AcademyU21s match report: Liverpool held to 2-2 draw by Brighton in PL2
Liverpool U21s were held to a 2-2 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion in Premier League 2 on Monday afternoon.
Andy Moran tucked in a finish to put the away side in front early in the second half at the Academy but the Reds quickly responded through Harvey Blair’s well-taken strike.
Substitute Layton Stewart then benefited from a deflection that carried his effort into the net as Barry Lewtas’ team looked to have secured the win, only for Cam Peupion to equalise late on.
Brighton posed the game’s first danger with five minutes on the clock.
Peupion delivered a cutback from the right side of the box and, at the second attempt, Jack Hinshelwood fired in a shot that was parried by Harvey Davies, with Moran hooking the rebound over.
When an attempted clearance from the goalkeeper came to Liverpool’s Dominic Corness soon after, the midfielder wasn’t too far away with his instantaneous chip towards the top corner.
Next, Blair sprinted into a shooting position down the left and sliced his finish off target on the angle, before the wide forward embarked on an even more impressive dribble.
It started near the halfway line, Blair shimmying his way past a succession of challenges at speed, before dragging his left-footed hit wide.
Hinshelwood thumped the ball the wrong side of Davies’ left post after a Brighton free-kick was cleared to the edge of the area, then Peupion was forced to thump wide to the other side due to pressure from Billy Koumetio.
The Reds’ best threat of the first half perhaps came three minutes before its end; Corness fed a pass to James McConnell at the ‘D’ and he burst through to slide a low shot that was denied by Killian Cahill between the posts.
The visitors began the second half brightly and they edged ahead exactly two minutes in.
Moran spread play out to the right flank for Peupion and moved into the middle of the area to receive a return pass and coolly convert past Davies.
McConnell saw another low effort pushed out by Cahill as the Liverpool reaction cranked up – and the hosts drew level in classy fashion in the 59th minute.
Ben Doak’s pace and trickery took him into the Brighton box and having drawn three defenders over, he picked out Blair in the centre and his touch and rolled finish found the bottom left corner.
Buoyed, the Reds forged on; Corness slashed too high from a promising position 20 yards out and, following a period of opposition pressure, a Doak run the length of the Brighton half was halted by a last-ditch tackle.
Lewtas’ charges completed the turnaround 15 minutes from time, though.
Persistent harrying in the opposition area by Owen Beck and Stewart forced an error and when the latter took the loose ball and fired at goal, a hefty deflection stranded Cahill and put Liverpool ahead.
They were denied a third of the afternoon by an offside flag when Tom Hill beat Cahill from Stewart’s assist into the area – and it would prove a sliding doors moment.
Into the 86th minute, Brighton attacked along the left flank and eventually drew a save from Davies, with Peupion on hand to tap in the rebound from close range.
The Reds then needed Koumetio to expertly time a block and prevent Peupion from continuing into a one-on-one in behind as an entertaining PL2 clash ended honours even.
Liverpool U21s: Davies, Stephenson, Beck, Jonas, Koumetio, Corness, Doak, McConnell (Norris, 54), Woltman (Stewart, 64), Clark (Hill, 64), Blair (Musialowski, 64).
Unused sub: Olufunwa.