Reserves beaten by Sunderland in Warrington debut

Posted by liverweb on October 3, 2007, 09:29:43 AM

Liverpool 0 Sunderland 1

The Reds got their home league season underway with a 1-0 loss to Sunderland at Warrington. It's a good venue for the ressies and the crowd certainly seemed to surprise Warrington. A delayed kick off was required as the full North stand and queues still outside were still large minutes before kick off. It meant in the end that the East stand behind one of the goals was opened up.

The Reds foe the game underway but it was Sunderland who started the better. They had good experience in Harte and Musampa amongst their side. The Reds used Insua and Putterill as their main outlet initially down the left hand side.

It was the Reds who had the first meaningful shot on goal after six minutes when Putterill cut inside, using Insua's run as a decoy. At the edge of the area he shot but his curling effort sailed over the bar.

On fifteen minutes captain Stephen Darby was called in to action as he timed a tackle superbly on the edge of the Reds box.

The Reds had the ball in the net on nineteen minutes when Jordy Brouwer superbly headed past Carson in the Sunderland goal. The flag had already gone up though and rightly so as the Reds striker was about half a yard offside. It seemed to really lift the Reds though and started to make more of a contest out of the game.

Daryl Murphy was the first player booked on the night when on twenty three minutes he hacked down Flynn in full flight. The resultant free kick was whipped in by Jay Spearing and Brouwer headed just wide.

Sunderland grabbed the lead though on thirty four minutes after some sloppy defending at the back by the Reds. Huth skipped at the back and Stokes nipped. His shot was smothered away by Martin but no Reds cleared the loose ball and O'Donovan eventually rounded Martin and finished well.

They nearly had a second on forty one minutes and really should have done when Martin met Connolly on the edge of the box. The Reds keeper though seemed to make a hash of the clearance and it fell kindly to Connolly who proceeded to shoot well over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

On the forty five minute mark Stokes and Connolly linked up well in the area but Connolly saw his shot saved by the outstretched leg of Martin.

Their were no changes at half time and Sunderland got the game started again. Connolly soon found space for a shot but again Martin was his equal as he saved once again with his legs. A couple of minutes later and O'Donovan was in behind the Reds defence but with the offside flag up he fired over.

At this point you feared that the Reds just weren't going to get anything from the game. However their play slowly became a bit more free and it resulted in much better play.

Ryan Flynn shot wide with the Reds' first effort of the half. On fifty three minutes Brouwer nearly got on the end of a weak back pass but his lack of pace let Carson get out before him and clear the ball.

On fifty seven minutes the ref made a shocking decision on the edge of the Reds box when he penalised Plessis for a foul after first he and then Darby won the ball. It gave former Leeds star Ian Harte a chance for a shot. His curling effort though went about three yards wide of the post.

Just past the hour mark and the Reds went so close to an equaliser. Emiliano Insua let fly with a shot from twenty five yards. It flew past the keeper only to come back of the crossbar/post. What the shot did do though was to really wake the players up and after this you got a prolonged spell of pressure from the Reds.

Putterill forced Carson in to a save a minute later before they had penalty claims. Spearing burst through the midfield and as he was about to shoot he was tackled from behind. Spearing went down, the ball went clear, the crowd and players appealed but the ref simply played on.

Spearing had a shot well saved a few minutes later from point blank range and it seemed only a matter of time for the Reds.

On sixty nine minutes the Reds made their first change as Crowther replaced Putterill on the wing. Three minutes later and Insua again had a shot from distance which stung the hands of Carson but failed to beat him.

Sunderland made a double switch on seventy eight minutes as Richardson replaced Murphy and Dennehy replaced Chandler.

The Reds had another chance on eighty one minutes when Insua found Brouwer with a great cross but the Dutch striker headed over the bar.

Two subs then ensued as Weir replaced ODonovan for the Mackems and Threlfall replaced Flynn for the Reds in a move that pushed Insua to left midfield. In fairness he'd pretty much been camped in the Sunderland half anyway.

Sadly though by now the Reds had run out of steam a little and Sunderland seemed comfortable again.

The final five minutes saw the new Erik Meijer come on. Young German striker Marvin Pourie replaced Craig LIndfield. Pourie was eager to get in to the game and when he thought Sunderland were taking too much time with a throw blasted out "Come on" at them. It just seemed like the return of Erik Meijer again as his style is so all action and desire to do well.

As the final three minutes of stoppage time ticked on Sunderland forced Martin in to a good save. Connolly found Stokes but Martin was his equal.

Overall this was a decent performance and I think a draw would have been right on the balance of the whole game. The Reds have a decent squad of players here with a few who will be looking to really push on this season.

One other mention from a personal point of view is a thanks to the bloke in the car park for his parking meter ticket which saved me a couple of quid on the night.

MotM : Jay Spearing - up against Musampa a lot of the night who had bags of experience but his drive and determination to do well is well worthy of this. He led from the front and his drive really upped the Reds' play in the second half especially.

Liverpool Martin, Darby, Insua, San Jose, Huth, Spearing, Flynn (Threlfall 82), Plessis, Lindfield (Pourie 85), Brouwer, Putterill (Crowther 69)
Unused Subs Bouzanis, Kelly

Sunderland Carson, Halford, Harte, Hartley, Donoghue, Chandler (Dennehy 78), O'Donovan (Weir 82), Musampa, Stokes, Connolly, Murphy (Richardson 78)
Unused Subs Dowson
Goal O'Donovan (34)

Referee M Haywood
Att 3403
Venue Halliwell Jones

Copyright : Liverweb 2007

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