A late James Spray header denied Swansea City Reserves victory in their Barclays Premier Reserve league clash against Wolverhampton at Telford.
The Swans were made to rue Stephen Dobbie’s second half penalty having led up until the final few minutes thanks Casey Thomas’ first half strike.
The hosts missed a glut of first half chances and the Swans were thankful to Jose Moreira in-goal as he pulled off a number of excellent saves to deny Wolves keep the scores level. Michael Ihiekwe wasted a glorious chance by firing over following a knock down from Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Zeli Ismail saw his header creep narrowly over and Anthony Forde and John Gorman both saw shots well saved by the Portuguese International between the sticks.
Swansea struggled to get a foothold in the game early on and it took until the 19th minute for their first meaningful chance. A neat one-two between Casey Thomas and Stephen Dobbie set up Thomas but his shot was timid and no trouble for the goalkeeper. So it was something of a surprise when Swansea took the lead just before half time.
Some high pressing from Gwion Edwards, the lively Rory Donnelly and the excellent Kurtis March pressurised Ebanks-Landell into a weak backpass that Casey Thomas was able to intercept and the former Colchester loanee made no mistake as he slotted the ball coolly past the onrushing goalkeeper.
Half Time – Wolves 0-1 Swansea
The Swans were dealt a blow early in the second half when Jazz Richards was forced off with an injury. Despite the defensive shake up, Wolves continued to waste chances through Jake Cassidy, Forde and Roman Zubar’s effort was worrying the owners of the cars outside the stadium more than Moreira’s goal.
The Swans had chances to double their lead but saw the ball miss the target by inches on two occasions. Firstly, with Donnelly’s low cross shot and secondly when Dobbie proved he still has some magic in his boots by beating 3 defenders but beat the post as well.
Wolves goalkeeper Aaron McCarey and Swansea’s Rory Donnelly were both withdrawn by their respective clubs due to injury and their replacements had a huge impact on one of the games talking points. James Loveridge’s run saw him felled to the floor inside the penalty area which saw referee Mr Radford award a spot kick to the visitors. Dobbie stepped up to take it but the spot kick was superbly saved by Johnathan Flatt.
Swansea were punished for this as with just minutes to go, Wolves equalised. Moreira produced an excellent save from a dangerous free-kick but from the resulting corner, the ball was delivered deep into the box, half cleared and allowed to come back in where James Spray leapt above the Swansea defenders to equalise for the home side.
It was cruel for the Swans who had defended very well throughout the second half but they should have won it with the last attack of the game. In the second minute of the three allocated at the end of the game, Gwion Edwards broke the offside trap superbly and his cut back found Casey Thomas in space eight yards out but he managed to sky his shot over the bar.
There are plenty of positives to take from this game from a Swansea perspective. Alan Tate completed another 90 minutes on his recovery from a broken leg. He was also excellent both as a defender and as a captain, throughout the game, he was vocal and giving encouragement. Jazz Richards, Kurtis March and Rory Donnelly were all excellent but perhaps most encouraging of all, is the fact that the policy of keeping the ball down and playing football is evident in both the first team and the reserves.