Liverpool U18s warmed up for the FA Youth Cup with a frustrating 0-0 draw with Stoke City at the Academy on Saturday afternoon.
Mike Marsh's men had gone into the game on the back of two impressive victories in Manchester but could not kick-start their campaign on home soil as they struggled to break down a stubborn Potters rearguard.
The young Reds made a slow start and it was the visitors who almost stole in front inside five minutes when Jack Nardiello forced Tyrell Belford into a smart save.
The hosts responded and Adam Morgan saw a long-range effort deflect just wide before Josh Sumner warmed the palms of the Stoke 'keeper with a rising shot from 30 yards.
Liverpool dominated the remainder of the first 45 and Marc Pelosi was particularly impressive with some marauding runs down the left as they put pressure on the City defence without creating any real openings of note.
It was the same story following the interval and Morgan, substitute Raheem Sterling and Pelosi all had chances to break the deadlock.
The USA U17 captain then hit the post and Nathan Quirk blazed over from 10 yards as Marsh's charges were forced to settle for a share of the spoils ahead of the trip to Swansea City on Tuesday night.