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Liverpool u18 2 Sunderland u18 0 (Apr 28 2001)

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LIVERPOOL U18 2 Sunderland U18 0

Report by Dave Usher at the Academy

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Scorer(s) - Neil Mellor (2)

Half Time - 1-0

Venue - The Liverpool Academy

Date - Sat 28 Apr 2001

Star Man - Michael Foley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was originally supposed to be an under 17 play off fixture, but as neither the reds or Sunderland had any chance of progressing in the play offs, it was agreed that it would be an under 18 fixture instead, thus giving the reds the opportunity to give most of the youth cup team a run out ahead of their semi final second leg match at Blackburn in a fortnight.

 

With John Welsh and Mark Peers on international duty in the European under 16 championships, Leon Noel and Andy Nicholas came into the side, whilst young defender Adam Flynn lined up at right back ahead of regular choice Stephen Vaughan. The reds started well, with Michael Foley in excellent form in the middle of midfield.

 

Foley injured his knee earlier in the season in an under 19 match, and has missed all of the youth cup campaign as a result. He would have been an importnat part of the side, and the prospect of a midfield partnership of Foley and Welsh is a mouth watering one. Hopefully Foley can help the side overcome Blackburn and make the final. Foley is a class act, he's always available to help a team-mate in possession, and seems to spot a pass quicker than anyone else on the field. He was outstanding today.

 

In the absence of Peers, Brian McIlroy switched to the right wing, and the hard working Leon Noel came in to partner the prolific Neil Mellor up front. Mellor came up with a couple of typical poachers goals, and proved to be the difference between the two sides. His first goal came when centre half McNulty - who was again outstanding at the back - met Prince's corner with a powerful header, which Mellor diverted past the keeper. His second came when he chased Foley's incisive through ball and forced the keeper into missing his kick, and the big striker was left with the simple task of tapping into the empty net.

 

Sunderland offered virtually no attacking threat, and only threatened on one occasion when there was an almighty scramble in the Liverpool area following a corner. Other than that, the reds defence were comfortable. Otsemobor and McNulty are an excellent partnership, and Alan Coupe has played well on every occasion I've seen him. He was excellent again today, and young Adam Flynn was impressive at right back, particularly in the second half when he got forward several times to good effect.

 

Chances were few and far between, although the reds were the better side throughout. Noel rose well to plant a header just past the far post from an excellent cross from Flynn, and Mellor almost found a way through on a couple of occasions only to see last ditch blocks deny him a hat-trick. Neil Prince hit the bar with a wickedly inswinging corner, and the keeper pulled off an excellent stop to deny Mellor who had again been released by the impressive Foley.

 

Overall the reds were well worth the win, and it was a good way of preparing for the youth cup semi on May 9th. With Welsh and Peers to come back into the side, the reds will fancy their chances.

 

 

TEAM: Matty Parry, Adam Flynn, Steven McNulty, Jon Otsemobor, Alan Coupe; Brian McIlroy, Michael Foley, Neil Prince, Andy Nicholas; Neil Mellor, Leon Noel:

 

 

 

click here for exclusive match photo's

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