By Scott Taylor
Jon Flanagan continued his comeback from a long-term injury as he played 30 minutes for Liverpool U21s in their goalless draw with Fleetwood Town at the Kirkby Academy on Tuesday afternoon. The full-back, 22, picked up numerous knee injuries which has seen him ruled out of action since the end of the 2013/14 season. However, after 19 months on the sidelines, he featured for Michael Beale’s side in their 0-0 draw with the League One side.
After an even first-half, Liverpool started to dominate proceedings in the second 45 minutes. Tom Brewitt saw his header superbly saved by the Fleetwood Town goalkeeper after connecting to Harry Wilson’s free-kick. Shortly after, Will Marsh, who briefly returned from his youth loan at Sheffield Wednesday, then had his strike cleared off the line as Liverpool continued to knock on the door.
However, Fleetwood remained solid in defence, and held out for a draw. Despite the result, the game was arranged to keep the match fitness up for the U21s. Beale’s side are next in action on 11 January 2016, when they travel to Southampton in the Barclays U21 Premier League, so will need to keep fitness levels high during the break.
The Liverpool U21 manager also gave starts to Jose Enrique and Daniel Trickett-Smith, with U18 forward Ovie Ejaria also getting a well-deserved start. Flanagan was replaced by Kristof Polgar on the half-hour mark, with the defender putting in a very promising first performance since his comeback from injury. In the second half, Beale made five changes with Ryan McLaughlin and Adam Phillips given opportunities to impress.
Liverpool First Half XI: Fulton; Flanagan (Polgar), Brewitt, Whelan, Enrique; Virtue, Chirivella; Ejaria, Allan, Trickett-Smith; Sinclair.
Liverpool Second Half XI: Fulton; McLaughlin, Polgar, Brewitt, Enrique; Virtue, Phillips; Wilson, Allan (Trickett-Smith), Hart; Marsh.