Oakley Cannonier broke the 40-goal mark for the season as the Liverpool under-18s recovered from a big setback in their title pursuit by winning 5-1 at Wolves.
Wolves U18s 1-5 Liverpool U18s
U18 Premier League, Aggborough Stadium
April 19, 2022
Goals: Roberts 43′; Chambers pen 11′, Cannonier 35′ 37′, Clark 56′, Blair 64′
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson was able to name a ridiculously stacked side including Cannonier, James Balagizi, Harvey Blair, Melkamu Frauendorf and Bobby Clark, while Harvey Davies made his return to the side.
The strength that Liverpool could call upon showed, as they surged to a comfortable lead in the opening 45 minutes, kicked off by Luke Chambers‘ penalty.
Cannonier netted twice in three minutes, including a fine glancing header to cap a wonderful team move, which brought his season’s tally to the 40-goal mark.
Wolves did grab one back, however, with a slip from Balagizi – who has struggled for consistency this season – allowing Tyler Roberts through to reduce the deficit just before half-time.
HT: Wolves U18s 1-3 Liverpool U18s
Not long after the restart, Cannonier laid on the young Reds’ fourth, as a failed effort of his own then led to a cross in for Clark, who gratefully headed home.
A sensational solo goal from Blair then made it 5-1, the burly striker driving through the defence, holding off two challenges before, while on the ground, clipping it into the bottom corner.
Such was Liverpool’s dominance, and their constricting press, that centre-back Lee Jonas regularly found himself in the Wolves penalty box, while captain Luca Stephenson dictated with freedom from the No. 6.
And the lead allowed Bridge-Wilkinson to hand a warming return to Charlie Hayes-Green, the 17-year-old who has been sidelined for the entire season after undergoing surgery in the summer, replacing the impressive Calum Scanlon.
Cannonier was tireless to the final whistle, chasing every loose ball and sniffing out opportunities for his hat-trick – and while it never came, the brace ensured he heads into the final four games of the season with 40 goals to his name.
TIA Man of the Match: Oakley Cannonier
Liverpool U18s: Davies; Frauendorf (Osborne 64′), Jonas, Chambers, Scanlon (Hayes-Green 74′); Stephenson, Balagizi, McConnell (Koumas 81′); Blair, Clark, Cannonier
Subs not used: Hewitson, Pilling