United Under-23s sink the Swans
Neil Wood's Reds returned to Premier League 2 action in style after a lengthy journey to South Wales, posting a conclusive 4-1 triumph over Swansea City at Landore Training Centre.
While Wood's team went into this game in second spot in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table, Swansea were comfortably placed in sixth position with ten points from seven fixtures completed.
The Reds welcomed back three players who’d been sidelined for varying lengths of time. Ethan Laird and D’Mani Mellor were back in the starting line-up after returning from injury, whilst Max Taylor was named on the bench as his recovery from cancer treatment continued.
It wasn’t an ideal start but United weren’t about to dwell on the early setback. Within eight minutes, we had recorded the leveller with a beautifully executed Largie Ramazani free-kick from the edge of the area.
Moments later, Swansea were very close to regaining the lead but a combined effort from Kovar and Laird ensured that Brandon Cooper’s route to goal was blocked.
United were pushed into making a change, in the 37th minute, when central defender Mengi came out of what appeared to be an innocuous collision clutching his chest. Following treatment, he was helped from the field looking in some distress and it was later revealed that he had taken a knock to the ribs and thankfully this wasn’t as serious as was first thought.
Mengi was replaced in the centre of United’s back-line by the returning Taylor, who must have been delighted to get back into the action, although not at the cost of an injury to a team-mate.
The second half pretty well followed the pattern of the earlier forty-five minutes with both goalkeepers and defences being kept busy.
Laird’s appetite for joining the attack bore fruit in the 75th minute, when his teasing cross from the right was met by Mellor, whose header crossed the line after glancing off Gould’s shoulder.
This third goal for United all but ended the resistance of Swansea, who battled their way into added time before Traore added a little icing to the cake when he struck home our fourth with an unstoppable shot.
United: Kovar; Laird (Hoogewerf 80), Mengi (Taylor 37), Bernard, Devine; Levitt, Galbraith, Puigmal; Traore, Mellor, Ramazani.
Substitutes not used: McGhee, Woolston.
Scorers: United - Ramazani 14, Levitt pen. 42, Gould o.g. 75, Traore 90+1. Swansea - K. Evans 6.