LFC U18s 4 (O-Hanlon 24’, 70’, Sinclair 30’, Wilson 57’) – 0 Wolves U18s

One day, they’re playing Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup Semi Final an Anfield, the next Steve Cooper’s Under 18s are back at Kirkby Academy to play Wolves. Manager Cooper made 11 changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Chelsea last night, with Jerome Sinclair, Alex O’Hanlon and Ryan Crump the only surviving squad members from the game at Anfield. This meant that Liverpool had to call up U15 players such as Corey Whelan, Adam Phillips and Dahrius Whaldron.

The start of this game was similar to how the Under 18s played yesterday whereby chances were few and far between in the opening 15 minutes but it was the visitors Wolves who had the first opportunity of the match, when Wolves’ midfielder played a well time through ball to Ibrahim Keita, but the Frenchman couldn’t take his chance as an advancing Ryan Crump read the situation to get into the best possible place to stop the strike, but he could only parry it away as the defence eventually cleared. Following the clearance, the FA Youth Cup Semi Finalists created their first chance as the returning Jerome Sinclair charged at the Wolves’ defence, looked up and found Harry Wilson, who looked destined to open the scoring but Wolves Captain Ben O’Hanlon had other ideas, as his heroic block kept the tie level.

Despite a well balanced start, it was Wolves who first had the ball in the net. Ibrahim Keita was again involved as his pass was met first time by Alistair Brown, but his volley was chalked off for offside. This was a huge wake-up call for Steve Cooper’s side, and they took the lead on the 24th minute as Ryan Kent received the ball on the wing and his cross fell to Alex O’Hanlon, and the Irishman’s shot deflected past the helpless Scott Dutton in the Wolves’ goal.

After O’Hanlon’s opener, the young Reds were again celebrating on the 30th minute, as Jerome Sinclair avoided many challenges off the Wolves’ defenders to rifle home a shot inside the penalty area to score his 14th goal of the season and to prove to critics why the 16 year old is Liverpool’s youngest ever player. The Reds continued to apply pressure and were centimetres away from making it 3, as U15s player Adam Phillips 20 yard effort beat Dutton but clipped the post as Liverpool went into the break with a 2 goal lead.

Liverpool started the second half the same way they ended the first, and on the 50th minute, the Reds were unlucky not to go 3-0 up, as Jerome Sinclair’s effort was brilliantly saved by the advancing Dutton. However the third goal came in the 57th minute, as Alex O’Hanlon played a perfectly weighted through ball to Harry Wilson, and the younger winger placed his shot in the top corner to all but guarantee 3 points for the Reds.

The rout was soon complete soon after O’Hanlon and Wilson combined on the edge of the box, and the former buried it past Dutton from 18 yards to complete a great day for the Liverpool Under 18s. The result means that the Reds remain 3rd in the league, but level on points with 2nd Spurs and have played the same amount of games. However they are now 5 points adrift of leaders Sunderland, but do have a game in hand so they can reduce the gap to 2 points, if Steve Cooper’s side win their game in hand.

Scott Taylor

LFC XI: Crump, Whaldron, Hart, Whelan, Heaton, Burke, Kent, Phillips, Sinclair, O’Hanlon, Wilson.

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