Academy Report: Liverpool U18's 1 Leeds United U18's 1

Posted by Rushian on September 3, 2006, 07:48:37 PM

Liverweb Match Report
Liverpool U18's 1 Leeds United U18's 1

A wet and windy morning at he academy saw the two sides share the points on a day that the Reds will feel that two points went begging. The Reds played some fantastic football on the day but it just wouldn't fall for them in front of goal.

Leeds got the game started attacking the Academy end in the first half. After just three minutes I feared the Reds would be reduced to ten men and in normal circumstances they would have been. Charlie Barnett lost control of the ball near his own area and in what looked slow motion to me then threw himself in two footed on the Leeds player. Any other game and this would have been a straight Red but he got away with a stern word from the ref. You see to have to kill someone to be sent off at this level.

From the resultant free kick Leeds beat the wall with the shot but Roberts was behind the shot all the way. The Reds though looked up for this game despite the awful conditions and got the ball down well to play football. For me the football they played for long periods of the first half was perhaps some of the best I've seen at any academy game for years now. Leeds looked like a hit and hope team in comparison.

On nine minutes the Reds put a great passing movement together but Burns saw his cross go just too long for Lindfield in the box. On seventeen minutes Barratt and Spearing combined well with a one two which split Leeds apart. Barratt played the ball towards Wignall but the keeper was out quickly to smother the shot well.

Two minutes later and Spearing went on a mazy Maradona type run. The run took him all the way in to the Leeds box before he was shoved off the ball. He wanted a penalty but he fell a little too easily. The play though carried on and the Reds crossed the ball. Keeper Lund dropped the ball but Lindfield saw his predator type shot deflected wide for a corner.

The play was very much all Liverpool and both Spearing and Barnett had shots from outside the box. Barnett's went very close on the half hour. Despite all the domination though the keeper wasn't being stretched enough despite looking very nervous when the ball was in the air.

Leeds were able to take a very undeserved lead just a minute before half time when they awarded a penalty kick. A rare attack from the away side down the left side saw the ball crossed in. As the ball got near the lanky Elliot, Threlfall pulled his arm and unbalanced the striker. A penalty was rightly given by he ref. Hotchkiss stepped up and sent Roberts left whilst he slotted to his right. It was a cruel blow right on half time for the Reds but a good half time team talk would surely get them back in shape.

The Reds got the second half underway and again they would dominate. A corner on forty nine minutes was whipped in by Barnett and the keeper just managed to take it off Threlfall's head as it neared the back post. Three minutes later and the same player whipped in a corner and again the keeper tipped the ball over. From the next corner Burns whipped the ball in and after some pin ball in the area it was deflected for a third corner. From that corner Threlfall headed just wide of the target.

On fifty four minutes the Reds should have equalised when Barratt was sent clear on goal but with the keeper committed he sent his shot in to the side netting. Each side made a switch on fifty eight with Ameobi coming on for Leeds and Putterill for the Reds. Wignall pulled out wider right now as the new striker partnered Lindfield up front.

The Reds though continued to dominate but in the second half they just didn't seem able to break the Leeds defence open as much. On seventy four minutes Burns took too much time in the area and wasted a good opportunity when he was free in the box.

The Reds' goal finally came on eighty five minutes through Robbie Threlfall and it was a master class - Dalglish type goal as well. Robbie took the ball down in the box and when it looked like the ball would get stuck in his feet he whipped his left foot around the ball and bent it in to the top corner. A deserved equaliser at long last for the Reds but with just five minutes to go there wasn't quite enough time to win the match.

In the final minute of stoppage time Leeds very nearly snatched a winner when Brown hit a shot from thirty yards towards goal. The looping effort though had Roberts scrambling back to his goal but thankfully went just over the bar.

Overall this was an excellent game and one that the Reds really deserved to win. They played some fantastic stuff, especially given the conditions and on another day could have had five or six. It's a good building block for the Reds though.

Man of the Match: Robbie Threlfall - defended well at the back and carried the ball up the pitch well and of course scored a great goal to grab the point for the Reds. Spearing played particularly well in the holding midfield role whilst Burns got up and down the left side very well too.

Liverpool
Roberts, Behan, Burns, Gaughan, Threlfall, Spearing (capt.), Woodward (Putterill 58), Barnett, Lindfield, Wignall (Pringle 76), Barratt (O'Connor 70)

Unused Subs: Mimms, Routledge

Goal: Threlfall (85)

Leeds United
Lund, Mycoe, Gordon, Lees, Grace, Fisher, Ovington (Brown 82), Hotchkiss, Elliot (Ameobi 58), Cartman, Delph

Unused Subs: Hutton, Edwards, Wilkinson

Goal: Hotchkiss (pen 44)

Referee: J Waring
Kick Off: 11.30am

© Andy Philip, Liverweb 2006

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