By Scott Taylor

Okera Simmonds was Liverpool U18s’ hero as the midfielder came off the bench to score the winner as the Reds beat Newcastle 1-0 at the Kirkby Academy.

Simmonds, 17, played a pivotal role in the 2-1 win over Everton a week ago, before his assist set up Rhian Brewster for Liverpool’s solitary goal in the FA Youth Cup in midweek.

The second-half substitute then scored his second goal in as many games as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 games.

Head Coach Neil Critchley made seven changes from the side that lost to Man City on Wednesday, with Kamil Grabara, Conor Masterson, Rhian Brewster and Yan Dhanda all in contention to feature for the U23s on Sunday afternoon.

Rafael Camacho, Bobby Adekanye, Glen McAuley, Liam Millar, Jordan Hunter all returned to the line-up whilst Neco Williams was promoted from the U16s.

Liam Coyle captained the side for the first time since making the step up the U18s in recent seasons, and the result moves the young Reds up to second in the Premier League, seven points behind the unbeaten leaders Man City.

Critchley’s side will look to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games when they face sixth-placed Derby, who are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions.

Liverpool U18s: Kelleher; N Williams, Parker, Johnston, Lewis; Camacho, Coyle, Hunter (Jones 75), Adekanye; McAuley (Simmonds 70), Millar.