. . . as Neil Taylor comes through 80 minutes
A Rory Donnelly double helped the young Swans complete a remarkable comeback to beat Colchester 4-2 in their Development League Two South fixture at the Liberty Stadium.
The Swans Under-21s found themselves 2-0 down at the break before Kenji Gorre, Alex Bray and Donnelly (2) hit back.
There was also great news for Neil Taylor who continued his comeback from injury by completing 80 minutes unscathed.
Taylor, who suffered a broken ankle against Sunderland on September 1, was included in another young squad under the guidance of coach Kristian O’Leary having come through his first 45 minutes a fortnight ago.
Despite being an Under-21 league, with the ability to play up to three over-aged players, O’Leary has fielded a very young side throughout the campaign with the club’s emphasis on development rather than results.
Joseph Jones, 16, was the youngest of the current crop on show, with Alex Bray and recent Manchester United recruit Kenji Gorre just 17. Trio Liam Shephard, Josh Sheehan and Sam Evans clocked in at 18.
Sixteen-year-olds Lewis Moore and Tom Atyeo were included on the bench along with Connor Roberts, 17.
The Swans youngsters went down 1-0 to Colchester in their second game of the campaign back in August, but were looking to build on their recent 3-2 victory at Bristol City last time out.
Swans Under-21s: David Cornell, Liam Shephard, Neil Taylor (Connor Roberts 80), Joseph Jones, Lee Lucas, Josh Sheehan, Rory Donnelly, Alex Bray (James Loveridge 65), Kenji Gorre, Sam Evans (Henri Jones 85), Scott Tancock (capt).
Subs not used: Lewis Moore, Tom Atyeo.
Colchester Under-21s: Mark Cousins, Gunnar Thorstenstein, Tosin Olufemi (capt), Jordan Sanderson, Michael O’Donoghue, Billy Roast, Conor Hubble, Sam Szmodics, Tom Lapslie, Ryan Melaugh, Freddie Ladapo. Subs: Nmamdi Nwachuru, Frankie Kent, Macauley Bonne, Shaun Phillips.
The Swans got off to the worst possible start when Conor Hubble helped set up Freddie Ladapo for a simple tap-in after just five minutes to give Colchester an early lead.
The home side kept calm though despite the set-back to dominate possession as skipper Scott Tancock sent Neil Taylor overlapping. The Welsh international tried his luck with a fierce drive from a tight angle which was forced behind by 'keeper Mark Cousins with 10 minutes on the clock.
Chances were at a premium at either end, however, before Alex Bray fired wide after 25 minutes for the Swans. Moments later, keeper Dai Cornell was well positioned to save a powerful shot from Ryan Melaugh, while Liam Shephard had to clear a goalbound effort from Ladapo who was proving a handful up front.
Sam Evans nearly grabbed the equaliser for the Swans in the 30th minute when his effort from the edge of the area forced a great save from Cousins.
Cornell was in action again five minutes before the break, getting down low to save from Melaugh.
He could do little to stop Colchester taking a 2-0 lead though in the 44th minute when Conor Hubble fired a great finish in off the underside of the bar.
Half-time: Swans U21s 0 Colchester U21s 2
The Swans were back in the game four minutes after the break though when Lee Lucas found Kenji Gorre who fired beyond Cousins to make it 2-1.
And the Swans were on level terms with 62 minutes gone as a great solo run from Gorre into the area set up Alex Bray for a fine finish.
Eight minutes later and the Swans were ahead for the first time when a superb diagonal ball from Tancock sent Liam Shephard racing clear. The full-back kept his cool to slip a ball across the area where Rory Donnelly applied the finish.
The goals kept coming as Donnelly grabbed his second in the 75th minute from close range after a well worked short corner.
The Irishman came close to completing his hat-trick on two occasions, but his efforts flew just wide.