Liverpool U18s reached the FA Youth Cup final on Sunday afternoon, beating Watford 2-1 at Anfield thanks to Paul Glatzel’s double.
Liverpool U18s 2-1 Watford U18s
FA Youth Cup Semi-Final, Anfield
March 17, 2019
Goals: Glatzel 9′, 25′; Cassidy 80′
Barry Lewtas’ talented young side hosted the Hornets at the home of the Reds’ first team, in front of an expectant crowd.
England U18s international Luca Ashby-Hammond started in goal having signed for Liverpool on a one-game loan from Fulham on Friday, as emergency cover for the injured Vitezslav Jaros.
Neco Williams, Rhys Williams, Morgan Boyes and Yasser Larouci completed the back line.
A strong quartet of Leighton Clarkson, Abdi Sharif, Jake Cain, Elijah Dixon-Bonner made up the midfield, while lethal strike pairing Paul Glatzel and Bobby Duncan looked to wreak havoc in attack.
- Glatzel strikes early in front of the Kop; his 27th goal of the season
- The captain bags his second in the 25th minute
- Reds miss host of chances to kill the game off; Duncan particularly wasteful
- Watford improve after the break; Cassidy pulls a goal back, but Reds hold on
- Liverpool into the final; will face Man City or West Brom
Liverpool dominated the opening exchanges and it was no surprise to see them ahead with just eight minutes on the clock.
Duncan was denied in front of goal, but his partner in crime Glatzel was on hand to fire into an empty net in front of the Kop.
It was the captain’s 27th goal of an exceptional season.
The Reds looked dangerous every time they attacked, and both Duncan and right-back Williams (twice) shot wide for Lewtas’ side.
The lead was doubled midway through the first half, when Glatzel again found the net after Duncan was denied from point-blank range.
Duncan then lashed a shot narrowly wide and missed the target with the goal gaping, in a frustrating spell for the striker.
Williams, playing with the attacking thrust of Trent Alexander-Arnold, was the latest to shoot wide in a one-sided opening 45 minutes.
Watford attempted to produce a response after the restart, winning an early corner and playing with a little more confidence.
Ryan Cassidy missed a wonderful chance to reduce the arrears after being sent clean through, but he dragged his effort wide.
Glatzel was superbly denied by Dante Baptiste, thinking he had his hat-trick sewn up, and Duncan then failed to test the ‘keeper.
Duncan couldn’t buy a goal, with Baptiste again making a save, and Glatzel’s 20-yard hit was also kept out.
Larouci thundered a shot off the underside of the bar, with the Reds looking like the only side capable of altering the scoreline.
Duncan had his final off-target moment of the afternoon, on a day when he was uncharacteristically wasteful, and Glatzel was thwarted by Baptiste once more.
Cassidy pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left, rifling a finish past Ashby-Hammond, but the young Reds held on for a place in the final.
Can the Reds now match their 2007 success and go all the way?
TIA Man of the Match: Paul Glatzel
Liverpool U18s: Ashby-Hammond; N.Williams, R.Williams, Boyes, Larouci; Clarkson; Sharif, Cain, Dixon-Bonner (Longstaff 71′); Glatzel, Duncan
Subs not used: Kelly, Walls, Ritaccio, O’Rourke.