LFC U18s 1 (Phillips 89’) – 0 Sunderland U18s

A late goal from 16 year old Adam Phillips ensured that Neil Critchley’s Liverpool Under 18s narrowly beat Sunderland Under 18s 1-0 at the Kirkby Academy.


After last weekend’s disappointing 4-1 defeat to 11th placed Stoke City, Neil Critchley’s Liverpool Under 18s will be looking to bounce back when they face Sunderland at the Kikrby Academy. Critchley will more than likely make numerous changes from the side that lost last week as that side was predominantly an Under 16 side. Due to the Under 21s only playing one competitive match in the last eleven weeks, some of the younger players will need match fitness, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the likes of Jordan Rossiter, Lloyd Jones and Cameron Brannagan drop down just to get some match fitness under their belts. However, that is highly unlikely. The good news for the Reds is that they are bolstered by the return of Ryan Fulton after a lengthy spell out and also Pedro Chirivella is available. Both sides lie extremely close to each other in the Under 18 North Group. The Reds are 3rd in the league and 13 points off top of the table Manchester City whereas the Black Cats are two places below Liverpool in 5th, with both sides separated by just one point. When these sides last played each other, it was Liverpool that was victorious after a 3-1 win. Jerome Sinclair scored twice whilst Sheyi Ojo got the other goal. Liverpool made 7 changes from the experimental defeat. Ryan Fulton returns in goal, whilst Daniel Cleary is the only first choice defender in the back four. Sergi Canos is with the Spain Under 16s so misses out and Sinclair returns to full training tomorrow.

First Half

The game started evenly between both sides as early chances fell to Ojo in the 3rd minute for Liverpool, and Robson for Sunderland in the 5th minute. The first real opportunity came in the 8th minute as Ryan Kent’s corner found Daniel Trickett-Smith who softly headed it straight into the hands of Max Stryjek.

Kent soon found himself taking a chance rather than creating it two minutes later as Sheyi Ojo,s through ball fell to Kent, who took it to the left but his shot was comfortably saved by Stryjek.

As the half wore on, neither side made any real clear cut chances as Liverpool looked to take the lead and make home advantage count. In the 27th minute, the game started to turn sour as Thomas Robson was booked for a late challenge on Harry Wilson. From the free-kick, Adam Phillips’ ball in was met by an unmarked Cleary, who headed it just wide.

Two minutes later, Sunderland almost went ahead after Nelson’s turn and shot was very well saved by returning goalkeeper Ryan Fulton. The end-to-end action didn’t stop there as moments later, Trickett-Smith set up Adam Phillips, who’s stretched shot went just wide of Stryjek’s right hand post.

Sunderland wasted another fantastic chance in the 39th minute when Martin Smith found Lynden Gooch and his 18 yard shot was denied by a strong right hand from Fulton as the game somehow remained 0-0 as a very wet and windy half drew to a close.

Second Half

Sunderland stared the first half brightly after a long ball from the kick off almost found Wilson, but Fulton was aware and gathered before any danger can develop.

Spectators had to wait until the 59th minute for the next chance though. Tom Brewitt’s run down the right flank resulted in a back heel to Harry Wilson, and the Wales International’s curling shot was well saved by Stryjek but he could only parry it in the path of Daniel Trickett-Smith but the Liverpool number 10 couldn’t quite make the connection he wanted.

This was the end of Trickett-Smith’s day as he was then replaced by the returning Pedro Chirivella. Chirivella’s arrival meant that Adam Phillips could advance further up the pitch.

Lynden Gooch has had an impressive game for Sunderland and the American teenager created yet another chance, but his shot went high of Fulton’s goal. Moments after that chance, Liverpool made their 2nd substitute of the game when Ryan Kent was replaced by Will Marsh and the central midfielder had to experiment as he was now the lead striker.

Harry Wilson soon had a chance in the 75th minute as his free-kick curled way over. This was the trigger for Liverpool’s 3rd and final substitution. Connor Randall replaced Harry Wilson as all of Liverpool’s forward three players were substituted. Daniel Wright replaced Sunderland captain Martin Smith at the same time as the Black Cats made their first change of the game.

The Reds had a late scare in the 80th minute as Gooch’s pull-back missed everyone in the penalty area and found Daniel Pybus, who could only fire over.

Liverpool finally got their goal just one minute before time as Sheyi Ojo’s diagonal pass found Alex O’Hanlon and the Irishman’s well timed cross was met by a diving Adam Phillips who headed it past Stryjek to give the Reds a late lead and it stayed 1-0 as Liverpool Under 18s picked up a valuable three points.

Team Line-Ups

LFC XI: Fulton; Brewitt, Cleary, Roberts, Hart; Phillips, O’Hanlon, Wilson, Trickett-Smith, Ojo, Kent.

Sunderland XI: Stryjek, J.Robson, Ledger, Beadling, T.Robson, E. Robson, Smith, Greenwood, Gooch, Pybus, Nelson

Thanks for taking the time to read this new feature on TBT, and for more content on Liverpool’s Under 21s and Under 18s then simply keep an eye out on the blog http://www.thenextgenkopites.wordpress.com for more content. Finally, for more Academy updates, then be sure to follow me on Twitter (@ScottTaylorUK).