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′
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.
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.
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)