Swansea City Under-23s Wolves
13th March 2017
Goals from Oli McBurnie and George Byers ensured Swansea City Under-23s earned the point they needed to secure the Premier League 2 Division 2 title at the Liberty Stadium.
The Swans had to come from behind twice as Daniel Armstrong gave Wolves the lead midway through the first half, but McBurnie's spectacular volley ensured the scores were level at the break.
The vistors retook the lead minutes after the restart through Duckens Nazon, but Swansea levelled again as George Byers cut inside to rifle home just after the hour mark.
Wolves were reduced to ten men five minutes before the final whistle as Connor Levingston saw red for a professional foul on McBurnie.
But the Swans held on to the secure the draw they needed to be crowned this season's champions.
Gary Richards and Cameron Toshack made five changes to the side that beat Bristol City in the Premier League Cup last Thursday.
Gregor Zabret returned between the sticks while captain Keston Davies - who missed the last week's game because of a back spasm - returned in defence.
Midfielders Daniel James and Adam King were back in the starting XI with first-team winger Jefferson Montero starting as he continued his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The Swans had already beaten Wolves twice this campaign with a 4-3 victory in PL2 in August before a McBurnie double ensured the progressed in the Checkatrade Trophy.
SWANS U23s: Gregor Zabret, Tyler Reid, Tom Plezier (Aaron Lewis, 54), Adnan Maric, Keston Davies (capt), Joe Rodon, Daniel James, Adam King, Oli McBurnie, George Byers (Jack Evans, 89), Jefferson Montero (Jordan Garrick, 60).
UNUSED SUBS: Lewis Thomas (GK), Tom Dyson.
WOLVES U23s: Jack Ruddy, Aaron Simpson, Anthony Breslin, Conor Levingston, Connor Johnson (capt), Ryan Leak, Dan Armstrong, Christian Herc, Donovan Wilson (Cameron John, 86), Duckens Nazon (Niall Ennis, 62), Nicu Carnat.
UNUSED SUBS: Dan McKenna, Joe Delacoe, Aaron Collins.
Both sides played out an even opening 20 minutes at the Liberty with only a few chances created.
Oli McBurnie went close to handing the Swans the lead on 12 minutes as a superb delivery from George Byers' free-kick found the striker at the far post, only for Wolves to clear the Scot's shot off the line.
At the other end, a promising cross from Wolves attacker Duckens Nazon meant Tyler Reid had to be alert to clear for a corner.
Swansea looked to be controlling the game until Wolves took the lead after 25 minutes as winger Daniel Armstrong beat Keston Davies in defence to fire home a fine solo effort.
Two minutes later and the visitors could have doubled their lead as striker Donovan Wilson was played into the box only to be denied by a sprawling save from Gregor Zabret.
The Swans looked to hit back with McBurnie and Daniel James almost getting on the end of decent passes delivered from midfield.
Zabret saved once more from Aaron Simpson's shot before Jack Ruddy had to save on his own line from McBurnie's dangerous cross.
But the hosts wouldn't be denied any further as James' cross found McBurnie, and he fired home a spectacular volley to equalise on the stroke of half-time.
HALF TIME: Swans U23s 1-1 Wolves U23s
Wolves retook the lead minutes after the restart after Wilson found space down the right flank and his cross found Nazon, who volleyed home from inside the area.
But Swansea struck back just after the hour mark as McBurnie played in Byers, and the midfielder cut inside from the right before rifling a low shot into bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The visitors continued to press and could have retaken the lead in the 72nd minute only for Zabret to punch clear Wilson's header from inside the area.
The Slovenian keeper kept the scores level minutes later as he dived low to deny a shot from substitute Niall Ennis from the right flank.
Swansea felt they should have had a penalty ten minutes before the end as McBurnie appeared to have been fouled before getting a crucial touch to a cross. The referee, though, waved away the appeals.
The Swans continued to defend well to keep the scores level as Wolves were reduced to ten men inside the final five minutes after Connor Levingston was given a straight red for a professional foul on McBurnie.
The U23s held on to secure the point they needed to ensure they are this season's champions in Premier League 2 Division 2.