By Scott Taylor
Bobby Adekanye scored on his return from injury as Liverpool U18s made it three wins in a row with a 5-1 demolition of Derby County to end their 100% home record on Saturday afternoon. After behind in the opening stages, Glen McAuley equalised with his seventh goal in five starts before Yan Dhanda completed the turnaround with his fourth of the season shortly before half-time. Rafael Camacho put the Reds in the ascendancy with his first goal this campaign, before Adekanye, returning from a hernia operation, and an own goal secured the win for Neil Critchley’s side.
The U18s Head Coach made just one change from the side that beat West Bromwich Albion last week, with Herbie Kane making his return from injury in place of Rhian Brewster.
However, things got off to the worst possible start when Jahvan Davidson-Miller gave the hosts a seventh minute lead after strong hold-up play from Ayomide Jibodu.
Liverpool were only behind for four minutes, as McAuley continued his fine form with a close-range for his third goal in two games, as the Irishman is starting to assert himself as the main striker.
The Reds saw an effort cleared off the line before Micah Edwards smashed the crossbar for Derby at the other end as a cagey affair burst into life at the Training Centre.
Critchley’s side completed the turnaround in the 32nd minute when Dhanda capitalised on some lacklustre defending to fire home, moments after his side were denied by Matt Yates.
Liverpool had further chances to go ahead, but were dealt another injury blow when Kane was forced off with a hip problem as his injury nightmare this season continues.
The former Bristol City midfielder was replaced by Adekanye, and after going close from a free-kick shortly after half-time, he made an impact scoring the Reds’ third from a corner.
Joe Bateman then turned into his own net to put Critchley’s side 4-1 up before Portugal youngster Camacho rounded off the scoring with a spectacular individual goal.
Liverpool rise to fourth in the U18s Premier League with the win, two points off the league leaders Manchester City. They could go top if results go their way and the Reds beat bottom side Sunderland on Saturday, a team that have failed to win all season.
Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Lewis (Lattie 80’), Masterson, Johnston, Owens; Coyle, Hunter, Kane (Adekanye 45’); Camacho, McAuley (Simmonds 80’), Dhanda.
Derby XI: Yates; Bogle, Bateman, Thorne, Mills; Magno, Bird, Edwards, Jibodu; Mitchell-Lawson, Davidson-Miller.