By Scott Taylor

Michael Parker scored his first goal for Liverpool U18s as they beat Lincoln City 3-1 at Sincil Bank on Thursday evening.

The defender, who recently signed a first professional contract with the club, gave the Reds the lead in the 33rd minute, but Leon Loftus equalised for the hosts ten minutes later.

Yan Dhanda and Kris Owens rounded off the scoring for Neil Critchley’s side in the second half in front of almost 2,500 fans.

Liverpool survived an early scare when Lewis Millington’s header was ruled out for offside in just the third minute of the game. Five minutes later, the Reds’ summer signing Bobby Adekanye ran past a few defenders before firing a shot that was well saved by Richard Walton in the Lincoln goal.

Midway through the first half, Callum Nicholas caused problems for Liverpool before Andrew Wright threatened the Liverpool goal. The end-to-end action continued was Toni Gomes’ 20-yrad shot smashed off the Lincoln crossbar. The pressure eventually told when Parker gave Liverpool the lead after heading home from a corner 12 minutes before half-time. In the 43rd minute, the hosts equalised through Loftus. The full-back burst forward and his shot flew past Owen Wheeler and into the back of the net via the post as the half ended all square.

Liverpool stepped up their tempo in the second half. Yan Dhanda restored the visitors’ lead in the 50th minute before Walton had to be at his best to deny another Liverpool attack as he heroically cleared the ball of the line to keep the scores level. Owens was allowed too much space in the penalty area late on and he fired home from 10 yards out to seal the win for the Reds.

After the game, Liverpool U18s manager Critchley praised his side and was appreciative of his side’s opponents, who played the game in order to raise money for their Centre of Excellence. The Reds were presented with £250 for the Hillsborough Families Support Group in return. Critchley told liverpoolfc.com: “It was a great evening once again and Lincoln were fantastic hosts. It was a magnificent gesture to present the cheque which we accepted on behalf of the club. We scored some good goals and it was another pleasing performance.”

Liverpool XI: Wheeler, Lewis, Johnston, Parker, Masterson, Alexander-Arnold, Kane, Nicholas, Gomes, Dhanda, Adekanye.

Lincoln XI: Walton, Loftus, Thompson, Fewkes, Fixter, Weatherell, Acar, Wright, McMenemy, Harris, Millington.

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