By Scott Taylor
Samed Yesil scored his third goal in two games, but his Liverpool Under-21 side suffered a 2-1 defeat against Fleetwood Town at the Kirkby Academy. Akil Wright put the visitors ahead in the first half and kept that lead until the 79th minute, when Yesil equalised for Michael Beale’s side. Havery Hodd restored Fleetwood’s lead just one minute later as Fleetwood caused an upset away from home.
Liverpool started the game well, and the Reds tested Fleetwood goalkeeper Brendan Moore on several occasions and kept the Reds at bay. Once again, Liverpool couldn’t convert their chances and were once again punished for it. Wright burst through the midfield and his long range effort beat the Liverpool goalkeeper and flew into their bottom corner. The Cod Army fielded a few trialists, and one of them almost made it 2-0, but their effort was just wide.
Liverpool gradually recovered and had a couple of golden opportunities to level the tie. There was a goal-mouth scramble early in the second half before the Reds smashed the Fleetwood crossbar, as they huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the house down.
After more Fleetwood trialists went close, Liverpool did get their equaliser. Yesil, who scored twice in the 3-1 win against Tottenham last week, rounded Moore before putting it into an empty net. It was his four goal in seven appearances this season. However, just as Beale’s side thought they got something out of the game, Hodd took advantage of the Reds’ complacency and fired home from inside the box to win it.
This was something that disappointed Beale in his press conference after the game. He told liverpoolfc.com: “We created a lot of chances but were very wasteful in front of goal so we will be hoping to put that right against Everton.”
But the manager was pleased to see Yesil firing again, especially after two years of injury hell. He added: “It was great to see Samed [Yesil] score again following on from his two goals in our win at Tottenham last week.
Fleetwood manager Barry Nicholson was full of praise for his side especially at the way they played when Liverpool were surging forward. He told Fleetwood’s official site: “We were more worried about the performance more than anything. I thought they did unbelievably well to dig in as they had a lot of possession. We had to stay strong and work really hard off the ball. They stuck to everything we asked them to do.”
Nicholson also hinted that a game against a bigger Premier League side is not just a one-off. “It’s nice to put our little Club on the map, and getting these sort of results will mean people will have to sit up and take notice. We’ve alreadt had calls from teams who want to play us next year, so obviously word is getting about that we are a decent side.”