Leeds United U18s 3-1 Liverpool U18s | FA Youth Cup – Match Report

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Liverpool Under 18s were in FA Youth Cup action just 24 hours after their teammates in the shape of Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas fired set Jurgen Klopp’s first team to an FA Cup quarter-final clash with Man Utd with a stunning brace and opening strike at Anfield. 

Already without the aforementioned trio, Trey Nyoni and Amara Nallo were also missing from Marc Bridge Wilkinson’s side to face Leeds United at Elland Road with a place in the final four and a home clash with Millwall at stake. 

Those key absentees meant the much-changed mini Reds lined up with Misciur, Esdaille, Pinnington, Pitt, Davidson, Kelly, Kone-Doherty, Pennington, Ahmed, Laffey and Morrison. 


Leeds made the stronger start in front of a strong gathering of home supporters and almost took the lead directly from a corner before the ball was fizzed across the six-yard box and fired into the side netting at the back post. 

The unfamiliarity of the Liverpool side was perhaps evident in the early stages before Trent Kone-Doherty, Kieran Morrison and Cody Pennington began to get to grips with the task at hand to gain some possession and earn some clever free-kicks for Bridge-Wilkinson’s outfit. 

Following a sustained spell of pressure a low cross from Morison appeared to strike the hand of Leeds captain Toulson in the area in what looked to be a stonewall penalty, only for the referee to wave away the appeals. 

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Kone-Doherty was released 1v1 from a defensive corner only and momentarily had the opportunity to lob the ‘keeper from 40-plus yards, however, the young winger passed up the chance and instead attempted to make his way closer to goal only to be crowded out by the retreating defenders. 

Goalless at the half-hour mark and both sides will have felt they could easily have taken the lead in the content with momentum swinging across the course of the first 30 minutes. 

The hosts took the lead shortly after the 30-minute mark when Liverpool failed to clear their lines and Rhys Chadwick followed up a loose pass at the far post to fire beyond Misciur and evade the despairing efforts of Josh Davidson as the Reds’ captain tried in vain to keep the ball from crossing the line. 


After being competitive for much of the first half, the opening 45 ended with Liverpool looking a little ragged and Leeds with their tails up could easily have extended the lead were it not for some poor finishing at the vital moment. Morison went close for the Reds in the last action of the half after making space for himself on the right-hand side of the box. HT 1-0 Attendance – 3,460. 

Afolami Onanuga replaced Kyle Kelly at the base of Liverpool’s midfield for the start of the second half as the visitors attempted to find a way back into the match. 

Whites’ full-back Joe Richards was booked early in the second half for diving following a lung-busting run from right-back that almost saw him get to the ball ahead of Misciur in the area, only to run out of legs, attempt to initiate the contact and receive a yellow for his troubles. 


Moments later the hosts extended their lead when Freddie Lane nodded home unmarked at the back post following a deep cross from Max McFadden that left the defence without a chance of clearing. 

Kone-Doherty almost provided the immediate response when his low cross looked destined to find Kareem Ahmed unmarked in the area only for the goalkeeper to show safe hands and cut out the square ball. 

The improvement continued as Kone-Doherty and Morison linked up before the former had an effort deflected wide for a corner. From the set piece, substitute Onanunga beat two defenders but his shot was tame and easily dealt with.

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Francis Gyimah replaced DJ Esdaille as Bridge-Wilkinson tried desperately to change the game from the bench with options low due to the circumstances in the first team and the ever-threatening Keyrol Figueroa sidelined through injury. 

The third goal was all too simple for Leeds as Misciur’s save fell to Chadwick to fire home his second of the night to put an end to the hopes of a revival for the Reds. 

Ranel Young replaced Ahmed with a last throw of the dice for Bridge-Wilkinson in the final 20 minutes, however, despite the best efforts it looked to be a step too far with the lengthy list of absentees. 

Despite the cause looking lost, Liverpool kept fighting and Kone-Doherty fired home a late consolation on the volley, a well-struck effort that his efforts on the night warranted. FT. 3-1.

Ultimately it wasn’t to be for the depleted Under 18s and a dream run at FA Youth Cup glory was brought to an end at the quarter-final stage. Regardless, the academy can be incredibly proud of the last fortnight and beyond, with an astonishing 7-1 win over Arsenal in this year’s competition that’ll live long in the memory. 

Whilst many might point towards the non-award of a pretty nailed-on penalty in the first half with the score at 0-0, the result was a fair one as Leeds’ extra experience and physicality proved too much. 

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