FA Youth Semi Final - Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1

Posted by liverweb on March 20, 2007, 03:50:30 PM

Liverpool 3 Newcastle United 1

The Reds came from behind to see of Newcastle and reach the final of the FA Youth Cup for a second season in a row. Both sides finished the game with ten men but what stood out more for me was the resilience of the Reds side to come back from a nervy one goal down.

The Reds came out in front of a busy but bitterly cold Kop and defended that end in the first half. The Reds got the game underway and ultimately they started quite well. They tried to control the game well from the start passing it across the middle and probing for an opening. Sadly though, like the first team the day before it was all very pretty but going nowhere.

After just three minutes Ryan played in Flynn. He shimmied around the keeper but having gone a bit too wide his shot was saved by the keeper who had managed to get back to close the angle down. The Reds continued to enjoy the good start. Ryan went close with a shot from outside the box on six minutes. Two minutes later a great cross from him to Lindfield should have produced a better result but the striker made a hash of the shot.

On thirteen minutes Newcastle had their first real opening. Carroll had a shot from outside the box which was well saved by Hansen for a corner kick. Newcastle whipped in the corner where it was headed goalwards. The header beat Hansen but captain Jay Spearing on the line headed the ball up off the bar and away to safety. It was a big warning for the Reds though that the game would be no easy walk in the park.

That passage of play gave the visitors that chink of light they were looking for and they started to become more direct now. It proved worthy as well on twenty eight minutes when they took the lead through Cavener. Once again it was a corner that proved to the Reds' downfall. Cavener rose unchallenged to head home past Hansen who didn't seem to see it.

The Reds seemed a bit nervy now with just one more goal from the visitors enough to force extra time at a minimum. The Reds tried to stay composed though but for me they looked desperate for half time. They needed some extra coaching from the management in order to get back in the game.

The half time team talk was obviously a good one. The Reds were out and waiting first for the away side to return. Newcastle keeper Cook annoyed the Kop by not returning their applause. Even at this level we applaud the opposition so he was roundly booed at that point.

Just three minutes in to the half and the Reds were back on level terms on the night. The Reds put in a good passing move which finally saw Putterill on the left side cut in and fire a shot on goal. Cook made a hash of the save as he allowed the ball under his body and Lindfield was a real poacher as he was on hand to smash the ball home from a yard out. This was exactly what the Reds needed and it ultimately proved the decisive moment in the game for me.

Seven minutes in to the half and the Reds were reduced to ten men. Ajdarevic was sent off after he went in for a header near the halfway line. As the two players fell to the ground though something seemed to happen. I'm not 100% sure what exactly happened but the ref was on the spot pulled the player to one side and produced a red card.

The sending off could have seriously defeated the Reds but they didn't allow it too and always looked the better side from now on. Ray Putterill headed over the bar from a Charlie Barnett corner on fifty six. A minute later and Craig Lindfield was put through but from a wide angle shot on goal only for the keeper to parry the ball which swirled as it reached him.

The Reds went 2-1 up just short of the hour when Lindfield again capitalised on poor keeping. Jimmy Ryan saw his shot half saved before Lindfield blasted home from six yards. The Reds were now well in control of the match with Newcastle looking deflated.

On sixty three minutes the team numbers were levelled up. After a Newcastle corner the ball went dead. With the game at the far end it was hard to tell what was going on but the ref called over Lua-Lua and after a brief conversation produced a Red card. I can only guess there was some serious dissent going on from the Geordie player.

As the clock ticked on it was more a case of would the Reds push on and score again or be content to play out time. Many of the players did although Putterill was certainly up for more goals as he looked to have the beating of his man. Putterill was subbed with nine to go and replaced by Irwin who also looked to get past his man.

The score was 3-1 with seven minutes to go when Jimmy Ryan blasted a superb strike home from about 35 yards out. The shot went straight as an arrow past a fully stretched Cook in the Newcastle goal.

As the game ticked on there seemed to be no end to the subs made and the crowd slowly started to nip out and get home to a nice hot cup of something to warm themselves up. A bitterly cold night it might have been but the Reds certainly played some warming football in the second half to ensure they take their place against Arsenal or Man United in the final of this years Youth cup.

MotM : Ray Putterill - for me he always looked like he could be the big difference in the game. He attacked his man well and looked to create a lot. Spearing captained the side superbly well and Craig Lindfield showed fans what a deadly striker is worth to a side.

Liverpool Hansen, Darby (Kelly 84), Burns, Spearing ©, Threlfall, Barnett, Ryan, Adjarevic, Lindfield (Scott 89), Flynn, Putterill (Irwin 81)
Unused Subs Roberts, Highdale
Goal Lindfield 2 (48, 59), Ryan (83)

Newcastle United Cook, Cowan, Critchlow, Taylor (Francis 79), Morris, Cavenar ©, Godsmark (Marwood 86), Doninger, Carroll, Donaldson (Grieve 87), Lua Lua
Unused Subs Debbage, Bertram
Goal Cavener (28)

Referee C Boyeson

copyright - Liverweb 2007

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