U18s: Everton 1-3 Liverpool

Match reportU18s: Everton 1-3 Liverpool

Published 26th February 2022
By Andy Kelly

Liverpool U18s completed a league double over their Everton counterparts with a comprehensive 3-1 win at Finch Farm on Saturday morning.

A double from Harvey Blair and a strike by Bobby Clark gave the Reds a two-goal cushion at the break that never really looked under threat.

Indeed, several squandered opportunities in the second period would have stretched the lead, though the hosts also went close with a shot that hit the post.

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson made three changes to his side from the preceding victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Iwan Roberts starting up front, Josh Davidson returning at right-back and Blair adding his pace to the forward line.

Liverpool were ahead within five minutes from a chance that looked to have gone. Clark and James McConnell exchanged passes to put the former behind the defence but his cross seemed to evade everyone.

Everton never fully cleared their lines, however, and when the ball came to Blair on the edge of the box he drilled a superb low finish past Zan-Luk Leban in the Blues goal.

That lead was short-lived as the home side equalised with their first attack.

The Reds looked to have the situation under control until Jenson Metcalfe dug out a cross into the middle and towering striker Martin Sherif headed into the net with impressive accuracy with still just 10 minutes on the clock.

Liverpool had strong penalty claims a short time later when Blair picked up a Davidson pass and got the wrong side of the defender, but the referee waved play on as the winger went down in the area.

Clark was looking a danger and offered the next real threat on goal, picking up a fine long ball from McConnell, cutting inside and poking an effort at Leban that was well parried by the goalkeeper.

Callum Scanlon at left-back provided another regular outlet ball for the visitors and he put in several fine crosses that just failed to find a target in the middle.

But two defensive errors helped Liverpool grab a healthy lead before the break. First, Isaac Mabaya pressured a defender into a mistake in the left-back position before feeding Blair, who finished coolly for his second of the game with 38 minutes gone.

And that advantage was doubled on the stroke of half-time; Everton captain Elijah Campbell’s pass out of defence went straight to Clark and he exchanged passes with McConnell before converting well.

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The second half started in much the same fashion, the home side losing possession near their own box, which led to shots from McConnell and Blair that Leban saved down low.

Scanlon made a good clearing header from a cross from Ishe Samuels-Smith, while Terence Miles blocked a powerful effort from Emilio Lawrence as the Reds looked to hold on to their lead.

Melkamu Frauendorf arrived from the bench and made a swift impact, pinching the ball from a defender and setting up Blair, whose shot was denied by Leban as he chased a hat-trick.

Clark forced another save from the ’keeper when he cut in from the left, and Mabaya fired over after a nice lay-off from substitute Oakley Cannonier.

The Blues were unlucky not to reduce the deficit with a quarter of an hour to play, as a good effort from Lawrence came back off the post.

Within seconds, though, Liverpool were threatening at the other end, Frauendorf driving a ball across goal that Cannonier was inches away from finishing at the back post.

Bridge-Wilkinson’s side played out the remainder in relative comfort, with Harvey Davies untroubled, as the Reds prepared for next week’s UEFA Youth League knockout tie with a comprehensive derby victory.

Liverpool U18s: Davies, Davidson, Scanlon, Miles, Jonas, Pilling, Mabaya, McConnell, Blair (Cannonier, 69), Roberts (Frauendorf, 62), Clark.

Unused substitutes: Hewitson, Lucky.

Published 26th February 2022