Match reportU18s come from behind to beat Newcastle
Oakley Cannonier made it 14 league goals for the season as a second-half double at Kirkby helped Liverpool U18s produce a fine comeback to beat Newcastle United 3-1.
Captain Luke Chambers also converted a penalty as the Reds fought back from a half-time deficit amid horrendous weather conditions.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side dominated the second period and deserve plenty of credit for rolling their sleeves up and changing the destiny of a game that could easily have slipped away from them.
Emotions were high and the hosts finished with 10 players, with Bobby Clark sent off near full-time for a second yellow card against his former team.
Playing with the gale behind them in the first half, it was the visitors who offered the first threat, a cross from the left met on the half-volley by James Huntley but well tipped over by Harvey Davies.
The response was almost immediate and Cannonier had the ball in the net for the first time a couple of minutes later, but the pass from Chambers had caught him just offside.
Ten minutes in and slack defending on the Liverpool right really should have brought the first goal, though Kyle Crossley fired his low shot past the far post from a narrow angle.
If that was close, it wasn’t long before the visitors came even closer to breaking the deadlock.
A corner from the left was met by an unmarked Ciaran Thompson and the centre-back rattled the crossbar with his header.
At their next corner Newcastle did make their strong start pay off. This time Davies was able to punch the set-piece out to the edge of the box but when the ball was hooked back in, the unmarked Michael Ndiweni swivelled well to turn it home with 26 minutes gone.
It was just past the half-hour mark when the Reds finally worked Newcastle ‘keeper Max Thompson, a superb low shot from James McConnell producing a fine save at full stretch.
The stopper was needed again to tip over a deflected effort from Stefan Bajcetic a minute later, with the Reds ending the half on top.
They almost made the most of their own corner just before the break, Tommy Pilling’s delivery headed back across goal by Bajcetic before Melkamu Frauendorf nodded just over.
The second half was only seconds old when the Reds had a great chance to level, but Cannonier’s effort was too close to Thompson when he had only the ‘keeper to beat.
Bajcetic was the next to force Thompson into a fine save, a skimming effort from a full 30 yards just tipped around the post.
Clark would have been keen to impress against his former club and came within a whisker of an equaliser midway through the half. He lined up a free-kick from the edge of the box and a fine strike somehow went just the wrong side of the post.
With 20 minutes left, the Reds grabbed a deserved equaliser as Cannonier latched onto a ball and stretched to fire home from the edge of the box.
Seven minutes later and the comeback was fully on. Clark was fouled in the box and captain Chambers stepped up to fire his penalty high into the net to put the Reds ahead.
Bajcetic, very influential in the turnaround, brought another save from Thompson, before Cannonier made the game safe with five minutes left.
The Reds broke from a Newcastle corner. Frauendorf cut in from his wing to feed Cannonier, who bluffed a turn back before shooting on goal and finding the far corner.
Liverpool U18s: Davies, Mabaya, Scanlon, Miles, Chambers, McConnell (Davidson, 65), Bajcetic, Clark, Frauendorf, Pilling, Cannonier.
Unused substitutes: Laffey, Mrozek, Koumas, Lucky.