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Scholars match table toppers at Landore
Swansea City Under-18s dominated the second half at Landore to earn a 1-1 draw against table toppers Chelsea in Premier League South on Saturday afternoon.
Both sides had chances in the opening minutes as keeper Ross Treacy replaced the injured Lewis Thomas in the Swans goal to make his debut.
The young Irish international kept out a shot from Chelsea forward Miro Muheim on two minutes before Brandon Griffiths fired wide for Swansea.
Blues midfielder Luke McCormick hit the post midway through the first half before Chelsea broke the deadlock on 20 minutes when Blues defender Richard Narty headed home a free-kick from four yards.
Swansea launched into attack to get back on level terms – Under-16s defender Brandon Cooper’s header forced a save from Jared Thompson in the Chelsea goal while Cullen and Griffiths were kept frustrated by the visitors defence and unable to find the net before the break.
HALF-TIME: Swans U18s 0 Chelsea U18s 1
Chelsea raced out of the blocks as they looked to extend their lead but the second half was all about Swansea.
Brandon Griffiths broke through the midfield and forced a smart save from Chelsea keeper Thompson five minutes into the restart.
On 50 minutes Griffiths again raced clear of the Blues defence to fire a low shot only to be beaten out by Thompson.
At the other end Treacy denied Chelsea with a fingertip save to keep out a long range effort from midfielder Jacob Maddy.
The young Swans kept pushing to break Chelsea’s defence and got their reward on 73 minutes when Under-16 midfielder Matthew Blake threaded a ball through for Brandon Griffiths to slot home the equaliser from inside the area.
The scholars continued to push for the winning goal in the last quarter of an hour – Blake and Cullen saw their chances blocked by the Chelsea defence while Tom Dyson rifled a shot inches wide.
Ten minutes from time piece of magic from Liam Cullen could have sealed the win when the forward turned and volleyed with his back to goal only for his effort to hit the crossbar.
Swansea did have the ball in the back of the net soon after only for substitute Jordan Jones effort to be ruled offside.
The Swans continued to unlock the Chelsea defence as Jordan Jones cut back for Cullen, only to fire into the legs of a desperate Blues defender.
Liam Cullen and Keiran Evans both tested Chelsea before the full time whistle, both saw their chances saved by Thompson.
Under-18s coach Chris Llewellyn hailed the result as a great achievement for the young Swans but admitted the side were disappointed not to take all three points at Landore.
“A point against Chelsea is always a point gained,” he said.
“Before the game we would have taken a 1-1 draw, but we have been left feeling we deserved a three points from that performance.
“We were the dominant side for large spells of the game, in the reverse fixture this team beat us 5-0 but we have turned that result on its head.
“We have taken what we learnt from the defeats against Arsenal and applied it to today’s game.
“It was always going to be a similar game to the two fixtures we played last week.
“Tactically I thought we got everything spot on but we needed to take the chances we created and be more ruthless and clinical in the final third.
“We were in control and looked like we were going to win the game, overall it was a very pleasing performance and one we must look to repeat.”
SWANS U18s: Ross Treacy, Mael Davies (Sean Hanbury, 80), Aaron Lewis (Capt), Jack Evans, Brandon Cooper, Dan Jefferies, Keiran Evans, Tom Dyson, Brandon Griffiths (Jordan Jones, 77), Liam Cullen, Matthew Blake
SUBS NOT USED: Ben Morgan, Alex Lang, Marco Dulca,
CHELSEA U18s: Jared Thompson, Joseph Colley, Richard Narty (Dujon Stelling, 70), Ali Suljic, Cole Dadilva (Tariq Uwacwe, 80), Roben Sammut, Jacob Maddy, Luke McCormick (Marttell Taylor-Cross, 60), Miro Muheim, Issac Christie-Davies, Marley Stclair
SUBS NOT USED: Jamie Cumming, George Mc