West Bromwich Albion U18s 2 – 3 (Peterson, Robles, Ojo) LFC U18s
Seyi Ojo was the hero as a young inexperienced Liverpool U18 side travelled to West Brom for their 4th game of the second phase of the U18 season. With Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup Quarter Final against Hull fast approaching, manager Steve Cooper fielded a completely different side to the one that beat Leeds 3-1 at Anfield just 9 days ago. Cooper rested a number of key players for the game at the KC Stadium on Tuesday, and as a result played four U16 players and one U15 player to try help the young Reds to another 3 points and apply more pressure on the leaders. To put it into context, the LFC U18s only fielded one U18 player, that being substitute Kristoffer Peterson so Cooper had to rely on his young force to complete the task at hand.
Steve Cooper’s side started the game positively creating several chances but it was the home side that took the lead in the first half of the match, so the Reds had to show courage and character if they were to get a result from this game. The visitors edged ever so closer to an equaliser but couldn’t grab an equaliser in the first 45 minutes, so only had the remaining 45 minutes to try and secure the 3 points and take their points tally to 7 points with 4 games played.
The second half started in the worst possible way for Steve Cooper’s side, as in the 46th minute of the match, West Brom doubled their advantage, despite the efforts of Andy Firth in the Liverpool goal.
Cooper than brought on experienced head Kristoffer Peterson in place of defender Nathan Burke to inspire his team to a potential comeback and the Swedish winger made an immediate impact with his very skillful solo effort to get his side back into the game. Liverpool now had the confidence and that confidence showed when from a promising attacking move resulted in striker Louis Robles netting the Reds’ equaliser, after an intelligent knockdown form defender Daniel Cleary. When the game entered its closing stages, Liverpool started to attack and search for the winner, while West Brom also looked for the 3 points. On the 80th minute, the comeback was complete when 15 year old Seyi Ojo blasted a long range left footed strike past the West Brom ‘keeper and secured all 3 points for Steve Cooper’s side.
The result brings nothing but positives for Steve Cooper and his young Reds, as it’ll will boost the teams’ confidence for the trip to Hull in the FA Youth Cup Quarter Final on the 12th March. Also, the victory just shows how much strength the Academy and brings the staff reassurances that they can rely on less experienced players to still grab 3 points, especially away from Kirkby.
The Reds thrilling 3-2 victory moves them onto 7 points with 4 games played, which leaves them 2nd in the table, but only 3 points off the leaders, and with 2 games in hand, leaving the Reds in a strong position as the Premier Academy League enters its closing stages.
LFC XI: Firth, Randall, Hart, Cleary, Heaton, Burke, O’Hanlon, Brannagan, Wilson, Robles.
Due to the lack of information on the WBA website and various different sources, I couldn’t find the scorers for the home side, and the minute when each goal scored. Also, as the game wasn’t broadcast on LFCTV, I couldn’t watch the game so I apologise for the lack of detail that is normally evident in other match reports.