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Liverpool U18 0 Manchester United U18 1 (Jan 19 2008)

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LIVERPOOL U18 0 Man United U18 1

Report by Dave Usher at the Academy

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Scorer(s) -

Half Time - 0-0

Venue - Liverpool Academy, Kirkby

Date - Sat 19 Jan 2008

Star Man - David Amoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liverpool u18's disappointing start to the new year continued with an unfortunate 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United this weekend. In a game that mirrored several of the recent encounters between the senior sides, Liverpool did most of the pressing and had the better of the play, but couldn't find a way through the United defence, and were undone with a late sucker punch.

 

The reds had been held to a draw at Bolton a fortnight ago, and had needed a last gasp equaliser to snatch a point against Everton last weekend, so they will have seen this as an ideal chance to put pressure on the league leaders. They failed to do that and the result was obviously disappointing, but there's a big youth cup game coming up later this month with Arsenal so the boys need to get this out of their system quickly.

 

It's not as though they performed badly against United. They can play better certainly, but they did create some decent chances and by and large they defended well. Apparently Hughie's lads went close to scoring twice in the opening ten minutes, but I wouldn't know as I didn't get there until ten past. The game was played on the very back field, and not on the usual pitch, so it took a while to get round there.

 

I obviously missed the best of the first half, as little else happened after that and there's nothing at all written in my notes until the start of the second half. The reds were pretty much at full strength, with Martin Hansen returning in goal and Daniel Ayala given a run out at centre half alongside the ever dependable Joe Kennedy. Scottish winger Gary McKay Steven was once again used at left back in place of Shane O'Connor, with the exciting Swede Alex Kacaniklic in front of him giving the left flank an extremely attacking look.

 

The opposite flank had a more familar look to it, with Steve Irwin at full back and David Amoo in front of him. Usual midfield pairing Astrit Ajdarevic and Sean Highdale were in the centre, with the prolific duo of Marvin Pourie and top scorer Nathan Eccleston up front.

 

Amoo had gone close early on, and he was Liverpool's best attacking outlet throughout. He should have opened the scoring two minutes after the restart, when a great run by McKay Steven down the left took him past a couple of challenges and saw him square the ball to Amoo. He did well to make space for himself but leaned back on his shot from 8 yards and it went over the bar.

 

Two minutes later Eccleston did well to win the ball from a defender and surge into the box, but his left foot shot from a tight angle was gratefully clutched the near post by the United keeper. Liverpool were doing most of the pressing, but both defences were well on top. Amoo's pace and direct running created a chance for Kacaniklic on 57 minutes, but like Eccleston he saw his shot saved at the near post.

 

United almost took the lead out of nothing just after the hour mark, as one of their midfielders let fly from outside the box and the ball crashed against the woodwork. It was the first real moment of danger they'd posed, but a couple of substitutions gave them a little bit more potency up front, and would eventually win them the game.

 

Eccleston shot just wide from outside the box, and Highdale also went close after winning possession with some typically determined play. Kacaniklic also saw an effort from distance narrowly miss the target.

 

United had not been causing problems, but when Antonio Bryan combined with his fellow sub and then drilled a low shot past Hansen from 18 yards, there was a sense of deja vu about it all. I'm sick of the mancs coming to our turf, sitting back and then nicking a 1-0 win. It's demoralising.

 

Amoo did his best to get his side back into it, and made several good bursts down the right flank. from one of those forays Eccleston went close with a header, but unfortunately for him it went straight down the throat of the keeper.

 

With three minutes remaining Irwin found Amoo in space, and he carried the ball forward before trying his luck from 25 yards. The ball went just wide, but he did the right thing in having a go as time was ticking away.

 

No-one really stood out, but there were some solid performances for the reds, mainly in defence where Kennedy was impressive again and Ayala was quietly effective. Highdale was tenacious in midfield, and McKay Steven had some good moments coming forward from full back. Amoo gets the star man though, simply because he was the only one who looked like he might make the breakthrough.

 

Team: Hansen; Irwin, Ayala, Kennedy, McKay-Steven (O'Connor); Amoo, Highdale, Ajdarevic, Kacaniklic; Pourie, Eccleston (Collins):

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