Liverpool under-18s manager Marc Bridge-Wilkinson was left to rue a 2-2 draw at Stoke which was “not our finest,” despite Jayden Danns’ double.
Stoke U18s 2-2 Liverpool U18s
U18 Premier League, Clayton Wood
April 22, 2023
Goals: Watson 28′ pen 83′; Danns 60′ 81′
Though more dropped points left Liverpool unable to finish above fifth in the U18s league, there was at least a positive as Danns netted another brace.
The 17-year-old followed up his goal against Newcastle and double against Leeds with two in the second half at Stoke, making it five goals and an assist in his last four outings.
Unfortunately, though Danns’ second on Saturday made it 2-1 heading towards full-time, a handball two minutes later gave Adam Watson the chance to level from the spot.
Watson had opened the scored midway through the first half, against a young Reds side featuring 16-year-old Egyptian forward Kareem Ahmed up front.
Ahmed produced a scintillating run of form during the under-16s’ push to the semi-finals of the MIC Tournament in Spain earlier this month, and is likely to step up to the U18s on a regular basis next season.
Danns’ two goals came in the space of 21 second-half minutes, but relinquishing their lead, Liverpool saw Stoke pull clear in fourth.
Bridge-Wilkinson’s side only have one league game remaining – at home to Newcastle next weekend – and speaking to the club’s official website he described the draw as “not our finest.”
After the clash with Newcastle, the U18s are set to take part in a post-season tournament, which is likely to give hints at the squad for the next campaign.
Liverpool U18s: Mrozek; Miles, Pitt, Furnell-Gill, Scanlon; Davidson, Morrison (McConnell 56′), Onanuga (Kelly 78′); Figueroa, Danns, Ahmed (Koumas 56′)
Subs not used: Hewitson, Samuels
Next match: Newcastle (H) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, April 29, 1pm (BST)