By Scott Taylor

Sergi Canos was amongst the Liverpool goals again, but his contribution wasn’t enough as the Young Reds lost 6-4 to Bolton Wanderers at the Kirkby Academy. Neil Critchley’s men returned from sweltering conditions in Indonesia after competing in the Frenz International Cup, and did not expect such a harsh homecoming in completely different conditions. Despite netting four goals, defensive mistake cost the Reds as they conceded six goals, a concern for Critchley.

It was more positive news for the vistors, who made a number of changes to their side following their FA Youth Cup exit to Crewe Alexandra in their last outing.

For the third game in a row, the opposition started off the better side and were rewarded with an early opener. Nathaniel Phillips rose highest in the box to power his header past Ben Jackson in the Liverpool goal. However, the Reds showed good character to respond as a Bolton player hit it in his own net to equalise. The turnaround was complete moments after when Sergi Canos continued his fine run of form for the Under 18s with yet another goal.

The action packed first half continued for both sides. The phrase ‘you’re most vulnerable when you score’ definitely applied to the hosts, as the visitors struck three times in quick succession to lead 4-2. Phillips doubled his goal tally for the game before goals from Carl Kennedy and William Abbotts gave the Whites a two-goal cushion going into half time.

This forced Neil Critchley to make his sole change in the match when goalscorer Canos was replaced by Wales International Wilson. The change saw immediate impact as he was brought down inside the area to win his side a penalty. The winger picked himself back up to give the Reds a route back into the game, and there was almost an equaliser but Pedro Chirivella’s shot smashed against the crossbar.

This miss proved to be costly as for the second time in the match, Bolton netted multiple goals in quick succession to see them go 6-3 up, something seen regularly in Rugby compared to football. Channing Campbell-Young and Enock Likoy-Elumba extended the lead that the Trotters had, to all but seal the three points. The goal-bound action hadn’t finished as they was still time for debutant Madger Gomes to net his first league goal for the Reds.

Fortunately for the Reds, they do not have time to ponder this result as they return to FA Youth Cup action on Wednesday night with a tie against Championship high-flyers Derby County.

Coach Critchley was evidently upset with the defensive performance by his side, and told LFCTV after the match: “It was a very disappointing day for us and we gave away very poor goals. We had a strong team out but defensively we were all over the place. We need to do a lot better.”

In contrast, Trotters boss David Lee was pleased with the character that his side shown in the win, especially after what happened in their last outing. He told the official Bolton website:

“We started the game well and played some excellent football in spells. The win could have been more convincing if it had not been for some last-ditch defending from Liverpool. Overall it was a very good performance from the lads. They all responded very well and we are very pleased with both the result and the performance.”

Liverpool XI: Jackson, Travis, Hart, Whelan, Lewis, Chirivella, Canos (Wilson 45), Madger Gomes, Marsh, Ejaria, Phillips.

Bolton XI: A.Trialist, Spooner, Garratt, Phillips, Perry, Campbell-Young, Likoy-Elumba, Kennedy, Abbotts, McKenna, Cvetko.

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