Liverpool U18s 0 Bolton Wanderers U18s 2

Posted by liverweb on February 18, 2007, 12:00:33 PM

Liverweb Academy Report: Liverpool 0 Bolton Wanderers 2

A cobbled together U18 side were brought down to earth after their Youth Cup progress with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bolton at the academy. In a poor game the game was decided by two goalkeeping blunders by Dave Roberts.

A much changed side for the Reds saw them field just four substitutes following the late withdrawal of Michael Burns. He was replaced in the starting line up by Astrit Adjarevic.

The Reds got the game underway at the academy defending the academy end in the first half.

The game really didn't live up to much though on what was a bright sunny day although nippy as it always is at the academy.

Jay Spearing was involved on four minutes when he was forced in to a good clearance as Bolton built down their left. Spearing was clearly missing a partner on the day as he was being forced to central defend both sides of the back line. Gaughan was having a poor game and it stretched the Reds' back line a bit.

No-one was really grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck although Adjarevic was looking to pull the strings in midfield with his superb passing skills.

On sixteen minutes he jinked his way past three men before shooting straight at the keeper. A minute later and the referee was forced to speak to Bartley who clattered O'Connor. As is usual though at this level you don't pick up a booking easily.

On twenty two minutes the Reds should have taken the lead. Collins forced his way in down the left edge of the area before squaring a ball to Wignall but he scuffed his shot and then the loose ball fell to Parsonage. His shot though was well blocked a yard from the line and the chance went begging.

The largely un eventful half came to life on thirty five minutes when Bolton took the lead. A clearance from the Reds fell to Roddy thirty five yards out. He simply lobbed the ball back at goal in what seemed slow motion. Dave Roberts simply didn't react to a ball falling inches over his head and the ball fell in to the net for the led goal. The Reds defence just posted a stunned stare at Roberts who I can only assume thought he was on his line and not in front of his goal.

Probably the only other piece of action worth noting from the half came four minutes before half time when the referee made a poor decision. Ellis and Wignall went in for a challenge which fell for the Reds on the edge of the area. Ellis though screamed like a girl but not for a head injury and the ref stopped play as the Reds where about to break in to the area. When play resumed Bolton thumped the ball right down the pitch and the chance was gone for the Reds.

No changes at half time were made and Bolton got the game underway again.

Four minutes in to the half and the Reds had a great chance. Adjarevic played a sublime ball down the win for Behan. He cut back inside and crossed the bal only to see it sliced out for a corner. From that corner Behan was presented with a great ball unmarked in the area but his shot went over.

It proved costly two minutes later when Bolton extended their lead. A Bolton free kick was tossed in to the box and Ellis jumped unmarked to head in the general goal direction. Roberts under no pressure grabbed the ball only to then for no reason throw it in the net.

A 1-0 lead was hard enough for the Reds to claw back but two was going to be even tougher.

The only bright spark for the Reds really was the form of Adjarevic really but he can't do it alone. Jimmy Ryan was trying hard in the midfield but the side just lacked quality. With nothing up front for the Reds as well it just never looked like they would score. When they did attack there was never a striker around to finish anything off.

Paul Barratt and Charlie Barnett were sent on to try and change things and they did provide a spark for a time but it just wasn't happening. The Bolton keeper must have been bored given how little he had to do.

With seven minutes to go Charie Barnett picked up a rare academy level booking. Barnett launched himself two footed in to a tackle which had he connected with the man would surely have broken his leg. At top level he would have seen Red it was that poor.

Overall this was a really disappointing game. What worried more though was the lack of anything up front. This side has struggled all season to score many and it once again showed why. There is a distinct lack of quality in the side and even though it was a patched up side you wonder how one minute the side progresses through in the youth cup and the next performs so poorly at league level.

Man of the Match: Astrit Adjarevic - the one player who looked like he can un pick a defence at will. He has quality in that left leg that's for sure and when his fitness levels get up to out standard he could prove one for the future. As it was the lad clearly tired as the game went on but he still never shirked away from receiving the ball.

Liverpool: Roberts, Routledge, Adjarevic, Behan, Gaughan, Spearing (capt.), Parsonage (Barratt 60), Ryan, Collins (Awang 73), Wignall, O'Connor (Barnett 60)
Unused Subs: Mimms
Goals: -

Bolton Wanderers: Lainton, Gbemie (Sinclair 72), Stott, Bartley, Ellis, Roddy, Brooks (Thompson 79), McDonald, Obadeyi, Cassidy, Sheridan
Unused Subs: Jamieson
Goals: Roddy (35), OG - Roberts (51)

Referee S J Copeland

© Andy Philip, Liverweb 2007

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