Sunderland Under 18s 2-1 Liverpool Under 18s

Nelson 15’, Wright 54,           Canos 78’

By Scott Taylor

Neil Ctrichley’s very young Liverpool Under 18s could not build on their victory last week as they last away to Sunderland. Sergi Canos scored his third goal in two games as he netted a late consolation after Andrew Nelson and Dan Wright put Sunderland 2-0 up. It is now the third straight win for Sunderland who move to seventh in the Under 18 Premier League whilst their Merseyside counterparts sit one place above them and level on points in sixth.

Liverpool started well and almost took the lead when Jack Watts fired over despite having an open goal to aim at. The Reds then had another clear cut chance moments later as Canos was superbly denied by Black Cats ‘keeper James Talbot.

Neil Critchley’s side were rueing these missed chances and they proved costly as Nelson gave the hosts the lead of the 15 minute mark. He latched onto a through ball before calmly chipping it over the onrushing Andy Firth in the Liverpool goal to open the scoring.

Liverpool were forced into a change shortly after as Andy Firth came on and was replaced by substitute goalkeeper Ben Jackson. Liverpool recovered from this and tested Sunderland on many occasions but Talbot was more than equal to anything thrown at him.

Sunderland made their first change at half-time when Luke Molyneux replaced Rees Greenwood. This turned out to be a very smart decision by Sunderland coach Carlton Fairweather as Molyneux played a major part in doubling Sunderland’s advantage in the 54th minute. The forward beat numerous Liverpool players before cutting it back for Dan Wright and the youngster beat Jackson in the Liverpool goal.

Jackson was busy in the second half and did well to stop Sunderland going 3-0 up when he superbly denied midfielder Jordan Blinco as it went out for a corner. From that corner, Sunderland had another glorious opportunity to score, but Nelson headed over the chance to get his second.

The only real spark for the Reds came in the 78th minute when Canos dispossessed the Sunderland defence before curling one past the out-stretched arms of Talbot and into the top corner, but Sunderland held on for the win.

Despite losing, Liverpool manager Critchley was proud of his young chargers, but admitted that the Reds missed experience in front of goal. He said: “We played some great football at times and had some big moments to score but it was one of them days in front of goal. They got a lot of players behind the ball and we just couldn’t break them down.”

Liverpool U18s: Firth (Jackson 30), Lewis (Whelan 55), Travis, Brewitt, Polgar, Phillips, Canos, Ejaria (Maxwell 75), Watts, Marsh, Nicholas.

Sunderland Under 18s: Talbot, Casey, Hume, McEvoy, Colquhoun, Ledger, Blinco, Wright, Nelson (Ganiyu 86), Pybus (Robson J 65), Greenwood (Molyneux 45).

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