Liverpool U18s 3-1 Stoke U18s
U18 Premier League, Kirkby Academy
February 27, 2019
Goals: Williams 8′, Dixon-Bonner 23′, Clarkson 85′; Toure 16′
Barry Lewtas’ side took on the Potters at the Reds’ Academy, aiming to go three points clear of current leaders Derby County, albeit having played one game more.
There were three changes to the team that drew 1-1 at Newcastle on Saturday.
Matteo Ritaccio, Jack Bearne and Fidel O’Rourke made way for Abdi Sharif, Jake Cain and Paul Glatzel, meaning the latter teamed up with Bobby Duncan in attack.
The Reds were strong favourites to prevail against their sixth-place opponents.
- Lewtas makes three changes; Glatzel and Duncan both start
- Williams heads home the opener; Toure swiftly equalises
- Dixon-Bonner restores Liverpool’s lead before the break
- Clarkson puts the game to bed late on
- Liverpool go three points clear at the top
Liverpool made the perfect start on a gorgeous afternoon in Kirkby, with Rhys Williams celebrating his first professional contract by bagging the opening goal.
It was the centre-back’s fifth strike of an excellent season, heading home Jake Cain’s free-kick.
Stoke grabbed a surprise equaliser soon after, however, after Abdoulaye Toure cut inside finished well past Vitezslav Jaros.
An entertaining first half soon saw Lewtas’ side back ahead thanks to Elijah Dixon-Bonner.
The midfielder finished off a slick team move, following good work by strike pairing Glatzen and Duncan, as well as Jack Walls and Leighton Clarkson.
Dixon-Bonner almost grabbed his second of the game just before half-time, but the Reds still had a lead at the interval, having dominated proceedings.
Liverpool continued to press for a third goal in the second half, giving them some daylight between themselves and their opponents.
Ritaccio and Bearne were introduced in place of Sharif and Cain respectively, but the Reds weren’t as in control as the minutes ticked by.
Leighton Clarkson, scorer of the late equaliser against Newcastle at the weekend, put the game to bed in the dying minutes, finding the net coolly after robbing Dan Malone of the ball.
The victory lifts Liverpool to the top of the U18 Premier League by three points, although destiny is still in Derby’s hands for the time being.
Liverpool U18s: Jaros; Walls, R.Williams, Boyes, Larouci; Dixon-Bonner; Sharif (Ritaccio), Cain (Bearne 78′), Clarkson; Glatzel (O’Rourke 90′), Duncan.
Subs not used: Atherton, Savage
Next Match: Blackburn (H) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, March 2, 11am (GMT)