While the Liverpool Men’s senior team has been struggling this season, the U21 side has been in strong form in the PL2. Barry Lewtas’ side put on a great display against the Wolverhampton Wanderers academy side this past weekend, winning 5-0.
Despite plenty of early opportunities, Liverpool didn’t break through until the 41st minute. Jake Cain won the ball high up the pitch while on the press, and he fed the ball to Layton Stewart to power home. The flood gates opened in the second half, with Stewart scoring twice more.
His second goal was a wonderful bit of skill, taking a ball down perfectly on his chest with a defender on his back before slotting the ball past the keeper. He completed the hat trick with a cheeky chip from distance with the keeper caught out.
Oakley Cannonier came on in place of Stewart and scored a fast brace himself. He ripped a shot from distance that beat the keeper to the far post to open his PL2 account for the season. His second was a tap in after a hustle play from Bobby Clark kept the ball in bounds at the end line before playing a simple square ball to the run of the former ball boy.
For Stewart, scoring the hat trick was even sweeter after just returning from a torn ACL that saw him miss over a year of training and competitive play. The 20 year old Scouser has hit the ground running after returning from injury, and has now scored six goals on the season.
“That meant a lot to me, it was my first goal on this pitch since I got my injury so that was a big one for me as I’ve been thinking about that a lot,” Stewart told Liverpoolfc.com after the match.
“Each game I play, each training session I’m getting my rhythm back and getting sharper. It was a good day, to score the hat-trick, the lads were brilliant and it was a great team performance. They were tough to break down but second half we came out, they couldn’t deal with us and we got our goals.”
While Stewart led the line, he was quick to heap praise on his teammates for creating a plethora of opportunities for him and Oakley Cannonier.
“The boys in midfield worked hard to get me chances. The second was a great pass from Dominic Corness and the one for my hat-trick, funnily enough Dom said to me their ’keeper is off his line quite a lot, so I looked up, saw him off his line, had a go, and luckily enough for me it went in. Oakley was brilliant as well, some great goals and he was unlucky not to get his hat-trick.”
With the win, Liverpool are now unbeaten in seven straight matches in PL2 play. The Reds sit sixth in the table, but are just four points off Crystal Palace in the top spot.