Haverfordwest County Youth XI 1
Swansea City XI 5
THIS end-of-season fixture, played in bright sunshine but a stiff breeze, was keenly but fairly contested and gave real pleasure to a large crowd on Saturday (May 12).
An accomplished Swans’ side totally deserved their win, but were pushed to the end by a determined and resilient Blues outfit.
The young Swans’ obvious class showed from the start. Their touch was good and they looked very well drilled.
The Blues dug in very well in defence and were always looking to break, but made little headway in the first half hour. Swans’ striker Brad Gibbons set up the first real chance to either side on the 17th minute when his shot rasped against the bar.
He then slipped in a brace of goals in the 22nd and 25th minutes after latching on to chances and scoring from close range, with keeper Jack Ackerman having no chance with either. Ackerman in fact had a good game, but surprising amount of his workload involved fielding a few back passes forced under pressure and he did this coolly and well.
From the half-hour mark onwards the Blues started to exert a little pressure of their own. Their first corner came in the 36th minute, but Fraser Findlay’s well-flighted in-swinger went just an inch or two over the angle of bar and post.
A neat flick-on by Jack Wilson saw Colin Fawcett caught just offside, and another fine Fawcett – Wilson link saw Jake Merry’s final shot being saved at the foot of the post.
Early in the second half, Fawcett, who was wearing 9 but was lying back in the centre of midfield and breaking from there, went on a 50-yard run from deep in his own half.
But in the next ten minutes the Swans were awarded two penalties, the first for what looked a rather innocuous challenge, with the second looking altogether harder. The first was hammered in by Swans’ keeper Scott Reid, the second by Will Rickard.
The Blues were now pressing really hard to get back into the game. The threat was coming often, but not always, down the right, with Fawcett linking well with sub right winger Dany Raicu.
In the 70th minute, a sweeping move instigated by these two ended with Ewan Payne shooting against the post. Two minutes later a similar move set up Jack Wilson who cracked in the consolation goal.
A neat Swans move sent in Evan Jones for their fifth but it was the Bluebirds (helped admittedly by several substitutions) who seemed to finish the stronger, and who were able to keep pushing their opponents to the final whistle.
County: Jack Ackermann; Jimmy Wilkes, Fraser Findlay, Alaric Jones, Morgan Richards, Matty Delaney, Jack Wilson, Jake Merry, Ben Fawcett, Joe Griffiths, Ewan Payne. Subs: Kieran Allen, Joe Pritchard, Dany Raicu.