U18s Liverpool v WBA: The original 5-3 game

Posted by liverweb on January 9, 2006, 09:03:50 AM

Liverweb Academy Match Report

Liverpool 5 West Bromwich Albion 3

Liverpool: Roberts, Holmes, Darby, Woods(C), Threlfall, Flynn, Hammill, Barnett, Frayne, Platt, Barratt

Subs Used: Behan for Woods (HT), Smith for Barratt (64), Ryan for Hammill (86)

Subs Unused: Lancaster (GK), Wignall

The Under 18 side played their first game of the new year at the academy in Kirkby against West Brom. A hugely entertaining game saw the Reds run out 5-3 winners in the end. At half time it was 4-3 but with neither defence looking tight it could easily have been 9-8.

Before the game some of the injured U18s were given a training session including a welcome return for Jay Spearing. Not that Spearing was sounding that fit as he raced up and down the line and doing sit ups.

West Brom go the game underway after a huddle to get each other ready for action. The Reds were out of the blocks fast though and within two minutes Hammill was showing off his skills as he danced past two men as if they just weren't there. He then flicked the ball to Conal Platt but after struggling to get the ball down he shot over the bar.

The Reds were in front after just five minutes when Charlie Barnett scored from twenty five yards. The shot took a slight deflection on the way but it was a great start for the Reds. The goal drew the away side into action and suddenly they looked like they could score at any time. In fact it took just two minutes for them to equalise. Jeff Forsyth bundled a loose ball over the line from a corner which he had won but Roberts couldn't keep hold of.

Straight up at the the other end the Reds looked to get back in the lead and Hammill it was again who looked to ghost through the Albion back line. He managed to get his shot away but it went wide of the goal. On thirteen minutes Albion were in the lead as Stuart Nicholson raced through a very square looking Reds back line and slotted past Roberts who was a bit slow coming out. Nicholson is highly rated at West Brom and you could see why on the day as well.

It took just a minute for the Reds to get back on terms and it was persistence from Barratt that got the goal. He found himself with a fifty fifty challenge with the keeper. At one point he looked to pull out before poking the ball under the keeper. He then jumped over the keeper and finished. Only fourteen minutes on the clock and already it was 2-2.

James Frayne found some space on seventeen minutes but his shot sailed just over the bar. Frayne had another go two minutes later but this time his shot deflected up and in to the keeper's arms. It was half an hour before another goal came and this time it was the Reds going in to the lead again. The Reds won a corner on the left hand side and Stephen Darby shocked everyone including himself when he headed the ball home. Darby looked like he was going to pass out in shock at the fact he scored.

Within a minute there were chances at either end. First for the Reds Barratt ran through but his final touch just took the ball away from him. At the other end Nicholson got through the back line again but Threlfall was back well to clear the danger before he could shoot.

On thirty four minutes it was 4-2 and this was a superbly taken goal from James Frayne. He timed his run through well and from about ten yards out slotted past the keeper superbly.

Just two minutes later and it was 4-3 as Nicholson rifled a shot home from inside the area. Neither defence looked like it could cope at all with the power of the forwards. Conal Platt had a shot really well saved on thirty eight minutes and then two minutes later Frayne was through again but his shot clipped the keeper and flew up and on to the bar. The keeper reacted quickest and grabbed the ball.

Adam Hammill needed treatment on forty one minutes after Davies had gone through the back of him. In keeping with academy football though no card was shown although this was a definite yellow at Premiership level and even reserve level.

Half time came and allowed everyone to catch breathe once again after a scintillating half of football. Stephen Behan came on at half time to play left back and allowed Darby to captain the Reds in the centre of defence. Liverpool were out first for the game and then Albion came out but no sign of the ref. The Reds started to play around with the match ball and Hammill entertained us with his ball skills. Hammill or James Bond as he wanted to be called is a great star of the future potentially and these skills were superb.

Finally the ref arrived and in comical fashion Hammill joked with the linesman about his time keeping and then signalled over to us on the line that he thought they'd hit the pop a bit early judging by the smell. Great comedy from the lad.

The game got started again and sadly there weren't as many goals this half but that's because both sides got tighter at the back. Nicholson was always a threat for the away side though and twice in the first six minutes of the half he was through on goal. One shot hit the side netting and one was saved by Roberts with his feet.

Albion made a switch eleven minutes in when McQuilken replaced McMenamin. On fifty nine minutes Frayne nearly got through again. A tackle nearly brought him down but it did enough to un balance the striker and his shot was easily saved by the keeper. Had he gone down it would surely have been a penalty.

Franny Smith came on for the Reds on sixty four minutes for Paul Barratt and Downing replaced Elvins for Albion. Two minutes later and the Reds were 5-3 ahead thanks to Platt. Platt pushed the ball to the right where Barnett was now playing. He crossed it over and Platt finished well from about eight yards.

Smith had a shot well saved on seventy two minutes. On seventy nine minutes Hammill went on a great run down the left side and crossed in to Platt who hit a superb overhead kick but it sailed just wide of the goal. The Reds finished the stronger of the two sides and if anyone was to score again it would have been the Reds although Albion never gave up getting back in to the game.

MotM: James Frayne - very difficult choice as so many played well but throughout the game Frayne was a threat and grabbed one goal. He could easily have scored more. A close run second was Hammill who is simply a great talent. It won't belong I don't think until Hammill is full time at Melwood and that can't come quick enough.

Match Photo's are at www.liverweb.org.uk/wbahacad0506pics.htm

© Andy Philip, Liverweb 2006


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