AcademyU18s match report: Liverpool net four in victory at Stoke City
Liverpool U18s secured an impressive 4-2 victory over Stoke City on Saturday lunchtime at Clayton Wood Training Ground.
There were four goals in 20 minutes at the start of the contest with a busy opening to the afternoon in Staffordshire.
Liverpool were two goals to the good inside 12 minutes and it was a fine effort from Trent Kone-Doherty that broke the deadlock within 120 seconds, as the winger sprinted onto a Michael Laffey ball over the top of the defence, before cutting into the box to finish for his seventh strike of the campaign.
Cody Pennington then recorded his first goal of the season and of the game in stunning fashion, curling a dipping shot into the far corner of the net after good work in the build-up from Kone-Doherty and Kieran Morrison.
Kornel Misciur had earlier saved well to keep the Reds in front, though Stoke pulled a goal back immediately from kick-off after the goalkeeper was beaten by a Luke Enright effort from the right side.
Fresh from a hat-trick a week prior, Morrison then added his name to the scoresheet once again to close out a whirlwind beginning and restore the two-goal cushion for the visitors.
Liverpool pressed high and it was Pennington who forced a loose Stoke pass across the box, with Morrison able to sweep in and shoot low into the net.
Ahead of the half-time interval, Afolami Onanuga nearly added a fourth, but the post denied his advances as his header from a Morrison delivery cannoned back from the upright.
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Stoke began the second half on the front foot with Misciur required to intervene again, sweeping up attacks and punching away a number of dangerous crosses.
Liverpool responded, though, with Morrison looping a header goalward to draw a strong save, while Kone-Doherty continued to threaten down the right flank.
However, it was Stoke who were next to add to the score, cutting Liverpool’s lead to just one thanks to Enright’s second of the afternoon, with the forward finding the bottom corner after breaking through the centre of defence.
But the Reds again put themselves in control of the contest just five minutes later, with Pennington scoring his second goal thanks to another brilliant strike, taking a touch out of his feet to curl a shot into the top corner of the net from inside the box.
Liverpool asserted their authority on proceedings in the closing stages and nearly made it five in added time, though Morrison’s inventive volley from outside the box struck the bar in what was to be the last meaningful action.
Liverpool U18s: Misciur, Pitt, Gyimah, Laffey, Kelly, Trueman, Morrison, Pennington, Sonni-Lambie (Giblin, 90+1), Onanuga, Kone-Doherty.
Unused subs: Furnell-Gill, Morana, O’Connor, Upton.
The Reds return to action after the upcoming international break on November 25 in the U18 Premier League Cup at the Kirkby Academy, with Newcastle United the visitors for the lunchtime kick-off.