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Liverpool U18 2 Man United U18 1 (Oct 14 2011)

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LIVERPOOL U18 2 Man United U18 1

Report by Dave Usher



Scorer(s) - Adam Morgan, Matty Regan

Half Time - 2-0

Venue - The Academy, Kirkby

Date - Fri 14 Oct 2011

Star Man - Matty Regan











First half goals from Adam Morgan and Matty Regan gave the reds u18 side their first home win of the season today as they edged out Manchester United 2-1 in a tight game at the Academy. Having thrown away some points this season through a lack of concentration, it was important for the lads to be able to see out a close game and hopefully it will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the season.


There were no real surprises in Marsh's side. Tyrell Belford was in goal behind a back four of Lewis Hatch, Joe Rafferty, Regan and Tom King. In the continued absense of Jordan Lussey the midfield pair was Peter Aylmer and Baio, whilst the three behind Morgan were Kriss Peterson on the right, Jack Dunn on the left and Josh Sumner in the hole.


Nick Barmby's kid was playing centre forward for United. Makes you feel old that, doesn't seem that long ago Barmby was playing his part as we won the treble. His kid looks quite useful and scored a cracker in the second half.


Liverpool got off to the perfect start when Sumner's superb cross from the right found the head of Morgan, and he doesn't miss those. Two minutes gone and the reds were 1-0 up.


The early exchanges saw Liverpool well in command. Sumner picked out Peterson with a raking crossfield pass and the Swede showed nifty footwork to get away from a couple of chances and create a shooting opportunity, but his effort was blocked. Sumner picked up the rebound but his shot was surprisingly disappointing, he's usually lethal from the edge of the box.


Morgan then intercepted a pass across the United backline but his attempted chip didn't get off the ground and drifted well wide.


United almost drew level when a free-kick was awarded after a handball by Dunn. It was whipped in low and spilled by Belford, but King was on hand to hack it away before any United player could capitalise.


Ten minutes before half time Matty Regan doubled the lead, outjumping the United keeper as well as a couple of defenders to head in a high hanging cross by Peterson. Good work by Regan, but there's no way he should be scoring in that situation and he probably couldn't believe his luck.


United weren't offering much in attack, but then a fortunate ricochet of Rafferty saw their gangly forward go clear, but his shot from a tight angle was easily saved by Belford.


Dunn had been quiet, he's much more effective centrally than out wide, but just before half time he collected a throw in and then produced a stunning, dipping volley out that hit the crossbar. A great strike, especially as it was on his right foot and Dunn is predominantly left footed.


Peterson was harshly booked before half time for a nothing foul, and early in second half Baio was booked for repeated fouling. He didn't really catch the United player, but only because the lad saw it coming and got out of the way. He wasn't happy about the decision but it had been coming.


United were starting to come into the game a bit more in the second half, and it was no great surprise when they pulled a goal back through Barmby. It was a bad ball from Aylmer that presented the United striker with the ball, but the run and finish were extremely impressive.


Marsh then brought Sam Gainford on to replace King, meaning Dunn had to go to left back. Gainford gave the reds attack a different dimension with his willingness to get down the outisde. Some persistent play down the left by the substitute saw him win possession and cut the ball back to Morgan who took his shot first time but hit it straight at the keeper.


Gainford had a good chance to score himself with 15 minutes remaining when he latched onto a terrific through ball by Regan. Unfortunately his lob didn't quite have enough on it and was saved by the keeper. Seconds later Morgan brought a fingertip save from the keeper with a piledriver from at least 35 yards out.


Mike Marsh then sent on Dave Moli for Sumner, who's influence on the game had waned considerably after a bright start.


The reds were looking to get the killer goal and were pushing forward in numbers looking for it. Baio got himself into the box and looked certain to score but his shot was charged down by a defender.


United immediately went up other end and their substitute went clean through the centre. He took too long to make his mind up though and Hatch got back really well to block him twice and the danger was averted.


The u18s have given up a couple of late goals this season, including an equaliser last week against Everton with the last kick of the game. This time Marsh was not taking any chances, he made a change to eat up some time, bringing on defender Michael Wilson for Peterson, and both Moli and Morgan did their best to take the ball to the corners and ensure there was no repeat of what happened last week when they lost possession trying to get another goal and paid the price.


All in all a good performance and a much needed win. There were some good individual displays but it's difficult to pick one person out. The midfield competed well, Morgan was dangerous, Sumner started well before fading and Hatch had a good game at right back. Both centre backs did well too, and I'll go with Regan as the star man as not only was he solid in defence, but his distribution was good and he scored the winning goal.



Team: Belford; Hatch, Rafferty, Regan, King (Gainford); Aylmer, Baio; Peterson (Wilson), Sumner (Moli), Dunn; Morgan:

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