Oakley Cannonier struck yet again as the Liverpool under-18s twice fought back for a 3-2 win at Sunderland, to continue an emphatic end to the campaign.
Sunderland U18s 2-3 Liverpool U18s
U18 Premier League, Academy of Light
April 23, 2022
Goals: Middlemas 7′, Bainbridge 47′; Chambers pen 30′, McConnell 70′, Cannonier 90+1′
It has been a remarkable year for Cannonier, who has stepped up as leading goalscorer in the Reds’ academy after an injury-plagued season last time out.
The 17-year-old has shed the tag as Liverpool’s most famous ball boy and instead gained a reputation as a deadly, hardworking striker for the U18s.
Saturday saw Cannonier net his 41st goal of the season – and though the young Reds’ title hopes are effectively over, it kept up a stunning end to 2021/22 under Marc Bridge-Wilkinson.
Liverpool went behind again just after the break, though, as Oliver Bainbridge headed home from close range.
But ex-Sunderland midfielder James McConnell was on hand to restore parity in the 70th minute, with the tie looking set to play out as a draw as full-time neared.
With Man City surging to a high-scoring victory over Derby elsewhere, however, the title is almost certainly wrapped up for Liverpool’s rivals.
Nevertheless, it is proving to be a hugely positive end to the season for Bridge-Wilkinson’s side, with the only blemish on the afternoon being a first-half injury to centre-back Lee Jonas.
Liverpool U18s: Mrozek; Osborne (Koumas 89′), Jonas (Pilling 40′), Chambers, Scanlon; Stephenson, McConnell, Frauendorf; Clark, Musialowski, Cannonier
Subs not used: Hewitson