Woltman and Gordon score to give U23s victory at Crystal Palace

Match reportWoltman and Gordon score to give U23s victory at Crystal Palace

Published 24th January 2022
By Glenn Price

Liverpool U23s secured a hard-fought 2-0 win away at Crystal Palace in Premier League 2 on Monday afternoon.

Max Woltman opened the scoring after 19 minutes of the contest when he converted from Leighton Clarkson's brilliant cross.

Kaide Gordon had a spot-kick saved at the end of the first half, but then made amends when he wrapped up the three points in injury time following a valiant defensive display from the Reds in the second period.

Palace fielded ex-Liverpool duo Martin Kelly and Nathaniel Clyne as part of a strong XI, with the latter creating the game's first real chance in the 18th minute. 

The full-back was sent free down the left and his delivery into the box was deflected by Owen Beck towards Rob Street, who was off-target from close range.  

A matter of seconds later, a blistering attack saw the visitors take the lead.

Gordon cut inside and laid the ball off for Tyler Morton to find Clarkson's charge down the right wing. The recipient of the pass fired a whipped ball across the face of Palace's goal, allowing Woltman to tap in with a first-time finish.

There was action in both areas towards the end of the first half. 

Palace nearly equalised from a corner as John-Kymani Gordon had a goalbound shot blocked and Marcelo Pitaluga was required to keep out Kelly's effort following the rebound. 

Liverpool's Gordon could have made it 2-0 right on the stroke of half-time but saw a penalty kick he won and took saved by Remi Matthews. 

Barry Lewtas' side would spend the next 45 minutes under significant pressure from the hosts.

Pitaluga made two smart saves to deny Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Street, with Jarell Quansah also on hand to make a vital block to stop Nya Kirby's shot. James Balagizi tracked back from midfield to make a crucial interception to prevent Jairo Riedewald from picking up the ball inside the 18-yard box.

Three minutes before the end of the 90, Nathan Ferguson squandered a glorious chance to equalise when he headed wide from a corner. 

But having soaked up all that pressure, Liverpool launched a counter-attack in the 92nd minute to clinch the win.

Gordon carried possession into Palace's half, before cutting inside on his left foot and bending a shot into the far corner from around 20 yards out, leaving Matthews with no chance. 

Liverpool U23s: Pitaluga, Bradley, Quansah, Koumetio, Beck, Clarkson, Morton, Balagizi (Clayton, 82), Gordon, Woltman (Bearne, 88), Norris.

Unused substitutes: Kelly, O'Rourke.

Published 24th January 2022