TORINO, ITALY - Tuesday, March 15, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Calum Scanlon on the bench during the UEFA Youth League Quarter-Final between Juventus Under-19's and Liverpool FC Under-19's at the Juventus Training Centre. Juventus won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Left-back returns from 4-month injury as Liverpool U18s lose to league leaders

It was a heavy defeat for the Liverpool under-18s as they suffered at home to league leaders Sunderland, but there was one positive on the injury front.

Liverpool U18s 0-4 Sunderland U18s

U18 Premier League, AXA Training Centre
December 3, 2022

Goals: Fieldson 5′, Cotcher 47′ 54′, Middlemas 74′

Having returned to competitive action with a 2-1 defeat at Everton, the young Reds were back at the AXA Training Centre on Saturday as they hosted Sunderland.

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson was without 16-year-old winger Trent Kone-Doherty, one of the bright sparks of the campaign so far, due to injury picked up in the Merseyside derby.

But there was a return for Calum Scanlon, with the left-back having missed the entirety of the season so far, taking a place on the bench in Kirkby.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 3, 2022: Liverpool's Ranel Young during the Under-18 Premier League match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Sunderland AFC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Unfortunately, his comeback came in a 4-0 defeat, with Sunderland‘s dominance showing as they cemented themselves at the top of the U18 Premier League ahead of Man City.

Their opener came in the fifth minute, with Henry Fieldson heading home from a corner.

Liverpool held on until the break, with the marauding runs of centre-back and captain Terence Miles a key feature of their game as they looked to draw level.

But Sunderland doubled their lead soon after the restart, with Mason Cotcher the recipient of a simple chance after the young Reds’ back line fell asleep.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 3, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Luke Hewitson during the Under-18 Premier League Cup match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Tottenham Hotspur FC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Goalkeeper Luke Hewitson, a former Sunderland youth, made a number of strong stops throughout, but the Black Cats were 3-0 up in the 54th minute as Cotcher doubled his tally.

Scanlon replaced Nathan Giblin at left-back on the hour, and showed signs of his quality on returning to the side, making up for lost time after an impressive start to life at Liverpool.

But Sunderland sealed their victory midway through the half as Ben Middlemas made it 4-0, leaving the young Reds facing a frustrating three-week wait until their next outing, away to Bournemouth in the FA Youth Cup.

TIA Man of the Match: Josh Davidson

Liverpool U18s: Hewitson; Davidson, Miles, Samuels, Giblin (Scanlon 62′); Laffey, Pilling, Pennington (Gift 46′); Young (Morrison 89′), Kelly, Danns

Subs not used: Trueman, Pitt

Next match: Bournemouth (A) – FA Youth Cup – Thursday, December 22, 2pm (GMT)