Reds in Reserve: Liverpool 2 - 2 Newcastle

Posted by AdamS on August 22, 2005, 09:26:34 PM

After watching The Reds edge past the Mackems at Anfield on Saturday I was hoping the Reserves, with Florent Sinama-Pogolle returning to the starting line up, would be more convincing against their North-Eastern rivals Newcastle. I was to be disappointed but not completely. The game finished 2-2 and was another entertaining affair.

With the sun low in the sky behind Liverpool's backs, I had to squint to see the stunning girl with brown hair walking up the stand. As Newcastle kicked off I became aware that the lad sat behind me was Academy youngster James Frayne. He was talking about knuckling down with the arrival of the new lads which is just the attitude you want to hear displayed.

Trialist Roman Calliste (a Welsh U21 international despite the name, and released by the Mancs this summer) started up front with Sinama and both had some very positive early touches. Calliste looks very good with his back to goal and held the ball up well, which was something we lacked last week when the starting XI lacked a recognised striker.

The first chance came on ten minutes. Hobbs won the ball and passed to Traore, he turned the right back inside out and crossed. Adam Hammill jumped and headed past the keeper but the ball came back off the post.

We didn't have to wait long for the first goal though. The commanding Hobbs won a loose ball in midfield, he ran past his man and slipped through a perfect ball for Sinama to round the keeper and slot home.

Danny Guthrie had started the game very impressively and was linking up with Sinama and Hammill brilliantly. These three have a lot of individual skill and some of it was a joy to watch. In the twenty fifth minute Guthrie played a majestic one-two with Sinama, he lined up a shot from 25 yards and was only prevented from scoring when Tony Craig pulled off a fantastic save in the Newcastle goal.

Newcastle had been toothless early on. Their main threat came from Alan O'Brien who was causing David Raven all sorts of problems down Newcastle's left wing. Down the other wing Traore was replaced after 32 minutes making way for James Smith. It was good to see both Raven and Traore get a run out after injury problems in recent weeks.

As we approached half time James Frayne's mates cracked me up as they had the following conversation;

"How much are Wrexham in debt mate?"

"It's about £4m I think"

"Nah mate, they must be skinter than that. Two years ago the hamburgers were £1.60, they're £2.40 now!"

I had just stopped laughing when Newcastle equalised. Raven sliding to block a through ball instead diverted the ball past the quietly effective young Spaniard Roque (making his reserve debut). The ball fell to Finnigan, his shot was superbly saved by Wilson but the rebound fell straight to Atkin to slot home.

I couldn't wait for the start of the second half, if only to shut the muppet who was chanting "Twenty pence your programmes" incessantly. Sinama went off at half time and in his place came Antwi Godwin. He was a straight swap and he went to play up front as he had against Everton reserves.

Newcastle had the first chance of the second half. Smylie hit a curling freekick from 25 yards that clipped the bar and went behind. Wilson hadn't moved.

Hobbs who seemed more confident than last week, had a pile driver from about 30 yards go narrowly over the bar and according to Frayne's commentary it broke chair 14 in row Z. Liverpool were dominating and on the hour took the lead. The irrepressible Guthrie picked up the ball in the middle of the park and fed it through to the onrushing Godwin and Calliste. Calliste, sniffing a chance, took control and beat the keeper to his right with a tidy finish. 2-1.

Newcastle were nearly back in it just a couple of minutes later. Gate, the industrious number seven for Newcastle, shot from a tight angle about six yards out and Wilson did very well to deflect it onto the post. As Liverpool were manically defending Gate clashed with Liverpool's number 7 Guthrie and the pair went down. Neither moved and it was worrying for a minute or so, but happily both managed not only to get up, but to continue the game.

Gate made the most of surviving the collision by helping himself to an equaliser. The ball broke free in midfield and from the left angle he drove a twenty five yarder right into the keeper's top left corner of the net. It was more than Newcastle deserved but it was a cracking effort.

Another funny conversation was heard from behind as one of Frayne's mates asked a local who Wrexham's sponsor was.

"Just go" came the reply.

"Aw that's a bit harsh considering Wrexham's state!"

Just a mention for Frayne. He was really supportive of all the lads, even Calliste who is effectively vying for his place. If that's an accurate reflection of moral within the camp it's great news. Also I'd like to apologise for telling him that there were two minutes left when there were ten. It was an accident, these things happen, but these early leavers - what can you do?

Man of the Match: Guthrie. He was absolutely fantastic today. He worked his socks off and showed no small amount of skill. Mentions for Roque, very calm and assured, and Hammill who showed excellent potential. Raven also got better and better as the game went on.

Liverpool:

Paul Willis
David Raven
Djimi Traore (35, James Smith)
Miki Roque
Danny O'Donnell
Salif Diao
Danny Guthrie
Jack Hobbs
Florent Sinama-Pongolle (45, Godwin Antwi)
Ramon Calliste (80, David Mannix)
Adam Hammill

Subs not used:
 
David Roberts
Lee Peltier

© AdamS 2005

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