By Scott Taylor
Harry Wilson’s memorable week continued with another goal as Liverpool U23s ended their pre-season schedule with a 3-1 victory over MK Dons on Monday night. Wilson, who recently penned a new three-year contract, opened the scoring after just four minutes before Toni Gomes doubled the lead four minutes before the interval. Rhian Brewster scored on his debut for the U23s to put Michael Beale’s side 3-0 up, but Kabongo Tshimanga pulled one back as Liverpool settled for a 3-1 victory.The young Reds started the game brightly with Wilson hitting the side netting before opening the scoring after being played in by Ben Woodburn.
The Reds were were frustrated as MK Dons goalkeeper David Martin denied Gomes midway through the first half.
The hosts did have chances of their own, with Trialist and Tilney both having opportunities spurned as they search for an equaliser.
However, in the 41th minute, Gomes this time beat Martin as the Portugal U18 striker doubled Liverpool’s lead to head into the break full of confidence.
The hosts started the second half much the better side and U18 goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher had to be at his best to deny Brandon Thomas-Asante’s effort in the 52nd minute.
Eight minutes later, normal service had resumed, as Martin produced one of the saves of the night to deny Matty Virtue from 20 yards out.
Beale made all 11 changes throughout the game with Juanma making yet another appearance before limping off and there was an U23s debut for Rhian Brewster whilst Nathan Phillips and Brad Garton also featured.
Liverpool U23s further extended their lead shortly after when Herbie Kane’s fed U16 winger Brewster and his simple finish beat substitute Charlie Burns in the 65th minute.
The 2,375 fans at Stadium MK did have something to cheer about with 14 minutes remaining when Tshimanga converted with a neat finish to pull one back.
The goal brought some much needed energy to the MK Dons side, and Thomas-Asante had a glorious chance to set up a nervy finish but he fired straight at Kelleher.
As a result, the Liverpool defence stayed firm to end their pre-season with a morale-boosting victory to head into the new Premier League 2 season.
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher (Firth 80’); Lewis (Whelan 70;), Brewitt (Masterson 45’), Maguire (N. Phillips 70’), Juanma (Hart 60’); Virtue (Coyle 70’), Kane (Owens 80’), A. Phillips (Alves 60’); Wilson (Lennon 60’), Gomes (Garton 80’), Woodburn (Brewster 60’).
MK Dons XI: Martin (Burns 61’); Kioso, Kasumu (Omar 81’), Jackson, Tilney; Osei-Bonsu, Logan (Nombe 61’); Trialist (Bell 61’), Furlong (Evans 72’), Thomas-Asante; Tshimanga (Stratton 81’).