The Liverpool under-23s suffered a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday, with young right-back Jack Walls making his comeback after re-signing with the club.
Brighton U23s 1-0 Liverpool U23s
Premier League 2, AMEX Elite Performance Centre
October 17, 2020
Goals: Khadra 50′
Barry Lewtas’ U23s took to the field without one of their standout performers on Saturday, with Leighton Clarkson serving the first of his three-match ban for a straight red card in the 5-3 win at Man United last time out.
Remi Savage started at left-back, with Rhys Williams and Sepp van den Berg at centre-back, and Walls made his return to the side at right-back, with natural centre-back Tom Clayton taking Clarkson’s place at the base of midfield.
For Walls, it was a momentous afternoon, having been released by Liverpool earlier in the summer only to rejoin the club this month to provide cover at full-back.
Unfortunately, a mistake from the 19-year-old led to the only goal of the game through Reda Khadra, who caught Walls in possession and beat Jakub Ojrzynski with a curler.
Ojrzynski himself was stepping up from his usual role with the under-18s as Vitezslav Jaros covered as third goalkeeper for the first team, and the young Pole largely impressed despite missing out on a clean sheet.
Liam Millar, denied a late loan move to the Championship on Friday, was the dangerman for Liverpool, but the Canadian was unable to fashion a decisive opening.
A returning Joe Hardy went close after fine work from Luis Longstaff in the second half, but ultimately the U23s could consider themselves lucky to end the game with only a 1-0 defeat as Peter Gwargis missed out late on.
The U23s are still without the injured Paul Glatzel, while Tom Hill is a long-term absentee, and there is a distinct lack of end product with the likes of Neco Williams, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott no longer available for selection.
It is a situation that Lewtas will hope to navigate as he presides over the development of a promising attacking unit including the likes of Longstaff, Jack Bearne and Jake Cain, who are talented but so far lacking consistency.
TIA Man of the Match: Liam Millar
Liverpool U23s: Ojrzynski; Walls, R.Williams, Van den Berg, Savage; Clayton; Bearne (Hardy 57′), Cain, Sharif (Dixon-Bonner 61′), Millar; Longstaff (O’Rourke 80′)
Subs not used: Winterbottom