Liverpool U21s 2-1 Spurs U21s
Report from Langtree Park
31 October 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-21s gave their all but slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool in the Barclays U21 Premier League at Langtree Park, home of St Helens Rugby League, on Friday night.
There were three debutants on the night - young goalkeeper Tom Glover, just 16, made his first start and was joined off the bench in the second half by Under-18 regulars Shayon Harrison and Ismail Azzaoui. Liverpool included a familiar face at left-back in Kevin Stewart, who came through our Academy system and played regularly for our U21s before switching to the Reds.
The first half was all action.
It started as early as the second minute when Jerome Sinclair stepped into the area from the right, placed his effort past Glover only to see it come back off the post.
Will Miller responded with a 25-yarder just over and Glover needed to be on his toes to touch over Kent's 20-yard drive on 13 minutes.
Kent was central to Liverpool's best work and fired just wide from 30 yards before opening the scoring on 28 minutes. The number 10 was initially brought down on the edge of the box, picked himself up and curled the free-kick low into the bottom corner.
Glover did well to turn wide Kent's deflected cross on 31 minutes and Danny Ward then produced a stunning save to keep out Alex McQueen. Bursting into the box from the right, McQueen let fly from 12 yards but Ward stuck out his right hand to divert the effort wide.
The Reds then hit the post again in an almost carbon-copy effort to Sinclair's, this time Kent played in Wilson on the right, he rolled to the far corner only to see the ball come back off the upright.
We levelled on 40 minutes. McQueen crossed from the right, Miller managed to get the ball under control and then fired low across Ward and home off the post, just what we needed before the break.
We started the second half well and carved out the first chance on 49 minutes. Winks played a corner into Josh Onomah, he turned on a sixpence to leave two defenders standing and rolled back to Emmanuel Sonupe, who curled wide.
Two minutes later and Harry Winks released Daniel Akindayini who skipped past the advancing Ward and rolled towards the empty net only to see Dan Cleary slide the ball against his own post and away.
Liverpool then struck back to take the lead on 53 minutes. Brad Smith whipped a low cross in from the left and Rossiter arrived to dispatch from 10 yards.
Play continued to switch end to end and Akindayini rose well to glance Winks' cross just over and Wilson's goalbound shot hit his own player, Sinclair. Winks curled a yard wide on the hour.
Substitute Daniel Trickett-Smith flew in to head Stewart's cross just wide on 64 minutes and Harrison soon followed him off the bench for his Under-21 debut, replacing Sonupe.
Joe Pritchard came on for Connor Ogilvie on 76 minutes as we switched to a 3-5-2 system, McQueen moving to left-back and Azzaoui arrived for his debut for Akindayini on 79 minutes.
Clear-cut chances were now starting to dry out somewhat though and it wasn't until the 85th minute that we opened Liverpool up again as Harrison broke through centrally and flashed a drive just wide.
Winks' corner in added time caused all sorts of problems as Dominic Ball and Onomah tried their luck, Onomah's effort blocked by Pelosi.
With just 10 seconds left, Winks' deep cross found Harrison and his low cross somehow evaded Cameron Carter-Vickers sliding in at the far post with the goal at his mercy.
Ugo Ehiogu said
"The feeling is one of disappointment," said Ugo. "As good as the standard was against Chelsea (a 1-0 win on Monday), I thought we didn't do the basics right against Liverpool.
"We started slowly and allowed them to get a little momentum. They hit the post early and it just seemed like we were caught out.
"We were fortunate to come in at 1-1 but we'd got back into the game and you think 'we've learned from our mistakes' but we were poor in some key moments.
Liverpool: Ward; Stewart, Cleary (Brannagan, 78), Jones (C), Maguire (Pelosi, 62); Williams, Rossiter; Wilson (Trickett-Smith, 62), Kent, Smith; Sinclair. Unused subs: Vigouroux, Randall.
Spurs: Glover; McQueen, Ball, Carter-Vickers, Ogilvie (Pritchard, 76); Lesniak, Winks, Onomah; Miller, Akindayini (Azzaoui, 79), Sonupe (Harrison, 66). Unused subs: Miles.