LFC U18s 3 (Ibe 30, 40 Dunn 90) – 1 (Cook) Leeds U18s

A stunning brace from Jordon Ibe and goal from Jack Dunn saw Liverpool defeat Leeds U18s to play in the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup. The game at Anfield was the first academy game to be played at the famous ground this season, as the U21s and NextGen Teams play at Langsbury Park in St Helens. It was also be the first game many of these players have played at Anfield, but didn’t let that achievement distract them from the task at hand. The Reds were up against a very in form Leeds side, who are top of their respective league and have scored 10 goals in their last 2 FA Youth Cup ties, a 4-0 victory at Watford, followed by a 6-1 demolition of Burton Albion, so the young Liverpool side were at their best in order to keep a clean sheet.
However it has not just been the visitors who have been banging in the goals in their previous 2 FA Youth Cup ties, as Liverpool has accumulated 9 goals, including a 4-0 win at Histon in the previous round after a 5-0 romp against Swindon Town. The Reds couldn’t have asked for a better preparation to this tie, that was after they came home 4-1 winners against Sunderland at the Academy on Saturday. Ryan Mclaughlin is still injured so 18 year old Yalany Baio comes into the side, and 15 year olds Tom Brewitt and Jordan Rossiter start for a confident Liverpool side, meanwhile they will have to watch out or Leeds’ dangerman Dawson. Although it was Liverpool who won their last meeting between the sides back in 2008, it will be a completely different
match tonight. It was also a special day for the Carragher family, as Jamie’s son was ball boy for this evenings match.
The game started in an upbeat tempo, with the visitors looking the most threatening to open the scoring but a well organised Liverpool defence kept them at bay. However, Liverpool were very effective on the counter, and the pace and agility of 17 year old Jordon Ibe created oppurtunities for the Reds, and having scored in the Football League aged just 15 for Wycombe Wanderers against Sheffield Wednesday, he definitely not shy in front of goal. It was Ibe who created the first oppurtunity of the match as he went down under Afalobi Coker’s challenge, with replays showing that contact had been made in the box, however nothing was given.
Shortly after Yalany Baio was given the first yellow card of the match, after a challenge on the halfway line following a Leeds counter attack. As a result of that challenge, Lewis Walters was replaced by Eoghan Stokes after he could not recover from the foul. The ball was in the net on the 24th minute when Stokes was adjudged to head the ball out of the hands of Ryan Fulton and the goal was rightfully disallowed and the young welshman was penalised.
Liverpool took the lead in the 30th minute through Jordan Ibe. It started when Daniel Trickett-Smith intercepted the ball and unselfishly fed it to Ibe, who showed great skill to move around two leeds defenders and with a strong left foot struck it away in the bottom corner of the goal with the help of a slight deflection from Coker. Liverpool then continued to press immediately after the opener, with Jack Dunn hitting a well worked free kick wide of Eric Grimes’ goal. The goal had definitely shook Leeds as the home side created the 3rd chance in 3 minutes as Jerome
Sinclair picked up the ball from a throw in and ran and turned inside the box, but couldn’t add to his 13 goals he has already scored this season. In the 40th minute, Liverpool then doubled their lead as Jordon Ibe scored his second goal of the game. The move started from a Leeds free-kick and when Jordan Rossiter made the challenge on Leeds Captain Mowatt, he then gave to ball to Ibe who showed fantastic pace to outrun Leeds’ defence and similarly with the first goal, took it past the helpless Leeds defenders and confidently beat Eric Grimes. Liverpool were now playing full of confidence and Jack Dunn burst down the right hand side to win a free-kick right on the edge of the area. From the free-kick the ball fell to 15 year old Tom Brewitt, who put it narrowly wide. This was the last chance of the half and it was the Reds who took a 2-0 lead into the break at Anfield.

The Reds, who like the first team was attacking the Kop in the second half started the half brightly as Jack Dunn fired a free-kick a foot over Leeds’ goalframe. However, like the first half, chances had become very hard to come by, and the most likely the visitors came was from a free-kick that was headed away by Jordan Rossiter. On the hour mark, Leeds Captain Alex Mowatt was the second player to be cautioned as he collided with Liverpool fullback Maguire in a 50-50 challenge. Leeds best chance of the match so far fell to Chris Dawson who fired wide as a result of a mix up from Reds Captain Jordan Lussey, from which the young striker shot from 20 yards without hitting the target. This happened with 30 minutes to go, so there was plenty
of time left in the match if the shot went in to add a second, making the chance a big moment in the game. Leeds continued to attack the Liverpool defence, and in the 69th minute, a second chance fell to Dawson who blasted over from 7 yards out, following skillful hold up play from Parkin. However, Liverpool immediately replied with a promising effort from 15 year old Jordan Rossiter, who forced a very good save out of Eric Grimes in the Leeds United goal.
Substitue Lewis Cook pulled one back for Leeds in the 70th minute after Alex Mowatt crossed it in to the striker and he took it past Maguire and fired low in the corner. The momentum was now in Leeds favour so Reds Manager Steve Cooper brought on Cameron Brannagan in the place of Daniel Trickett-Smith. This substitution shifted the momentum as Liverpool started to create chances. Firstly, Jerome Sinclair and Jordon Ibe were involved in a clever one-two from which the latter fired just wide. A few minutes later saw Jack Dunn find space from 20 yards out but could only fire wide. In the 77th minute of the match saw Jack Dunn created his second
chance in quick succession as his shot from slightly further out this time, crashed the top of the net. Leeds knew they would have to respond quickly if they were to get anything out of this tie, and the visitors nearly equalised when Ryan Fulton misjudged a cross and Tom Brewitt was there to clear off the line and stop Leeds equalising. As the entered the final 10 minutes, it was evident that cramp was setting in on many players such as Jordon Ibe and Jerome Sinclair.
Shortly after, another bursting run from Jack Dunn ended up in a free-kick which resulted in another corner for the Reds. With less than 5 minutes to go Leeds started to apply even more pressure on the organised Liverpool defence and in the 86th minute Ryan Fulton produced a fantastic double save to deny both Alex Mowatt and Luke Parkin.
However any chance of a Leeds comeback was over as Jack Dunn scored in the 90th minute to make it 3-1. Shortly before the goal, Jerome Sinclair was replaced by Kris Peterson and it was Peterson who unselfishly gave the ball to Dunn to fire home from 6 yards, after another counter attack by the Reds from an Alex Mawott free-kick. The result means Steve Cooper’s young reds ends Leeds 12 match unbeaten run, which goes back to September and is only Leeds’ second defeat of the season. The Reds victory means they progress to the quarter finals were they will travel to Hull City for the right to play in the Semi-Final of the FA Youth Cup.

Scott Taylor

LFC: Fulton, Baio, Maguire, Jones, Brewitt, Lussey (c), Dunn, Rossiter, Sinclair, Trickett-Smith,Ibe.
Leeds: Grimes, Roper, Tiesse, Purver, Coker, Skelton, Phillips, Mowatt (c), Parkin, Walters, Dawson.