Liverpool U18s 1-0 Sunderland U18
Sunderland under-18s begun 2019 this evening with a defeat against Premier League title hopefuls Liverpool.
Luis Longstaff scored the game’s only goal just past the hour mark to secure the points for the Redmen which moves them to the summit and above their Merseyside rivals, Everton.
Injuries forced Paul Bryson to mix things up for his side’s trip to Liverpool’s academy, with Connor Slack only just fit enough to be named on the bench after being on the treatment table during the Christmas break.
A reoccurrence of striker Cole Kiernan’s injury meant he will be out of action for a while longer, forcing Bryson to name under-16 Liam Miller up top alongside winger Ryan Leonard.
As expected, Liverpool dominated possession as they looked to get themselves ahead early on. Abdi Sharif was caught offside as he shifted in behind before skipper Paul Glatzel glanced wide glanced wide moments later.
Yasser Larouci then fizzed a dangerous cross in, however, Sunderland dealt with the danger comfortably as Anthony Patterson’s goal remained untouched.
But the Reds continued to pepper Patterson’s goal as Longstaff went close on 35 minutes before Glatzel forced an excellent stop from the Sunderland ‘keeper as he made connected with a sweet volley.
The Black Cats were determined, hardworking and organised as they were forced to work incredibly hard off the ball for large spells of the opening period.
However, little changed after the restart and eventually Liverpool made the breakthrough as Longstaff finished after a good turn on the edge of the area.
Substitute Jack Bearne then had the opportunity to double the hosts’ lead as Sunderland looked to mount a late charge, but the hosts had done enough to secure the three points on Merseyside.
Sunderland U18: Patterson, Edmundsson, Derbali, Howard, Badhawi (Kennedy, 78), Smith (Devine, 79), Scothern, Evans, Almond, Miller (Slack, 78), Leonard
Subs: Bassey, Lilly