By Scott Taylor
Jack Dunn scored an eight-half hat-trick as Liverpool U23s began 2017 with a resounding 6-0 win against Bangor City in a friendly.
Harry Wilson boosted his chances of a first-team call-up with another two goals to take his tally to 16 for the season, whilst Toni Gomes scored in back-to-back games.
Sheyi Ojo played another 45 minutes as the winger continues to build up his fitness, but Mike Garrity was without Tiago Ilori after the Reds accepted a £3.75m bid from Reading for the defender, who has travelled to discuss personal terms.
The Liverpool Head Coach made five changes from the side that drew 4-4 with Wigan Athletic on 30 December with four of those coming in defence.
Corey Whelan was the only player to keep his place with Caoimhin Kelleher starting in goal whilst Nathan Phillips, Joe Maguire and trialist Cian Harries a started in defence.
Liverpool started the brighter of the two sides, with Toni Gomes going narrowly close, but they soon made amends in the 14th minute.
Captain Harry Wilson received a pass from Paolo Alves and fired home his 15th of the season as supporters continue to debate the first-team squad for their FA Cup tie against Plymouth on Sunday.
The Welshman almost made it just after the half-hour mark, but his low drive was saved by Bangor goalkeeper Roberts.
The hosts’ shot-stopper could do nothing about Liverpool’s second in the 39th minute as Virtue was the provider for Gomes to slot home through his legs.
Mike Garrity made two changes at the break, with Madger Gomes and Tom Brewitt replacing Ojo and Phillips, yet the one-way traffic continued.
Roberts was called into action just five minutes into the second half, denying Wilson with a great effort before Matty Virtue fired over from close-range.
Toni Gomes was then replaced by Dunn and within 14 minutes of coming on, the forward made it 3-0 after firing home Virtue’s cross.
The former Morecambe loanee then won a penalty for his side two minutes later, with Wilson making it 4-0 at the second attempt after his inital penalty was saved by Roberts.
In the 80th minute, the goals kept flowing with Dunn getting his second and Liverpool’s fifth with a stinging left-footed drive which flew past the helpless Roberts.
It took just two minutes for Dunn to complete his hat-trick with another left-footed drive as the striker rounded off his feat in eight minutes with Liverpool scoring four goals in that period.
Garrity’s side will continue their friendly programme over the winter break when they host League Two side Barnet on 10 January.
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Whelan, Phillips (Brewitt 45′), Trialist, Maguire; Williams, Virtue, Alves (Brimmer 75′); Wilson, T Gomes (Dunn 60′), Ojo (M Gomes 45′).