Match Reports

O'Mahony causes a storm with last-gasp winner

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Whirlwind finish in Lancing as Albion's under-21s beat Swansea.

By Nick Szczepanik • 23 January 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Mark O'Mahony is mobbed after heading home his 15th goal of the season.

Mark O’Mahony was the hero as Albion kept their Premier League Cup hopes alive in a game played on the fringes of Storm Jocelyn.

Swansea City must have thought they were through until substitute O’Mahoney rose to nod home a cross from fellow sub Bailey Smith in the fifth minute of added time.

Albion failed to take advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half and spent most of the second repelling the visitors’ gale-assisted attacks. But they hung on and top scorer O’Mahony came to the rescue when it seemed Albion must go out.

Shannon Ruth’s side had to win to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stage, and must now hope that they can beat bottom-of-the-table Hull City in their final group game while Swansea lose to Aston Villa in theirs.

By Paul Hazlewood
Casper Nilsson goes close to breaking the deadlock.

Although many of the players who had accompanied the first team squad to Dubai for warm-weather training were back in the team, 15-year-olds Harry Howell and Freddie Simmonds kept their places.

Right wing-back Casper Nilsson had the ball in the net with a right-foot half-volley in under two minutes but was denied by a raised flag. And seven minutes later he cut inside and sent Swansea goalkeeper Nathan Broome full-length to save a low left-foot shot. 

Luca Barrington then chanced his arm from outside the penalty area, his shot drifting only inches over the crossbar. The weather was certainly a factor, with Swansea’s goal kicks and clearances often failing to make the half-way line.

But Simmonds had to sprint hard to beat Swansea attacker Glory Nzingo to a dangerous through pass seconds before Imari Samuels, who was revelling in the space down the left, saw his angled drive palmed away for a corner by Brooms.

By Paul Hazlewood
Captain Jack Hinchy leading by example.

Swansea had barely been glimpsed as an attacking force during a first 45 minutes spent battling into the teeth of the storm, but that all changed in the second half as the elements were now against the home side. Hugo Fisher had to pull off a tremendous save after Liam Smith’s free kick on the left was flicked goalwards by Swans captain Filip Lissah. And the Albion keeper was alert when Maliq Cadogan’s cross floated towards the top near corner.


Howell shot too close to Broome when sent through by Samy Chouchane but it was a rare home attack as Swansea made the most of conditions. Jack Hinchy blocked Nzingo’s volley and Richard Faakye headed wide at the far post.


Head coach Shannon Ruth made changes, bringing on O’Mahony and Odel Offiah, but Broome pawed away a cross by Nilsson when it looked as if it would drop on O’Mahony’s head. And Swansea went close again as Cameron Congreve swerved a free kick against the outside of a post.


By Paul Hazlewood
Luca Barrington is the first to celebrate with Mark O'Mahony after his winner.

Albion needed to score but knew that they could not afford to concede and Samuel did well to get in the way of Smith’s point-blank header with Swansea claiming handball in vain. And Fisher kept hopes alive again with an excellent save at the near post from a shot by substitute Ben Lloyd.


It paid off at the last as Smith hared down the right and crossed for O’Mahony to out jump Lissah and power home his header.


Albion (3-4-3): Fisher; Jackson, Simmonds (O’Mahony 60), Kavanagh (Offiah 60); Nilsson, Chouchane, Hinchy, Samuel; Howell (Smith 72), Duffus, Barrington.


Subs not used: Reid, Knight.