Liverpool  0 (0)                                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)
Premier Academy U18 League
Saturday 29th March 2014                                                                                                                    Kick off 11:00
Liverpool Academy - Kirkby
Goal-scorers  
None Pritchard 57
 
Cards  
       
Virtue (foul on Goddard) 63
 

    

     
Harrison (not retreating 10 yards) 86
Walkes (foul on Griffin) 90+2

    
 

Crowd :   - Weather :  Bright, breezy
Referee :  O. Lynn Assistant Referees :  Mr. C. Bull; Mr. L. Ochilshaw
Game time : 90 + 8 minutes.
Liverpool : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Owen WHEELER

  2  Connor RANDALL (c)
  5
  Tom BREWITT
 
4  Daniel CLEARY
  3  Sam HART

  8  Matthew VIRTUE      (15 Liam GRIFFIN 79)
10
  Yan DHANDA (12 Dharius WALDRON 64)
 
6  Nathan BURKE

  7  Alex O'HANLON (14 David ROBERTS 49)
  9  Sheyi OJO
11  Ryan KENT
 

Unused subs: 
13  Shamal GEORGE

 

    1  Liam PRIESTLEY

  2  Kyle WALKER-PETERS
  5  Christian MAGHOMA
  6  Cameron CARTER-VICKERS
  3  Kane VINCENT-YOUNG

  8  Anton WALKES (c)     
 
4  Filip LESNIAK
  7  Cy GODDARD  (17  Armani DALY 82)

11  Joe PRITCHARD  (12 Channing CAMPBELL-YOUNG 68)
10  Lloyd ROSS (15 Shayon HARRISON 46 
   )
  9  Daniel AKINDAYINI

Unused subs: 
13  Alfie WHITEMAN

14
  Antony GEORGIOU
 

 
Manager :  Neil Critchley Manager :  John McDermott
Sponsor :   Standard Chartered Shirt sponsor :  Hewlett Packard
Kit Supplier :  Warrior Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

A breezy, but bright, sunny afternoon at the Liverpool Academy at Kirkby saw the two young teams take to the field.  Both teams were sat third in their respective regional leagues and a tight game was ahead.  Because of injury and players being used in the Spanish U16 side, 15 year old Dhanda became the first player of Indian descent to play for Liverpool, although he has played for England U15s.

Some familiar faces could be seen around the Liverpool Academy.  Former Spurs Under-21 coach Alex Inglethorpe was helping out on the bench with Liverpool, as Kenny Dalglish looked on from the balcony of the Academy building.

Liverpool kicked off, with the home teamís signing from MK Dons - Ojo Ė winning an early corner that Priestley fumbled under pressure, but grabbed at the second attempt. Dhanda put in a fast cross from the left and as it bounce dup, there were appeals for a handball against Vincent-Young and in the next phase of play a cross to the far post saw Liverpoolís centre half Brewitt unable to get a better contact with his head on it.  Hart went right through Walker-Peters with a bad challenge, but didnít even get a yellow card, but the Spurs full back was good enough to go past two Liverpool boys to put in a good cross that nobody had read. The referee did speak to the Liverpool captain when former Chelsea youngster Matthew Virtue fouled on the edge of their box and Goddard took it, but could not beat the wall.

Liverpool had been knocking the ball around well on the ground, but their best chance came when OíHanlon took the ball off Ross and bent a shot a couple of yards wide with ten minutes gone. Five minutes later, Vickers-Carter played in Vincent-Young on the left and his cross bent in saw Ross and Pritchard could not quite reach it at the far post. Within a minute the same left back got in space, but his cross was just too high this time.

The wind, which was swirling against them and towards Tottenhamís left wing did not make it easy to keep the ball down, but neither side played the ball long, but Spurs were getting their full-backs in behind the Liverpool back four and the main threat to Spurs seemed to come from Ryan Kent on the Redsí left. A good tackle by Walker-Peters stopped a mazy run by Kent and then Christian Maghoma had to retrieve his twice sliced into the air clearances around his own penalty spot.

