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Liverpool Academy Sides Run Rampant

The U18 side opened up the weekend with a 10-3 thrashing of Leeds, while the U23 side won 4-1 to advance to the Lancashire Senior Cup

Liverpool U18 vs Leeds United U18: U18 Premier League Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

It has been a good season for Liverpool with respect to scoring goals across all iterations of the club. Both the senior Men and Women have been offensive juggernauts this season, leading their respective leagues on goals scored thus far. The Liverpool Academy sides got into the action this weekend, with both the U18 and U23 Men’s squads boasting impressive goal tallies.

Liverpool U18s 10 - Leeds U18s 3

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s U18 squad scored early and often against Leeds on Saturday, netting 10 times on the day. Ball-boy-extraoirdinaire-turned-goal-machine Oakley Cannonier continued his impressive campaign with a four goal performance. Other top prospects Bobby Clark (2 goals) and Mateusz Musialowski (1 goal) found the back of the net.

“To score 10 goals is obviously a fantastic achievement we’re really pleased with,” said Bridge-Wilkinson. “

“But to concede the three goals that we did, that’s a bit of a disappointment if I’m being honest. We’re really pleased but we know we can still be better. There were some really good performances all around. I think obviously Oakley will catch the eye with four goals, Bobby with his assists and two goals as well and Isaac [Mabaya]. We played a little bit different today to how we have been and the boys adapted really well. I thought that obviously came across.”

“Some of the defending wasn’t great but my job is to judge these players on their potential – it’s not on today’s performance. It’s about where we think they can get to, where they hope to get to. So I’ve got to be honest and I’ve got to give them feedback that’s relative to them individually.

“There were certainly moments defensively where we were a little bit loose and that cost us. When we create the amount of chances that we’ve had, you’ve got to think that we’d be taking a few more because some of the chances were so good.

“We’re here, we want to get better, we know we can get better and we’ve obviously got to be pleased with the result in the end.”

Despite outscoring Leeds by himself, Cannonier was frustrated with his side’s inability to keep a clean sheet. To him, the defensive side is a huge component to breaking through with the senior team.

“It’s obviously good to score four goals but I think the boys will be a bit annoyed, frustrated that we conceded three,: said Connonier.

“We’ve scored 10 but we’ll still be annoyed that we didn’t keep a clean sheet. But good to get four goals. If you watch the first team, the standards over there are unbelievable, they win near enough every single game, so we have to try to do that. So conceding three goals is not good enough – but we scored 10. Hopefully [I’ll keep scoring] if I keep getting in the box, doing the right things. Hopefully.”

Liverpool U23s 4 - Blackpool U23s 1

On Monday, the U23 side took on Blackpool in the semifinals of the Lancashire Senior Cup. With a chance to advance to the title match, the young Reds did not disappoint, taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the first half before eventually winning the game 4-1.

Leighton Clarkson was a dominant force all match long. The midfielder was not credited with an assist, but created the opportunities for Liverpool’s first two goals before finding the back of the net himself for the team’s fourth of the day.

Tyler Morton had the pick of the goals on the day, however. After a nice team move saw the ball progressed down the left and then switched to the right, he receiving a simple cut back pass at the top of the box and unleashed a rocket that snuck just inside the far post.

With the win, Barry Lewtas’s side advanced to the finals of the Lancashire Senior Cup. They will take on Burnley for the trophy.