Owen Beck was the star of the show for Liverpool’s under-23s, with the left-back notching a goal and two assists to steer the Reds to a 3-2 comeback win over Brighton.
Liverpool U23s 3-2 Brighton U23s
Premier League 2, Kirkby
April 4, 2021
Goals: Hardy 47′, Gallacher 72′, Beck 79′; Ferguson 8′, 58′
It was back to the academy for Barry Lewtas’ men following on from their win over Southampton last time out, with four changes made for the visit of Brighton.
But the game got off to a wobbly start as the Reds were punished for a moment of poor judgement, with Remi Savage pressured from behind and playing a soft back pass which fell to Evan Ferguson, who smashed his effort into the top corner.
Elijah Dixon-Bonner ought to have seen then his pinpoint cross to a free Woodburn converted from close range, only for a poor first touch to see Longstaff’s subsequent effort deflected for a corner.
Woodburn and Tom Clayton would then line up efforts of their own not long later, but frustration would simmer for Liverpool and they were fortunate not to head into the break with a two-goal deficit to overcome as Brighton clipped the post on the cusp of the break.
Half-time: Liverpool 0-1 Brighton
Jake Cain would be injected into the clash after the break in a planned substitution for Clarkson, and he would make an instant impact as Liverpool equalised.
An incisive no-look pass across his body into the box found Beck, whose smart touch evaded defenders and saw Hardy take over to hit truly for his fourth goal of the season.
A frantic ten minutes would follow as Hardy dragged one effort wide while Liam Hughes would be called into action for a number of important saves, but the pressure would prove too great from Brighton as Ferguson hit his second.
Lewtas’ side would continue to push for their second equaliser of the afternoon and their effort was rewarded as Beck’s industry to bulldoze his way into the box set up his fellow full-back Tony Gallacher, who made it 2-2.
The favour would then be returned not long later as a cross-field pass was latched onto by Beck, who cut onto his right and rifled a shot into the roof of the net to hand the Reds the lead for the first time.
The victory moves Liverpool into fourth place in the Premier League 2 table.
TIA Man of the Match: Owen Beck
Liverpool U23s: Hughes; Beck, Boyes, Savage, Gallacher; Clayton, Clarkson (Cain 46′); Dixon-Bonner, Woodburn, Longstaff (O’Rourke 63′); Hardy (Sharif 90′)
Subs not used: Walls, Mrozek