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Richards hails Under-21s' performance

Swansea City Under-21s fought to secure their third win of the season in Premier League Division Two with a 3-2 victory over an experienced Wolves side at Landore on Monday night.

The Swans made a dream start and broke the deadlock after just two minutes when Oliver McBurnie headed home Owain Jones' cross for his fifth goal of the season.

Both sides had good chances in front of goal but failed to convert before the break.

Wolves leveled 12 minutes after the restart when winger Eusebio Bancessi burst through the midfield to slot past Lewis Thomas in the Swans goal.

But the hosts hit back through Daniel James and Daniel Alfei, who scored from the spot, in the second-half to take a 3-1 lead.

And despite a late penalty from Bancessi, it was not enough to stop the Swans securing their third league win of the season.

SWANS U21s: Lewis Thomas, Liam Shephard, Daniel Alfei, Adnan Maric, Joe Rodon, Alex Gogic, Owain Jones (Henry Jones, 80), Josh Sheehan (capt), Oliver McBurnie (Botti Biabi, 87), Daniel James, Ryan Hedges

SUBS NOT USED: Alex Ramsay, Kyle Copp, Keston Davies

WOLVES U21s: Aaron McCarey, Tendai Matinyadze, Ashley Carter, Declan Weeks, Danny Batth, Regan Upton, Eusebio Bancessi, Callum Harris (Ryan Rainey, 76), Shola Ameobi (Niall Ennis, 68), Connor Ronan, Donovan Wilson

SUBS NOT USED: Jon Flatt, Anthony Breslin, Aaron Hayden

Coach Gary Richards hailed Swansea City Under-21s' performance as the team fought to secure a 3-2 win at home to an experienced Wolves side on Monday night.

It took the Swans just 90 seconds to take the lead at Landore with Oliver McBurnie heading home Owain Jones' cross for his fifth goal of the season.

A second-half Wolves equaliser did not stop Swansea’s attacking momentum with Daniel James racing past the visitors' defence to retake the lead before a Daniel Alfei penalty made it 3-1.

A late spot-kick at the other end was not enough to stop the Under-21s from winning their third game of the season in Premier League Division Two.

And Richards felt the team found the perfect reaction to bounce back from the defeat at Derby last week.

“I was a really pleased with the performance tonight,” he said. “Our possession and passing meant we always looked a threat throughout the game.

“The coaching staff and myself felt we were back to our best tonight. We hit the level of performance we put in during our first three games.

“Wolves were a very attacking side which meant we had to fight for the win and look to catch them on the counter attack.

“The lads did exactly what we asked of them - we played on the front foot with positive play from the start leading to our early goal from Oliver (McBurnie) after a great cross from Owain (Jones).

“I thought Dan (James) put in an excellent performance in midfield. We asked him to play a more central role – something that is not his natural position – but he worked hard to get our second and his first of the season."

Due to injuries to goalkeepers Josh Vickers and Gregor Zabret, U18s stopper Lewis Thomas debuted in the Swans goal against the likes of former Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi, who is on trial at Wolves.

And Richards believes it was an experience which his young players can learn a lot from. 

“Wolves have come here with an experienced team which has included three overage players – including Ameobi," he added.

“It was something we spoke about before the match but from the front to the back the team have taken on this challenge.

“It has been a great experience tonight for our younger players to come up against the likes of Ameobi, who has plenty of Premier League experience, and they have dealt with it well.

“We are going to have set-backs through the season but it is how we respond to them – today, both as individuals and as a team, we responded in the right way.

“We can still do better but as a team we took control of the game and are looking forward to our next test against Newcastle.”


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