ST HELENS, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 24, 2018: Liverpool's Rhys Williams (3rd from left) celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mates during the UEFA Youth League Group C match between Liverpool FC and FK Crvena zvezda at Langtree Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool U18s go top of the table with win over Stoke

Liverpool’s U18s earned a 3-1 victory over Stoke City on Wednesday lunchtime, going top of the U18 Premier League in the process.

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.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 26, 2019: Liverpool's captain Paul Glatzel during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at The Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • 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, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 18, 2018: Liverpool's Rhys Williams celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Youth League Group C match between Liverpool FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Langtree Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

ST HELENS, ENGLAND - Monday, December 10, 2018: Liverpool's manager Barry Lewtas before the UEFA Youth League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Langtree Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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)

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