AcademyU21s match report: Liverpool beaten by West Ham in PL2
Liverpool U21s fell to a 4-0 defeat against West Ham United in Premier League 2 on Saturday afternoon at the Academy.
The visitors took the lead within the opening 15 minutes and added another three in the second half to leave Kirkby as deserved winners.
The opening exchanges were fairly even, with neither goalkeeper really being called into action for almost a quarter of an hour, and it was out of nowhere when West Ham struck on 14 minutes.
Patrick Kelly made a powerful run down the left channel before feeding George Earthy. His low cross landed perfectly for Callum Marshall to side-foot the opening goal past Fabian Mrozek.
The striker went close to a second a short time later, but on this occasion his effort deflected narrowly wide for a corner.
Earthy thought he had extended the Hammers’ advantage after a deflection fell to him at close range on 21 minutes, though the assistant had his flag up for offside.
The Reds then created their best chance of the opening period, Mateusz Musialowski carrying the ball well before taking a low shot that struck the bottom of the post via a slight deflection.
Calum Scanlon was starting to have an impact down the left of the front three for Liverpool but he couldn’t quite fashion a clear-cut opening for those in the middle, while Mrozek had to be sharp to deny Earthy at his near post just before the break.
West Ham should have increased their lead six minutes into the second half when Gideon Kodua rose to meet a cross from the left wing, but he headed over from a great position.
The Reds responded and it was Trey Nyoni – stepping up from the U18s – who almost created it. He intercepted a West Ham pass high up the field and played in Musialowski, whose quick snap-shot just went the wrong side of the far post.
Two goals in three minutes then effectively settled the game in favour of the visitors. First, a deep cross from the left was headed back across goal for Marshall to finish a simple chance, his second of the game arriving on 61 minutes.
Liverpool barely had time to regroup before their task was made even more difficult. Kelly’s clever dink went past Mrozek and Kodua applied the finishing touch right on the line.
Trent Kone-Doherty was lively on the right and his cross-shot almost gave the Reds a possible way back into the match with 20 minutes left but it missed the bottom corner by inches.
Any faint hopes of a comeback were extinguished on 75 minutes when West Ham grabbed a fourth, Earthy turning home a loose ball after Mrozek couldn’t gather a cross.
Substitute Melkamu Frauendorf had a decent penalty shout with 10 minutes left but even that small consolation was denied the Reds as the referee waved play on.
An injury to substitute Lee Jonas added to the disappointment of the day as Barry Lewtas’ team finished the game with just 10 men, all outfield substitutes having been made.
Liverpool U21s: Mrozek, Miles (Davidson, 62), Chambers, Pinnington, Nallo, McConnell, Kone-Doherty (Jonas, 78), Pilling (Frauendorf, 62), Musialowski, Nyoni, Scanlon (Spearing, 80).
Unused sub: Kelly.
The U21s will seek to bounce back quickly when they complete the Bristol Street Motors Trophy group stage at Barrow on Tuesday night.
That match gets under way at 7pm GMT.