LFC U18s 3 (Jones 52′, Dunn 55′,82′) – 0 Hull City U18s

A brace from Jack Dunn and a goal from Lloyd Jones ensured that Steve Cooper’s U18s went through to the FA Youth Cup Semi Final with a win over a very impressive Hull side. It was back to normal for Steve Cooper’s side as he made 10 changes from the side who triumphed 3-2 away to West Bromwich Albion just a few days ago. Daniel Cleary is the only player that survived the starting XI from the West Brom match, as Steve Cooper brought in the likes of Jordon Ibe, Jerome Sinclair and Jack Dunn as they looked to make it to the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup. Amongst the starting line up was Jordan Rossiter, the 15 year old midfielder has impressed throughout the season and as a result deserved his place in Steve Cooper’s side. The winners of the tie face FA Youth Cup holders Chelsea in a 2 legged FA Youth Cup Semi Final, and make it one step closer to emulating the likes of Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen, who won the FA Youth Cup in the opening stages of their careers. Liverpool have scored 12 goals in the FA Youth Cup campaign, with Jack Dunn top scoring with 4 goals, including at least one in every round. However it was going to be a tough ask for the visitors, as Hull are unbeaten in their last 17 youth games, and have only lost twice all season, with their last defeat being a 2-0 loss at the hands of Doncaster in September so it was a tough ask for Steve Cooper’s starlets in they were to progress.

It was the home side that created the first real chance of the match in the 5th minute when some good work between Danny Chambers and Joel Sutton found the former, whose shot rippled the side netting of Ryan Fulton’s goal with a well timed volley. Liverpool’s first real chance came in the 13th minute when Daniel Trickett-Smith found Jack Dunn, who forced a comfortable save out of Hull ‘keeper Joe Cracknell after an earlier header from Jordan Rossiter could only go over the crossbar. On the 20th minute saw Trickett-Smith test Joe Cracknell after Jordon Ibe won the ball back and found the forward, whose deflected shot was saved by the Hull number 1.

Moments later, a Liverpool corner from Trickett-Smith found Lloyd Jones whose rose the highest to put his header only a yard wide. Liverpool continued to hold possession in the Hull half, but couldn’t break down a very organised Hull defence as the Reds searched for the opening goal of the game. After the 40th minute a cross form left-back Tom Davie found Fallowfield whose header lifted onto the roof of the net from the back post. A minute later, a Hull corner fell to Jordon Ibe who picked up the ball 10 yards from his own penalty area and sprinted the whole length of the pitch at the KC stadium before forcing a great save out of Joe Cracknell to deny the 17 year old winger. The first half ended in a very energetic manner, but chances were hard to come by for both teams in the first 45 minutes at the KC stadium.

Liverpool started the second half very brightly, as Jack Dunn whipped in the ball from the left hand side and Trickett-Smith’s header can only drift wide. A minute later, the ball was picked up by Jordan Rossiter, whose curling effort was comfortably saved by Cracknell. Even though the chances weren’t too dangerous, they started to get on the front foot and look to make the breakthrough to ensure the tie doesn’t go past the 90 minutes. Liverpool’s pressure paid off after 51 minutes, when a Jack Dunn free-kick past many Hull defenders and eventually fell to Lloyd Jones who calmly slotted it in the bottom right corner from 12 yards out and gave Liverpool a 1-0 advantage. 3 minutes later, a free-kick from Liverpool found Lloyd Jones whose lofted through ball found Dunn on the right wing, and he took it past Brad Ricketts before burying his left footed shot past Cracknell in the left corner. That was Jack Dunn’s 5th goal of the season with all 5 coming in the FA Youth Cup and continues his record of scoring in every round of the FA Youth Cup and doubled the Reds’ lead. Hull had to respond and tried to get a stronghold in the game, and brought on strikers Harry Cardwell and Sam O’Connor to try get a goal back for the tigers. The change for the home side was a positive one as Hull started to create more and more chances and on the 72nd minute Joel Sutton could only blast over Ryan Fultons goal. Hull kept on searching for a way back into this game but every time the ball came into the box, it was confidently cleared by Lloyd Jones. This defensive performance by the Welshman inspired the team as moments later then ball broke to Jack Dunn, who combined with Kris Peterson and Dunn’s deflected shot was only inches wide. With 10 minutes left, Liverpool U18s tried to cement their place in the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final as Trickett-Smith burst forward but took a touch too many as the Hull defence were able to clear. It took the visitors a minute later to add to their lead, after a through ball from Jordan Rossiter was too heavy for Jack Dunn, but Joe Cracknell’s clearance hit Dunn who calmly passed it into an empty net to score his 6th goal of the season and his 6th goal in the FA Youth Cup campaign. Jordon Ibe put in another very good performance and was replaced by Seyi Ojo in the 86th minute and the 15 year old schoolboy who scored the winner in the last game against West Brom was given a run around by Steve Cooper. The last few minutes weren’t all fun and games for the Liverpool defence as Hull created chance after chance to try and get a consolidation in this match. Liverpool ended the game with a screamer from Lloyd Jones, whose effort had Cracknell back pedalling but the shot went just over. The result means that Liverpool will face holders Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup over 2 legs and look to win their 4th FA Youth Cup.

Scott Taylor

LFC XI: Fulton, Baio, Maguire, Jones, Cleary, Lussey, Dunn, Rossiter, Sinclair, Trickett-Smith, Ibe.

Hull XI: Cracknell, Topliss, Davie, Clark, Penny, Ricketts, McCawl, Fallowfield, Dixon, Chambers, Sutton.

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