Ojo turned past Maghoma 35 yards out and raced away, leaving Walkes to bring him down as he got to 25 yards out. Nothing came from the free-kick and Spurs broke, winning a corner, which Goddard played into the near post and Maghoma and Randall went for the ball, leaving the Liverpool full-back on the floor while play went on and Goddard put in a cross that Akindayini just failed to get a head on.

Just over the half hour, Kent found OíHanlon with a cross-field pass, but he hit the ball into the ground from the edge of the box and Priestley was right behind it. Liverpool appealed for another penalty in the 37th minute, but nothing was given and in their next move, Maghoma stopped Ojo getting onto Hartís low left wing cross. When Spurs moved the ball to the other end, they won a corner that was played in low to the near post, where Maghoma missed his kick when left in space. Then Pritchard picked out Akindayiniís run into the right hand channel, but Cleary stopped his run. Towards the end of the half, Liverpool started going longer, which made it easy for Spurs, but then a ball from the right side across the box by Dhanda found Kent and his shot was blocked by a good advance from Liam Priestley, although the whistle then went for offside. The Spurs keeper didnít know that and the save showed a good reading of the game.

The second half started with Shayon Harrison replacing Ross and Joe Pritchard screwing what looked like a cross in on goal from just outside the box, but it turned out to almost be a lob that the Liverpool keeper Wheeler could only watch drop just over his bar. With the wind at their backs, Tottenham pressed further up the pitch and looked for balls in behind the back four.

Cameron Carter-Vickers looked a lot like Steven Caulker and was calm when Ojo threatened to run at him and in the move OíHanlon injured himself and was replaced by left back Roberts, shifting Ojo to the right and Kent playing through the middle, with his place taken by Hart.  A long kick by Priestley was won by Harrison and Goddard in midfield and fed right to Walker-Peters on the overlap. In space, he played a low ball into the near post area, where Harrison had continued his run. He failed to make contact and the ball ran to the far post, where Joe Pritchard had moved into, leaving him free to slam the ball past Wheeler with his left foot in the 57th minute.

Just after the goal, Spurs had a series of corners and with the wind blowing towards the Liverpool goal, it made it difficult for the Redsí defence.  This brought Waldron on for Dhanda, with the sub going to right back and Ojo going back to centre-forward, with Kent pushing back to wide left. And Ojo had a good opportunity when Carter-Vickers gave the ball away to Kent and he sent the centre-forward through, but cutting in from the right, his shot was weak and easy for Priestley to dive to his right to stop.

In the 73rd minute, Harrison played the ball to Walker-Peters on the right and his low driven cross was touched just wide by Wheeler. From Goddardís corner, Akindayiniís shirt was pulled stopping him getting a header on it and Harrison could not turn it back on target at the far post.

Ojo went down the left and put in a dangerous cross, which Maghoma did well to clear, as Liverpool pressed to get back into the game in the last 15 minutes. Spurs had a chance when Harrison shot from 10 yards out and forced a save from Wheeler, with Liam Priestley producing a fantastic save from Kent, who drove a shot across the goalie from the right, but there was a good push on the save to push it wide of the goalmouth. As the game entered stoppage time, Walkes challenged Grifffin for a ball on the halfway line and earned a booking as the Liverpool man hopped away. When he went to ground, the medical staff got around him before he was taken off on a golf buggy having been given gas and air. It turned out he had broken his ankle in two places and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Like the first team, Tottenhamís main problem was giving the ball away leading to opposition attacks, but the full backs were progressive and
while Liverpool had scored 69 goals this season, but didnít look like a side who had been that prolific. The home teamís passing was poor and although the conditions did not help, they were failing to complete even short passes. Ojo looked a decent player and Kent was busy, but the final pass was missing from their game, while, in Walker-Peters, Tottenham had a player who was the best on the pitch and also was a constant threat finding space on the right hand side of our team.

This win showed a progress in the sideís development and the introduction of younger players will give them the experience to serve them well in the future.

 

Sam Partridge

 

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