By Scott Taylor
Corey Whelan was the one the scoresheet but couldn’t prevent Liverpool Under-18s suffering a 3-1 defeat to Newcastle at the Kirkby Academy. Whelan, emulated the attacking flair shown by first team counterpart Emre Can, burst forward and finish Adam Phillips’ pass.
A brace from Sean Longstaff gave the Magpies a 2-0 lead, before Stefan Broccoli was on the end of a goalmouth scramble to put the game to bed, after Whelan gave the Reds hope.
The Reds, who are now three games without a win, started brightly in search of a goal. Wade Maxwell was played in twice by Sam Hart and Phillips, but he couldn’t convert the early chances. This presented an opportunity for Newcastle. Louis Johnson was played through by Jack Hunter, but Conor Masterton did just enough to prevent him getting a good angle to shoot. When he did shoot, it was saved by the legs of the on-rushing Andy Firth.
From the corner, the visitors had the ball in the back of the net. Michael Newberry headed into the path of Johnson, who reacted quickest to poke the ball home. Fortunately for the Reds, the flag was up for offside.
The end-to-end action continued. Man of the match Trent Alexander-Arnold played through Kane Lewis as the full-back surged towards the byline. His cross was partly dealt with, but it fell to Phillips, who smashed the post with his effort as the game looked closer to getting its first goal.
That much-needed goal soon arrived, but went to the visitors. Mackenzie Heaney crossed into the penalty area where Longstaff was waiting. The forward, who had been kept quiet by the Liverpool defence, peeled away from his marker and headed home.
In the 37th minute, Newcastle struck again, and it was Longstaff who got his second. Heaney found Johnson. The striker was denied by Firth but Longstaff was the first to react as he tapped into a vacant net to double the Magpies’ lead. Johnson had a shot saved by Firth late on, before Adam Phillips went close shortly after, but the half ended with Newcastle well in control.
In the 57th minute, Liverpool had pulled one back through Whelan. Phillips free-kick from the right-hand side fell to Whelan, who got in front of the Newcastle defence to give his side some hope with a way back into the game.
Shortly after, Newcastle restored their two-goal cushion. Lewis Suddick’s cross was met by the head of Longstaff. His effort smashed the post and it was hacked clear by Hart, who was on the goal-line. However, his attempted clearance fell straight to Suddick again, but he hit the other post. When the ball did come away, Broccoli fired home to give Newcastle all three points.
Liverpool U18s: Firth, Lewis, Hart, Brewitt, Masterson, Whelan, Chirivella, Alexander-Arnold, Maxwell, Ejaria, Phillips.