Layton Stewart’s 10th goal of the season would not prove enough as 10-man Liverpool under-18s were left to rue missed chances and mistakes in a 2-1 defeat at Wolves.
Wolves U18s 2-1 Liverpool U18s
U18 Premier League, Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground
November 7, 2020
Goals: Tipton pen 71′, Bugarin 90+1′; Stewart 12′
Following on from two successive victories where the young Reds found the net four times in each, Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side were back on the hunt for a win to move them to the top of the U18 Premier League table.
Two changes were made from the side who dispatched Newcastle 4-1 last time out, with Conor Bradley restored at right-back after a spell with the U23s, while James Norris returned on the opposite flank.
They were without James Balagizi, as caution was opted for due to a knock, against a Wolves side who were in the knowledge that a win over the Reds would see them level on points after seven games.
Both sides showed their attacking intent in the early stages, but there was only ever going to be one Red top opening the scoring – and that was the prolific Layton Stewart in the 12th minute.
Jarell Quansah, who was a pillar in defence throughout, set the move in motion with a bright run forward before finding Dominic Corness on the left, where his first-time ball across the box was met in emphatic fashion by the No. 9 for his 10th goal of the season.
He would nearly turn provider to fellow forwards Melkamu Frauendorf and Max Woltman, only for the pair to see their strikes whiz narrowly beyond the left upright.
Half time: Wolves U18s 0-1 Liverpool U18s
The end of the first 45 and the start of the second was one for the goalkeepers, with Jakub Ojrzynski pulling off a fine save over his cross-bar from a long-range strike, while Stewart asked questions of Wolves‘ ‘keeper with a right-foot strike early in the second half.
Tyler Morton and Stewart would prove the constant threat for the young Reds, with the former finding the in-form striker with ease – and Liverpool should have established a comfortable buffer.
But events took a dramatic turn midway through the second half when Luca Stephenson illegally swapped his midfield duties for goalkeeping ones after using his arm to deny Wolves on the goal-line.
A straight red card was given and Wolves‘ Oliver Tipton converted from the ensuing penalty to cancel out the Reds’ opener with 20 minutes remaining.
Bridge-Wilkinson’s were not to go in their shelves, however, carving out a myriad of goalscoring opportunities – but it would not prove enough as Wolves‘ Erik Bugarin saw his effort squirm beyond Ojrzynski in stoppage time to inflict the U18s’ second defeat of the season.
TIA Man of the Match: Layton Stewart
Liverpool U18s: Ojrzynski; Bradley, Quansah, Jonas, Norris; Stephenson (red card 70′), Morton, Corness; Stewart, Woltman (Musialowski 87′), Frauendorf (Cannonier 77′)
Subs not used: Mrozek, Wilson