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Liverpool U18s clinch runners-up spot as 17-year-old nets debut goal

Exciting midfielder Tommy Pilling scored his first goal for the Liverpool under-18s as they beat Blackburn 3-1, clinching a second-placed finish in the league.

Liverpool U18s 3-1 Blackburn U18s

U18 Premier League, Kirkby
April 30, 2022

Goals: Chambers pen 6′, Blair 8′, Pilling 35′; Biniek pen 54′

After seeing their title hopes officially end the previous weekend, the young Reds were back at Kirkby for their penultimate game of the season against third-placed Blackburn.

Victory would be enough to seal second in the U18 Premier League, and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s teenagers surged to a two-goal lead within the first eight minutes.

Liverpool’s opener came via trusted spot-kick taker Luke Chambers, who stepped up to convert his fourth penalty in his last six games after centre-back partner Terence Miles was fouled.

DERBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 19, 2022: Liverpool's Harvey Blair during the Under-18 Premier League match between Derby County FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at Moor Farm Training Centre. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Harvey Blair, who had already missed a huge chance early on, then made it 2-0 as he tucked home Oakley Cannonier’s great pass across the face of goal.

Cannonier later saw an effort of his own flagged for offside, but Pilling capped a perfect first half with his maiden U18s goal, driving in from outside the box.

Both Cannonier and Blair had further efforts to increase the lead before the break but failed to capitalise, and Blackburn’s Dominik Biniek reduced the deficit from the spot early into the second half after Isaac Mabaya was penalised.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 6, 2021: Liverpool's Oakley Cannonier during the U18 Premier League match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Middlesbrough FC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. Middlesbrough won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Injury to midfielder James McConnell prompted a shift in Bridge-Wilkinson’s setup, with forward Iwan Roberts introduced and anchorman Luca Stephenson moving to centre-back.

Liverpool kept their fluency, but were unable to add another more goals, with a 3-1 victory enough to wedge distance between themselves and Blackburn and finish second.

Liverpool U18s: Davies; Mabaya (Koumas 73′), Miles, Chambers, Scanlon; Stephenson, Pilling, McConnell (Roberts 48′); Frauendorf, Blair, Cannonier

Subs not used: Hewitson, Gyimah, Pennington

Next match: Newcastle (A) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, May 7, 11am (BST)

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