Liverpool U18s 3-1 Stoke City U18s – Match Report

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Liverpool Under 18s kickstarted their competitive 2024 campaign in style with a 3-1 victory over their visitors from the Potteries to the AXA Academy in Kirkby. 

The Reds were at it from the first whistle and Kieran Morrison almost capped off a bright start with an early goal when his turn and first-time hit went just wide. 

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side didn’t have to wait much longer for the opening goal however when the skilful Morrison laid it into the path of marauding right-back Lucas Pitt whose first-time cross was turned home via the presence of Keyrol Figueroa, albeit the final touch appears to have come off Stoke’s Sydney Agina.


Liverpool’s high press was at full tilt and almost made Stoke pay on numerous occasions, with the eventual strikes either being deflected behind or firing narrowly wide time and time again.

Josh Sonni-Lambe was one of those to force a corner as his neat turn and goalbound shot was forced wide, the set piece itself resulting in half a chance for the hosts as the ball bounced about the 6-yard box. 

Despite being the dominant force for much of the first half, the visitors enjoyed their best spell heading up to half-time and were rewarded with an equaliser when Pedro Nzau headed home from point-blank range following a deep corner that alluded Kornel Misciur in the Reds’ goal.


Buoyed by their dominance but punished late on, Bridge-Wilkinson’s outfit came out and started the second half back in the ascendency. 

Their perseverance paid off as a superbly worked team goal from back to front put Liverpool back in the lead. Starting off from inside Misciur’s penalty area, the ball was moved through the lines with pace and precision before Morrison’s stepovers bamboozled the defenders one final time as the classy Cody Pennington waited on the edge of the box to fire a curling effort sweetly into the top right-hand corner. A coach’s dream goal. 

Wellity Lucky almost extended the lead further when his header went wide from a corner before the dangerous Figueroa fired wide after stealing the ball high up.

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With the game on a knife edge heading into the final moments, captain and one of the stars of the show, Michael Laffey, sealed the win with a 20-yard trike that found the bottom corner with help from a deflection. 

Liverpool survived a late flurry from Stoke including another well-taken corner to clinch the victory by a richly deserved two-goal margin which could have been even more comfortable when Figueroa stole the ball once again before being denied at the near post. 

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A wholly satisfying win and performance from Bridge-Wilkinson’s U18s with the likes of Pennington, Figueroa, Morrison and Laffey all putting in superb displays. 

Next up for this group will be an FA Youth Cup clash with Arsenal next weekend. 



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