace of Daniel James almost caught out the Canaries defence as the Swans winger raced to chase down two through balls, but they were cut out on both occasions by Ben Killip in the Norwich net.
Adams saw his shot deflected wide by Adnan Maric before Botti Biabi's effort from the edge of the area was saved by Killip at the other end.
Swansea defended well as right-back Connor Roberts denied Todd Cantwell's shot on the counter attack.
The defender helped the hosts take the lead ten minutes before the break as he raced onto a ball from Biabi in midfield to fire past Killp from 25 yards.
Minutes later the Swans doubled their lead as Roberts turned provider with a cross from the right finding Adam King at the far post to tap home.
HALF TIME: Swansea City U23s 2 - 0 Norwich City U23s
Swansea continued to look good for their lead after the restart but the home side did not create their first real chance until ten minutes in when Ryan Blair's cross found Jordan Garrick at the far post, but the winger's diving header only found the side netting.
The Swans were forced into a chance just after the hour mark as Tyler Reid came off injured forcing Maric to partner Keston Davies in defence.
Both sides battled to create chances but the game only sparked to life in the final 20 minutes as Swansea created a series of chances in their final third.
Byers' break on the counter attack played in Daniel James, but his drive was parried by the Norwich keeper once again.
Aaron Lewis then saw his curling free-kick from the edge of the area deflected inches wide before James' drive was denied by Killip once again from the left wing.
Swansea continued to attack as Biabi found space to fire a smart cross from the right to find James in the area only for his effort to cruelly crash off the post from eight yards.
Roberts sent a drive inches over the bar inside the final few minutes as the Swans secured their 14th win of the season.