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Daitumble said:Sounds like there may be more talent in that team today.
No teamsheet available, but I blagged a photo of the line-ups at reception.
Had to leave with the score 1-0 after 80 minutes to get over to The Liberty, but it sounds as though Reading got a late unlikely equaliser.
Swansea had gone ahead after 17 minutes. A free header for Cameron Evans at a corner when a Reading defender headed straight over to him.Mason-Thomas missed a golden opportunity to get a 2nd shortly after, following a really good combination of passing.
Celina’s brother started the game, looked decent again, but was replaced at half-time by 15 year old Josh Edwards, with Rushesha switching to right back.
Some of our combination play was very impressive; one stretch of play saw the team work its way out of a tight spot at right back, pushing the ball forward through Williams & Cooper to create an opening for Mason-Thomas. Dan Williams & Oli Cooper were at the heart of many of the good things we did.
Ben Erickson, who had a comfortable return to regular football alongside Cam Evans, put a free header wide from a corner as we continued to dominate.
Garrick had a useful 70 minute runout.
Reading, who included first teamers Loader & Ajose, threatened infrequently, but clearly found a way back before the end.
Otherwise, quite an encouraging & entertaining performance.
What little I’ve found out about Loti Celina suggests he’s 19 years of age. He’s taller than his brother, neat on the ball and likes a tackle. Agree it’s difficult to judge on one game - & he definitely was less prominent in the 2nd half - but he certainly linked well with Garrick and wanted to get forward. I’d say he’s physically more imposing than Rushesha, while Ryan Bevan’s had quite a tough baptism at U23 level. The trialist on the other side of the pitch was very poor & I’d be surprised if we see him again.
Swansea 1 Aston Villa 4Another loss, but it didn’t feel quite the same as the disheartening defeats this side has otherwise suffered this season. The side had a real purple patch after half-time when it looked as though they could get an equaliser - & this after going into the interval 2 nil down. Poor defending all the way down our right hand side led to McKendry conceding a soft penalty after just 2 minutes.We initially looked very lightweight against physically more competitive opposition and, despite some neat possession play, created very little, with the exception of Clancy’s flick against a post in 22 minutes.Another soft goal, this time from an uncleared corner, just before half-time put us 2 down.2nd half saw sub U16 midfielder Josh Edwards make a noticable difference. We looked more assertive, started creating chances, Shields scored on 66 minutes and we went really close to getting level with a number of scuffed efforts.It didn’t happen. Villa snatched a 3rd 10 minutes later against the run of play & got a cracking 4th from outside the box 5 minutes from time.
Overall though, quite encouraging: we ended up with 3 of our U16s on the pitch and gave a much improved 2nd half performance. For one so young, Edwards in particular looks very confident & involved. Ludvigsen also slotted in well at centre half alongside Scott Butler. It’s also evident - regardless of results - which players have developed over what’s been a tough season. Butler has come on a lot.
Former Dutch international George Boateng was one of the Villa coaches.
The U23s were undone by conceding 3 cheap goals in 8 minutes to go into half-time 4-1 down. Liam Cullen had earlier claimed a fortunate equaliser when the Charlton keeper dithered over a clearance and kicked the ball straight at him. Poor defending had seen Swansea let experienced big striker Aneke score after just 2 minutes. He clinched a hat-trick before the first half was up.
The defence tightened up after the interval with Cam Evans joining Brandon Cooper in the middle. Cooper stood up well to Aneke’s 2nd half replacement, another physically imposing forward.
Cullen got a well taken 2nd after 72 minutes, at which point I left to see the Wigan game.
Jacob Jones, Cooper & the Evans brothers shone for the Swans. Keiran Evans went off injured at half-time with Walsh replacing him. Jake Thomas was subbed by Cam Evans. Young academy full back Ben Erickson also came onto pitch in the 2nd half - possibly his U23 debut.
I didn’t recognise our keeper, Sam French. Possibly a triallist from Derby? Strangely, he didn’t have a great deal to do, but 4 soft goals conceded.Ex-Wimbledon striker Jason Euell coached Charlton.