Kieran Morrison notched an impressive hat-trick for Liverpool U18s as they emerged victorious from a lively encounter with Middlesbrough.
Liverpool U18s 3-1 Middlesbrough U18s
U18 Premier League, AXA Training Centre
November 4, 2023
Goals: Morrison 26′, 47′, 90+3′; Coulson 35′
There were plenty of talking points after the young Reds wrapped up all three points in the dying seconds, with Morrison capping an all-round quality performance with a late winner to take home the match ball.
The 16-year-old opened the scoring inside the first half-hour by converting the rebound from a Ranel Young effort that struck the woodwork.
It came somewhat against the run of play after Middlesbrough put Liverpool on the back foot in the early stages, with the visitors giving goalkeeper Kornel Misciur plenty to think about.
A couple of new-ish faces in the #LFC U18s side today vs. Middlesbrough.
Centre-back Louis Enahoro-Marcus makes his second start and forward Josh Lambie his first.
XI: Misciur; Pitt, Lucky, Enahoro-Marcus, Gyimah; Laffey, Kelly, Onanuga; Young, Morrison, Lambie
— Jack Lusby (@LusbyJack) November 4, 2023
The Reds’ lead didn’t last long, however, with Frankie Coulson levelling matters with a close-range shot following some clever play from Rio Patterson-Powell.
Liverpool then found a foothold in the game and created a number of openings, before regaining the lead almost immediately after the interval when Morrison latched onto a loose ball in the area to get his second of the contest.
Middlesbrough then won themselves a penalty when Wellity Lucky brought down Patterson-Powell in the area, presenting the visitors with a huge chance to get back on terms.
Patterson-Powell stepped up to take it, but Misciur was able to block the effort with his feet before Jack Patterson was denied by the crossbar in the follow-up.
It was a blow to Middlesbrough but they continued to pile on the pressure, with Charlie Lennon seeing his second-half strike chalked off for offside by the assistant referee.
Morrison then managed to kill the contest in the dying moments, completing his hat-trick and getting his first three goals of the U18 Premier League season.
The win puts the young Reds within three points of Man United in top spot, but the league leaders do have a game in hand against Blackburn next weekend.
Liverpool U18s: Misciur; Pitt, Lucky, Enahoro-Marcus (Pennington 46′), Gyimah; Laffey, Kelly, Onanuga; Young (Upton 81′), Morrison, Lambie
Subs not used: Morana, Furnell-Gill, Martin
Next match: Stoke (A) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, November 11, 11.30am (GMT)