The Liverpool under-18s followed up their 7-1 opening-day win over Blackburn with a late 3-2 victory at home to Stoke, with Jake Cain‘s fine form continuing.
Liverpool U18s 3-2 Stoke U18s
U18 Premier League, Kirkby
August 17, 2019
Goals: Cain 9′, Hill 36′, Stewart 87′; Varian 28′, Jarrett 73′
The young Reds began the campaign with a comprehensive thumping of Rovers in Lancashire, with three new faces among the scorers—all netting braces.
An ever-improving Cain polished off that opening-day win, and it was the 17-year-old midfielder who opened the scoring for Barry Lewtas‘ side in their first home game of the season.
It came via a swift break, and Matteo Ritaccio supplied the through ball for Cain to convert; the versatile American almost laid on another minutes later, but neither Layton Stewart or James Balagizi could reach his cross.
Stoke secured an equaliser just before the half-hour, however, with Ethan Varian making sure on the goal-line after Lewis Macari’s header hit the post.
But Liverpool went in at the break ahead, with Tom Hill building on his two-goal debut with an impressive effort into the bottom-left corner.
The hosts kept knocking on the door after half-time, with the introduction of Niall Brookwell and Fidel O’Rourke providing more impetus, but Pat Jarrett beat Ben Winterbottom to level as the clock ran down.
Keeping up tradition after last season’s attacking heroics, though, the chance fell to 16-year-old Stewart to net a dramatic late strike.
It was an excellent strike, too, with the teenager lifting the ball over goalkeeper Paul Cooper with acrobatic volley, dispatching Cain’s long ball for a spectacular winner on his Kirkby debut.
Liverpool U18s: Winterbottom; Quansah (Brookwell 46′), Savage, Koumetio, Norris; Clarkson; Hill, Cain, Ritaccio; Stewart, Balagizi (O’Rourke 46′)
Subs not used: Kelly, Wilson, Beck