Liverpool U18s suffered cruel misfortune as a last-minute goal saw them lose 3-2 at Brighton in a thrilling play-off encounter on Saturday morning.
Herbie Kane scored twice for Neil Critchley's side, who played some great football at times, but a series of missed chances cost them dearly in the end.
On a positive note for the coach, Australian youngster Jake Brimmer made a welcome comeback from injury when he returned to action as a second-half substitute.
Reflecting on the loss, Critchley told Liverpoolfc.com: "It was a really good game and in terms of the performance we played very well.
"We went 1-0 down but Herbie scored two good goals to put us into the lead.
"We were dominant in the second half but lacked a ruthless streak because we had some great chances to put the game out of sight, and the lads certainly didn't deserve to lose.
"We got punished on the counter-attack and that is something that we need to improve on."
Liverpool U18s: George, Virtue (Watts), Johnston, Whelan, Polgar, Owens, Nicholas, Alexander-Arnold, Kane, White (Dobie), Dhanda (Brimmer).