By Scott Taylor
Okera Simmonds scored his third goal in five games but Liverpool U18s were held to a 2-2 draw against West Brom at the Kirkby Academy on Saturday afternoon.
Under the watchful eyes of new Academy Coach Steven Gerrard, Simmonds put his side ahead from the penalty spot after Yan Dhanda was brought down.
West Brom equalised a minute into the second half but George Johnston put the Reds in front with his third of the season, only for the Baggies to equalise four minutes from time.
Liverpool Head Coach Neil Critchley named an unchanged side for the first time this season, deploying the same XI as in the 2-0 victory over Derby last Saturday.
Liverpool started off the brighter of the two sides, and this pressure was rewarded with the opening goal of the game, Simmonds cooly converting from the spot.
The Reds should have been comfortably ahead, with Critchley’s side hitting both the post and the crossbar as they looked to put daylight between them and their opponents.
However, they were left to rue their missed opportunities as West Brom equalised in the 46th minute, but defender Johnston put Liverpool back in front shortly after.
Critchley brought on the defensively minded Jordan Hunter for the final ten minutes of the game, but West Brom stole a point in the 86th minute.
Despite the draw, Liverpool have now extended their unbeaten run in the U18s Premier League to 13 games, which has seen them rise to third, level on points with Man Utd.
They will look to close the nine point gap over the league leaders Man City when they travel to bottom-side Sunderland, who have won just one game all season.
Liverpool U18s: Kelleher; N Williams, R Williams, Johnston, Lewis; Coyle, Jones, Dhanda (Hunter 80′); Adekanye, Millar, Simmonds (McAuley 78′).