Daniel Trickett-Smith was the hero with an injury time equaliser as Liverpool came from 2-1 down to take a vital point at home to fellow title competitors Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool went into the game in good shape in the league, four points off first placed Sunderland but three games in hand. Tottenham Hotspur, on the other hand, were only one point behind Sunderland with one game in hand and knew a point would take them top on goal difference.
The match couldn’t have started better for Liverpool as Dan Trickett-Smith pinched the ball in midfield and after a quick dart forward by Kristoffer Peterson the ball was played back to Trickett-Smith who fired low and hard into the bottom left corner. The goal came after roughly fifteen seconds and Liverpool then went close again just a minute later as the young Reds threatened to run away with it.
However, Liverpool couldn’t maintain their intensity and before long Tottenham were starting to dominate possession and went close twice with only some inspired goalkeeping from Ryan Fulton maintaining the slim advantage.
Before long though the Londoners pressure told and a simple through ball from midfield found right winger Roman Michael-Percil with time and space; he made no mistake in rifling Spurs level.
This did wake Liverpool up a bit but they still could not impose themselves on the Tottenham side who were significantly superior in their physical stature. The likes of Victor Zapata-Caicedo and Nathan Oduwa were towering figures and their pace and strength caused the young Reds significant problems.
The second half continued with a similar pattern, Liverpool managed to threaten only once early on when a poor clearance by Tottenham goalkeeper Luke McGee allowed Alex O’Hanlon to fire goal-wards but the Spurs ‘keeper redeemed himself with a good save with his feet.
It was no surprise when Tottenham did take the lead; Roman Michael-Percil looked to be trying to cross the ball but it carried on into the far side of the goal and Yalany Baio couldn’t keep it out despite getting a head on it.
At last, Liverpool began to assert some dominance as Tottenham got progressively deeper and deeper. Alex O’Hanlon started driving hard at the heart of the Tottenham defence and Jordan Rossiter was superb in picking up the scraps and recycling possession.
With time ticking away Cameron Brannagan spotted a gap and darted to the edge of the penalty area, Spurs ‘keeper Luke McGee came to clear the ball but missed it altogether and took out the Liverpool midfielder but the referee turned down Liverpool’s penalty appeals.
Throughout the mayhem of a last minute assault on goal, Jordan Rossiter remained a composed figure and it was his lead-by-example attitude that pushed Liverpool into the right part of the pitch as he stole possession and drove deep into the right side of the penalty area. Unfortunately he slipped at the vital moment but from the resulting goal kick the ball found itself back on the right hand side with Ryan Kent; the nippy winger won a throw-in, received the ball back from Baio, then threw a hopeful cross into the area. Showing great instincts, makeshift centre forward Dan Trickett-Smith got infront of Aaron McEnuff and controlled superbly with his chest before lashing home a dramatic last second equaliser and sparking the biggest pile-on ever seen at The Academy.
In the end Liverpool deserved their point, Tottenham were strong and powerful but Liverpool maintained their composure at the critical moments to take the point.
Liverpool under-18s next game is on Saturday at 11am as they take on Stoke City at The Academy, live on LFCtv.
Liverpool Line-Up: Fulton; Baio, Jones, Heaton, Maguire; Rossiter, Brannagan, O’Hanlon; Peterson, Wilson (Kent); Trickett-Smith.
Unused subs: Crump; Burke, Robles
Tottenham Hotspur Line-Up: McGee; McQueen, Ball, McEnuff, Ward; Lesniak, Winks, Lameiras; Oduwa, Michael-Percil; Victor Zapata-Caicedo
Tottenham subs: Priestly; Vincent-Young, Brown, Bush, McQueen.
Man of the Match: Daniel Trickett-Smith (Liverpool)