By Scott Taylor
Neil Critchley’s Liverpool Under-18s suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of their Merseyside rivals Everton. The Reds were understrengthed as the coaching staff kept one eye on the Under-19s UEFA Youth League trip with Benfica on Tuesday. Goals from Harry Charsley, Jack Bainbridge, Liam Walsh and a brace from Calum Dyson secured the points, and the bragging rights on Saturday morning.
Everton dominated from the outset. After just two minutes, an umarked Tom Davies headed straight at Andy Firth in the Liverpool goal as the midfielder looked to have wasted an early chance.
Firth was again tested soon after. Walsh was dictating the tempo in the midfield, and he combined with goalscorer Dyson on two occasions. However, the forward, like Davies, hit both of his efforts into the palms of the Liverpool goalkeeper.
Wade Maxwell then tried to relieve some of the early pressure, but his 23rd minute strike went wide of the target, as the youngster couldn’t build on his goal against Sunderland last Saturday.
In the 33rd minute, Everton finally broke Liverpool’s resistance. Michael Donohue’s dropped the shoulder and fizzed his cross into the box straight at Dyson. The striker again headed straight at Firth, but this time the Reds goalkeeper could only palm out to an on-rushing Charsley, who made no mistake from inside the six-yard box.
A lapse of concentration from the Liverpool cost them another goal. Walsh’s corner swung towards a crowded box, but Bainbridge peeled away from his marker and he made no mistake to double the Toffees’ lead in the first half injury-time.
With the score at 2-0, Critchley would’ve thought his team still had a chance to get back into the game, but five minutes later, the game was all but sealed. The Donohue and Dyson comibination again linked up, but this time the latter headed it past Firth to give them a 3-0 lead.
Donohue was influential in the Toffees fourth goal as well. His pass found fellow goalscorer Charsley. The Irishman’s fed it through to Walsh and composed himself before beating FIrth. After being at the heart of the other three goals, Walsh deserved to get on the scoresheet with his 57th minute effort.
Liverpool’s best chance to get a goal back came when Madger Gomes sent it a cross for Adam Phillips, but the England youth international couldn’t convert his chance.
The scoring was completed when Antonee Robinson’s darting round and ball found Dyson, who need a single touch to set himself up to beat Firth, who put in a good performance between the sticks even if the scoreline doesn’t suggest it.
Liverpool XI: Firth; Travis, Masterton, Brewitt, Lewis; Alexander-Arnold, Ejaria, Virtue; Maxwell; Phillips, Madger Gomes.