Reds in Reserve: Liverpool 0 Everton 1

Posted by Rushian on October 12, 2004, 10:42:47 PM

Liverpool Reserves 0 Everton Reserves 1
Racecourse Ground, Wrexham

Liverpool: Luzi, Peltier, Whitbread, Raven, O'Donnell, Potter, Guthrie (Wilkie 60), Mannix, Mellor, Smyth, Warnock

It was a drizzly evening in Wrexham for the first North-Walian, Merseyside Mini-Derby, if you get my drift. The conditions didn't make for a great game, with far too many episodes of "fally over". Unfortunately the result wasn't a good one either. Everton took their first victory of the season with a 1-0 result which overall they probably just about deserved.

The early minutes were even if a bit scrappy. The first attempt on goal was an audacious 40 yard volley from Potter which he struck well, but straight at a defender half way between him and the goal. Raven and O'Donnell paired together in central defence looked very strong early on & didn't do too much wrong all night.

The first decent move came on 10 minutes when the quietly impressive Peltier linked well with Smyth but his cross failed to beat the first man. The play was intermittently scrappy and classy with the two young teams interchanging excellently at times and awfully at other. On 14 minutes Warnock slid in late on Stevie G's cousin Anthony (also Gerrard) and was lucky not to be booked.

From the restart Zack Whitbread cleared the resulting freekick high and handsome over the stand. There were a few half chances, weak shots from distance with Mellor showing for Liverpool and Seargeant having a pop for Everton but nothing close to a goal.

On 22 minutes Mellor was cautioned for persistant infringement. It should have been the other way around as the referee at the time was giving everything against Mellor. He strutted off in his very scouse fashion, not happy at all!

The diminutive James Harris was playing well for Everton and had a shot from fully 35 yards just rise too much and go over the bar. Liverpool attacked in response and soon found Guthrie in space on the right, he crossed and a deft flick by Mellor faded past the the post.

Mannix, who was fairly anonymous most of the night, headed a bouncing ball behind for an Everton corner, it was a heart in mouth moment though and I think it could really have gone anywhere. Nearing the forty minute mark Guthrie and Smyth linked up twice in as many minutes down the right and created two very good crosses, but unfortunately nobody was on the end of either.

In first half injury time Peltier put in an excellent cross which Mellor connected with. To use a cliché he caught it too well and it went straight into the keepers hands.

I spent half time listening to kids working out how many houses you could fit on The Racecourse - which is what seems will happen to the ground come the summer if the Chairman/Property Developer gets his way. Very bizarre.

Second half kicked off and Potter, who seemed strangely reluctant to use Guthrie all night, shot when a pass would have seen Guthrie in a great position. The shot was inevitably harmless. Five minutes in to the second half and Liverpool were dominating. It was the left flank providing the crosses both Warnock and Whitbread whipping in wonderful balls from the wing but again there was no end result. I began to think we'd pay.

Neil Mellor almost stupidly got himself sent off for a blatant barge. It was one of those offences where he would have received a yellow card if he hadn't been booked already, the ref bottling the red card decision. Eddy Bosnar, the exotically named Everton centre back, had a decent effort from a freekick which went just wide, and it was to be a warning Liverpool did not heed.

After bringing on Wilkie to replace the perplaxingly underused Guthrie on the hour mark Liverpool could have taken the lead themselves. Mellor sent Smyth through with a great pass and the youngest was one on one with the keeper, but a combination of indecisiveness from Smyth and excellent recovery defending from Gerrard saw a golden opportunity pass by.

A couple of minutes later and we were made to rue the miss. The Aussie Bosnar lined up another freekick just over twenty yards out. He drove it either straight through or under the wall and it went low to the keepers left and nestled in the botton corner. 1-0 to Everton.

Mellor had a chance to equalise just two minutes later, but he was pressurised well by a combination of the outrushing keeper and the covering defender chasing back and the ball dropped wide.

The game started to open up now but still failed to produce many open chances. Luzi saved at the feet of Chadwick fairly comfortably and the now hugely excited Bosnar had a shot from forty five yards and missed by a similar distance.

Potter had another poor attempt from distance and I just had that feeling we weren't going to score today. In fact it was Everton who again came closest when Wilson hit a cross shot which could have taken a deflection and gone in but managed to bypass everyone.

The time added on board came up displaying "3" and I was sat close enough to David Moyes to hear him exclaim "Threeeeee!". But it was still no good. We were out worked for most of the second half and Everton were worthy winners.

Man of the Match: I would again nominate O'Donnell. He was fast and powerful and has a very good first touch for a defender. Potter may have actually played slightly better, but he frustrates me because in a game of two young sides I feel that he should be bossing the game more and controlling the pace. The same could be said for Warnock.

© AdamS 2004

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