Match reportLFC U23s beat Burnley to lift Lancashire FA Senior Cup
Liverpool U23s lifted the Lancashire FA Senior Cup after a 1-0 win over Burnley on Wednesday night.
The young Reds signed off their 2021-22 season with a piece of silverware as James Norris’ second-half stunner separated the sides in the final.
Having eliminated Preston North End and Blackpool in previous rounds, Barry Lewtas’ charges rose to the occasion in the decider to clinch the trophy for the 13th time in club history.
The in-form Jack Bearne threatened twice for Liverpool in the early stages of the encounter at the Lancashire FA County Ground.
First, the forward’s header from an inviting Owen Beck cross was saved by Sam Waller, and the Burnley goalkeeper then came out on top in their next duel minutes later.
Bearne fired in an excellent effort from around 25 yards out this time, drawing an impressive save by Waller, who also reacted quickly to prevent the loose ball from finding the net.
Burnley responded by fashioning a one-on-one opportunity for Joe McGlynn, but Reds stopper Marcelo Pitaluga did brilliantly to block the finish.
Lewtas’ team needed Pitaluga again just before the half-hour mark. Max Thompson’s drive into the penalty box from the left was aided by Conor Bradley’s slip, though Pitaluga was there to thwart with his legs.
Fidel O’Rourke saw two efforts blocked and Tyler Morton flashed a strike narrowly wide from the edge of the area as the interval arrived with the tie goalless and finely poised.
Liverpool had a golden chance to break the deadlock five minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Bearne as he ran through to O’Rourke’s pass.
Leighton Clarkson took responsibility from 12 yards but his kick was saved by Waller, before McGlynn found space at the other end and hit the side-netting.
Undeterred, the Reds continued to knock on the door and their persistence paid dividends in the 59th minute as Bearne won a free-kick on the right-hand side.
Clarkson’s delivery was only partially cleared by Burnley and Norris met the loose ball with a sumptuous half-volley that whistled into the net from distance.
Norris almost turned provider moments later, his pull-back to Bearne preceding a turn and shot that the Liverpool No.7 guided wide.
Clear-cut chances were at a premium for the remainder of the final – with Reds centre-backs Jarell Quansah and Rhys Williams affording little to nothing to the opposition.
And the single goal proved enough for Lewtas’ side to wrap up 2021-22 in memorable style, getting their hands on the Lancashire FA Senior Cup after the latest ‘Hendo shuffle’ from Tom Clayton.
Liverpool U23s: Pitaluga, Bradley, Beck, Williams, Quansah, Clarkson, Bearne, Morton, O’Rourke (Balagizi, 69), Clayton, Norris.
Unused substitutes: Kelly, Corness, Wilson, Cannonier.