Checkatrade Trophy

Forest Green 0

Swansea City U21s 2

TWO Adam King goals in three second-half minutes helped Swansea U21s pip Forest Green to top spot of Southern Group E.

Both teams had already qualified for the next round, but the young Swans just about edged this dead rubber.

Rovers suffered an early blow, losing Nottingham Forest loanee Alex Iacovitti on 18 minutes. Iacovitti hobbled off with what appeared to be a thigh injury. His place was taken by Jordan Stevens and the 17 year-old caught the eye with another energetic midfield performance.

Earlier, Forest Green boss Mark Cooper made six changes from the side that defeated Morecambe on Saturday.

It was the young Swans who started brightly, Kenji Gorre forcing Brad Collins to claw smartly over from short range. Rovers responded – Will Randall slipping through the gears, only to be crudely hauled back Ryan Blair, who picked up a yellow for his troubles.

Liverpool loanee Toni Gomes tested keeper Gregor Zabret after Drissa Traore supplied the pass.

Stevens was quickly into his stride and his driving runs were the feature of a first-half that Rovers shaded. However, on the cusp of the break the Swans should have broken the stalemate, but on a night of ghosts and spooks they were left to contemplate a horror miss. The impressive Aaron Lewis released Courtney Baker-Richardson who burst between the static Mark Roberts and Manny Monthe to evade the advancing Collins, but he inexplicably fired wide with the bulging net waiting in anticipation.

Rovers were quickly out the traps. Swansea keeper Richards had to react quickly to pounce on a Gomes hit from an Omar Bugiel assist and seconds later Gomes spanked one wide. Gomes was trying to find his range, but he off target with a header from a Randall free-kick with 21 minutes of normal time to go.

Swansea broke the deadlock on 75 minutes. George Byers long ball picked out Gorre and his driving run allowed King to bundle home on 75 minutes. Rovers looked for a way back into the tie – Luke James twisting and turning to plant a curler just over. Swansea sealed it three minutes later. Tyler Reid arrowed the ball over for King to get a touch on the line.

Forest Green (3-4-2-1) Collins, Fitzwater, Roberts, Iacovitti (Stevens 19); Traore (Brown 61), Monthe, Laird, Randall; Gomes, James; Bugiel (Marsh-Brown 69)

Subs not used: Pickering, Bennett, Osbourne

Swans U21s: Zabret, Reid, Lewis, Blair, Harries, Rodon, King, Maric, Baker-Richardson (Cullen, 55), Byers, Gorre.

Subs not used: Thomas, Evans, Garrick, Dulca, Bainbridge, Cooper.

Attendance: 590

Away: 86

Star Man: Jordan Stevens.The 17-year-old caught the eye with an energetic performance.