By Scott Taylor
Madger Gomes scored his first goal for Liverpool U21s as they fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Morecambe at the Globe Arena on Saturday. Paul Mullin scored two goals in two minutes as Morecambe raced into a two-goal lead in the second half. After Samed Yesil missed a penalty in the 52nd minute, Gomes pulled one back for the young Reds before the hour mark. Jerome Sinclair equalised with his first goal of the new season in the 73rd minute as Liverpool recovered to earn a positive result.
The hosts started brightly and in the 10th minute, Kevin Ellison fired his shot just over the crossbar after he run in behind the Liverpool defence from Jamie Devitt’s through ball. Liverpool recovered and had their first chance of the game shortly after, when Sergi Canos’ low drive stung the palms of Barry Roche. The Morecambe was once again under threat in the 21st minute, but Adam Phillips’ free-kick went inches past the post.
The end-to-end action continued as former Liverpool schoolboy Mullin fired just wide after good build-up play from the Shrimpers. Devitt then went close as his effort went just over the crossbar as Morecambe looked for the opener. The first goal of the game was looking more and more likely, as Laurence Wilson tested Andy Firth in the Liverpool goal in the 35th minute. Firth was busy moments before half-time, spectacularly keeping out a long-range effort from Andy Fleming.
In the 49th minute Mullin, who was released by Liverpool as a junior, opened the scoring when he fired home a close-range effort after linking up with Fleming. A minute later, Mullin got his and Morecambe’s second when he converted from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Firth. The two goals meant he had scored seven goals in pre-season so far.
Second-half substitute Gomes, who came on for Rafa Paez, levelled with a sublime strike from 25 yards out to give Liverpool some hope of getting a result from the game with 30 minutes still remaining. That hope was soon a reality when Sinclair got onto Canos’ cross to level the scores. It was also the striker’s first goal since his contract problems at the start of pre-season.
The Reds could have won it in the 85th minute but Harry Wilson’s long-range effort was well saved by the Morecambe goalkeeper as both sides shared the spoil in a fascinating game at the Globe Arena.
After the game, Michael Beale took plenty of positives from the draw against a Football League side, and praised the collective spirit of his side to recover from the situation they found themselves in. He told liverpoolfc.com: “”It was a really good game for us to play Morecambe’s first team a week before the start of their season at their home stadium. It was a fairly even first half but it was really harsh when we found ourselves 2-0 down. Samed missed a penalty but Madger has got us back in the game with a fantastic strike. It was great to see Jerome get his first goal of the pre-season for us and we had chances to win it with Samed missing a great opening. The lads showed great character. Adam Phillips did really well for us in midfield and Sergi Canos and Harry Wilson were always a threat out wide.”
Beale’s side next travel to Switzerland to face FC Luzern in another pre-season game, a side managed by former Liverpool star Markus Babbel.
Liverpool XI: Firth; Whelan, Paez (Gomes 57’), Brewitt; Randall, Phillips (Polgar 80’), O’Hanlon (Sinclair 57’), Hart; Canos (Marsh 80’), Wilson; Yesil.
Morecambe XI: Roche; Beeley, Parrish, Edwards, Wilson (McGowan 65’); Murphy (Goodall 65’), Wildig (Kenyon 78’), Fleming, Devitt; Mullin (Miller 65’), Ellison (Molyneux 65’).