Reds in Reserve: Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland

Posted by AdamS on November 29, 2005, 09:35:15 PM

The attendance was extremely small at The Racecourse in North Wales tonight but, unlike the weather, it wasn't into minus figures. The few hardy souls who did make their way to the ground were not repaid with much of a game. An extremely poor Sunderland side were the visitors and despite the fact that they were reduced to ten men with less than a third of the game gone Liverpool still made hard work of it.

Liverpool set up with a 4-3-1-2 formation early on. One obvious change to starting line up was Alvin Martin's son David appearing in goal: he's on a week's trial from MK Dons and was looking to impress.

Recent signing Paul Anderson was also staring his second game. It was the first time I had seen him and he helped get The Reds off to a bright start. Anderson combined well with Calliste on 3 minutes - I thought Calliste should have shot earlier, but in taking a touch he was fouled and Liverpool had a free kick from twenty yards out. Mannix took it and hit the target, but also hit the keeper.

Manno was again in the action a few minutes later. Potter and Barragan had combined to win a corner, this cleared the players in the box and fell to Manno who cut inside past two players and let fly. Unfortunately the shot was too tame and straight at  the keeper.

The next chance would also fall to Liverpool, this time it was in the shape of Anderson. A loose ball fell to him on the edge of the box, he hit a cracking volley that looked for all the world a goal but somehow slid past the upright. The keeper hadn't moved.

The impressive and assured Roque was again excelling at the back for Liverpool. As he came out with the ball he played it forward for Calliste only to be taken out by a very late challenge from Richard Smith. As it was early in the game I expected just a yellow, but the referee judged the foul on its merits and Smith was ordered off.

As The Reds attacked a few minutes later Peltier failed to read a Potter flick. As he went to win the ball back he looked as though he felt sorry for ten man Sunderland and dived in studs showing. It didn't really merit a red, but he was rightly cautioned. It seems to be one reckless tackle every game from him though. It's something he needs to sort out.

There wasn't a great deal of action for the rest of the half. As the grit vans drove past the ground at half time I ate my frozen fruit pastels and knocked my knees together trying to keep warm and hoping for a better second half.

Half Time: 0-0

Just minutes into the second half and Liverpool came close to taking the lead. Potter did well down the right and Manno diving to reach his cross only managed to lift his volley over the bar.

On 56 minutes Peltier left the pitch to be replaced by Adam Hammill. He slotted in on the left wing, but it was an advancing Raven that won the free kick that led to the goal. After he was upended Potter whipped the free kick in dangerously and the impressive Anderson arrived at the far post to steer his volley superbly into the top corner.

This gave Liverpool confidence and through Hammill, Potter and the waspish Anderson they started to ask questions. On 64 minutes the lead should have been doubled. After a corner the ball fell to Godwin just a few yards out. He swung and looked certain to score but somehow missed the ball.

Three minutes later Mannix did brilliantly down the right. He beat his man and whipped in an excellent cross that Hammill just failed to get on top of. As Sunderland cleared Anderson spotted the telegraphed pass. He was first to it and ran on goal, albeit from a wide angle. He looked up and saw Calliste. His cross to Calliste was blocked by a retreating defender but fell straight back into his path. He hit the ball first time and beat the keeper. Just as the ball crossed the line Calliste helped it in ... unfortunately Calliste had been in an offside position. Raven did his captain's duty, passed the dunces hat to Calliste and sent him to the corner flag.

That's not true, but Calliste was removed from the action on 76 minutes as James Frayne entered the action. Frayney had only been on moment when he showed that he is like a rather slippery substance off a shovel when he gets going, a good Sundeland block unfortunately stopping the ball from reaching him.

Sunderland hadn't given up all hope and with just under ten minutes left, Robbie Weir dispossessed Liverpool's Ghanaian defender. He looked up and saw Martin off his line. He went for the chip which was definitely on, but was unable to hit the target as the ball drifted wide.

As the game neared a close the fourth official signalled two minutes to be added, but after twenty seconds or so the ref decided he'd had enough of the cold and sent us on our way. It wasn't spectacular, but I'd settle for another 1-0 win against Sunderland tomorrow.

Full Time: Liverpool 1 Sunderland 0

Man of the Match: Anderson He has something of a Jack Russell about him. If I had to name a player he is like I'd actually say Dennis Wise. He's not the biggest, but he is quick, brave and industrious. Roque was once again extremely convincing at centre half and Potter had the best game I'd seen him play for a while.

Liverpool
1. David Martin
2. Antonio Barragan
3. David Raven
4. Miguel Roque-Farrero
5. Godwin Antwi
6. Jack Hobbs
7. Lee Peltier
8. Darren Potter
9. Ramon Calliste
10. David Mannix
11. Paul Anderson

Subs:
12. James Smith
13. Paul Willis
14. Adam Hammill
15. James Frayne
16. Jordan Holmes

© AdamS 2005

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