Liverpool U18s 3-4 Chelsea U18s
FA Youth Cup 5th Round, Kirkby
January 29, 2022
Goals: Chambers 5’, Gordon 39’, Cannonier 59’; Webster 70′, Soonsup-Bell 77′, Mothersille 88′, Mendel-Idowu 90+5′
The young Reds’ cup exploits continued at a blistering cold Kirkby on a night that saw Marc Bridge-Wilkinson name a strong side with more than a few familiar names.
Harvey Davies, Kaide Gordon, Melkamu Frauendorf and Oakley Cannonier lined up in the XI but the hero from the last round in Mateusz Musialowski was absent due to injury, as was the impressive Stefan Bajcetic.
From the off, Liverpool’s intent was clear, with high octane play on the ball met equally by the work ethic off it to leave the visitors fighting for scraps, until they were not.
What followed was a seven-goal contest that left the Reds strewn on the pitch in despair.
Luke Chambers opened the scoring inside five minutes after his run from left-back was identified by Frauendorf, not having to break stride the defender opened the scoring with a rifled shot into the far corner.
Then it was only a matter of time for Liverpool’s second-youngest goalscorer to find the net.
In the 39th-minute, the 17-year-old found the space exploited by Balagezi and Mabaya’s work in midfield to finish in a similar fashion to Chambers, sliding off into the distance in celebration.
Liverpool were proficient in winning the ball back across the pitch, leaving Chelsea with little time to settle with or without possession, that was until the latter stages of the second half.
He, in turn, passed it on to the onrushing Cannonier who finished in a fashion indicative of his 24th goal of the season – but it still was not to be enough.
It then all flipped on its head as one by one Chelsea pegged back each of the Reds’ goals in the space of 18 minutes, the first and third coming from rotten luck off a deflection.
The momentum was clearly with Chelsea and it was Liverpool’s turn to fight for possession but the pressure from the visitors proved too much as the ball was bundled into the back of the net deep into stoppage time. From 3-0 up to being on the end of a 4-3 defeat.
It’s a harsh lesson for the young Reds’ in-game management, but a valuable one nevertheless.
Liverpool U18s: Davies; Davidson, Chambers, Miles, Jonas (McConnell 76′); Mabaya, Frauendorf, Balagizi; Cannonier (Blair 81′), Gordon, Clark (Pilling 96′)
Subs not used: Hewitson, Lucky, Gyimah