Everton U23s 1-3 Liverpool U23s
August 23, 2021
Goals: Ferreira 62′; Ojo 40′, Gordon 54′, Woltman 78′
It is four-and-a-half years since Ojo’s last competitive outing for the Reds’ first team, with the winger taking in loan spells with Fulham, Stade de Reims, Rangers and Cardiff since then.
Omitted from the senior squad for pre-season, he has been training with the U23s since his return to Kirkby, and on Monday night was named in Barry Lewtas’ starting lineup.
At 24, Ojo is considered an over-age player in
Liverpool dominated from the start as a result, with Everton clinging on with two goal-line clearances to deny Beck and Woltman, before Ojo broke the deadlock after a brilliant piece of play from captain Tom Clayton.
Though the momentum shifted slightly after the break, Lewtas’ side were still able to make their quality count as Gordon netted his second goal at U23s level.
There was perhaps an element of fortune as his long-range effort dipped under goalkeeper Zan-Luk Leban, but the 16-year-old showed his ability as he made it difficult from distance.
Everton briefly reduced the deficit through Rafael Garcia, denying Liam Hughes a second clean sheet in two games, but Woltman scored his first U23s goal to ensure all three points in a strong Merseyside derby showing.
With just a week remaining of the transfer window, it is unlikely this squad will remain together for the long-term, but the performances of those expected to remain – including Bradley, who assisted both Gordon and Woltman – are a sign of things to come.
For Ojo, he will perhaps be hoping this was his last appearance for the U23s, as either a loan or a permanent exit beckons before August 31.
Liverpool U23s: Hughes; Bradley, R.Williams, Koumetio, Beck; Clayton, Morton, Cain; Gordon (Bearne 90+1′), Ojo, Woltman (O’Rourke 86′)
Subs not used: Kelly, Norris, Ritaccio
Next match: Brighton (H) –