Ali Al-Hamadi scored a goal in each half yesterday to give the Swans Under-23s a win over Wigan giving new manager Kris O’Leary a first win since returning to the club.
O’Leary said after the game “We’re pleased to finally get the win, It probably wasn’t as convincing a performance as we’ve had previously without the win.”
Al-Hamadi was in the right place at the right time to open the scoring four minutes before the break.
And the 19-year-old demonstrated terrific instincts to turn home a trialist’s cross and double his tally with 20 minutes remaining.
The visitors did have their chances to come back into the game but were unable to break down the Swans defence and the side have now lost just one in seven although this was a first win in five.
“We spoke at half-time about pressuring a little higher up the pitch; there were a lot less through balls and long balls from Wigan due to us implementing that,” added O’Leary.
“When we came under pressure late in the second half, we still had belief in our ability to play out from the keeper and right the way through, with Ali almost scoring his hat-trick.
Al-Hamadi’s chance for his hat-trick came within the closing stages of the game but he was unable to convert the chance presented to him but his 6th and 7th strikes of the season was enough for the win.
Swans U23s: Lewis Webb; Harry Jones, Scott Butler, Jake Thomas, Trialist; Ryan Bevan, Daniel Williams (capt), Trialist (Michael Murphy, 77); Trialist, Ali Al-Hamadi, Ollie Cooper (Bradley Gibbings, 61).
Subs not used: Jamie Searle, Jacob Jones, Rio Campbell.
Wigan U23s: Sam Tickle, Scott Smith, Adam Long, Trialist, Jack Sanders (Kieran Lloyd, 89), Chris Merrie, Trialist, Alex Perry, Kyle Joseph, Chris Sze (Tom Costello, 73), Trialist.
Subs not used: Tom Watson, Harry McHugh.