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Harvey Elliott scores first Liverpool goal in close-fought defeat to Oldham

Harvey Elliott scored in his first competitive game for Liverpool, as the under-21s fell to a close 3-2 defeat to Oldham in their EFL Trophy opener on Wednesday.

Oldham Athletic 3-2 Liverpool U21s

EFL Trophy, Boundary Park
August 7, 2019

Goals: Segbe Azankpo 20′, Iacovitti 29′, Stott 81′; N.Williams 4′, Elliott 44′

After their omission for the Community Shield, pre-season regulars Elliott, Sepp van den Berg, Yasser Larouci, Adam Lewis, Curtis Jones and Bobby Duncan all started in Oldham.

One yet to receive first-team recognition got the young Reds off to the perfect start, though, with right-back Neco Williams firing a brilliant volley beyond Gregor Zabret after just four minutes.

The hosts were on level terms soon after, however, and it came through a mistake from Morgan Boyes as he sold Duncan short with his pass out and Desire Segbe Azankpo beat Dan Atherton from the resulting break for 1-1.

Oldham then went 2-1 up before the half-hour, with ex-Man United winger Chris Eagles’ free-kick exploiting a weakness for the young Reds as Alex Iacovitti struck.

But Elliott restored parity on the cusp of half-time, as he tapped in Curtis Jones‘ rebounded effort following some nice footwork to fool Zabret.

OLDHAM, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 7, 2019: Liverpool's Neco Williams (2nd L) celebrates scoring the first goal with team-mates Harvey Elliott (L) and Pedro Chirivella (R) during the English Football League Trophy Northern Group B match between Oldham Athletic AFC and Liverpool FC at Boundary Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool took an early blow in the second half as Isaac Christie-Davies was forced off through injury, with 18-year-old Elijah Dixon-Bonner taking his place, while another midfielder, Lewis, began to take control.

Lewis’ ball over the top almost saw Dixon-Bonner give the young Reds the lead shortly after coming on, but Zabret was a match for the youngster’s volley.

Substitute Jack Bearne, who took the lively Elliott’s place, troubled the on-loan Swansea ‘keeper with his darting runs from attack, but was unable to convert any chances.

Ultimately, Oldham’s winner came via another set-piece, as Jamie Stott headed beyond Atherton from a corner, again highlighting a lack of organisation at the back.

The young Reds did almost grab an equaliser late on, but Bearne was just short of Curtis Jones‘ cross, and a first foray into the EFL Trophy—and for many, football against a senior side—ended in defeat.

TIA Man of the Match: Adam Lewis

Liverpool U21s: Atherton; N.Williams, Van den Berg, Boyes, Larouci; Chirivella, Christie-Davies (Dixon-Bonner 51′), Lewis; Elliott (Bearne 66′), Jones, Duncan

Subs not used: Winterbottom, Clayton, Gallacher, Varesanovic

Next Match: Tottenham U23s (H) – Premier League 2 – Saturday, August 10, 2pm (BST)

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