Two of Liverpool’s new academy signings impressed as Liverpool Under-18s kicked off their season by hitting six against Middlesbrough.
Liverpool U18 6-2 Middlesbrough U18
U18 Premier League North, Kirkby
August 13, 2022
Goals: Doak 5′, Koumas 10′, Doak (penalty) 22′, Koumas 30′Wallace-Ming 31′, Koumas 45′, Koumas 61′McCarthy 77′
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s first Under-18 line-up of the season had a very youthful look to it, with seven 16-year-olds named in the starting eleven.
Two of these were new signings Ben Doak and Trent Kone-Doherty. Winger Doak joined the Reds from Celtic, having already played twice for his first team last season. He started on the right side of the Reds attack, with Kone-Doherty on the opposite side.
Ranel Young was in the No.10 position, with Lewis Koumas leading the line in an unfamiliar role, having played most of his academy football in midfield.
It took just five minutes for Doak to make an impact as the Reds opened the scoring in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. The Scot flew down the right before his shot deflected off a Middlesbrough defender and into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, it was two o’clock. Koumas, son of former West Brom and Wigan midfielder Jason, had the first of the day after a smart performance behind the Middlesbrough defense and a brilliant finish in front of goalkeeper Nathan Fisher.
Doak had the game by the neck. At 22 minutes, the pacy winger won and converted a penalty to make it three. You get the impression that U18 football might not be at their level for too long!
Koumas completed a brace of his own on the half hour, after chasing down Niall Osborne’s hopeful ball and capitalizing on a poor back pass.
Boro pulled one back a minute later as left-back Tylah Wallace-Ming, who was their bright spark in the first half, cut the deficit to three.
The Reds weren’t done there, and just before half-time Koumas completed his hat-trick, pouncing on another mistake in the Boro backline before rounding Fisher to make it 5 -1. Not a bad first 45 minutes of the season for Bridge-Wilkinson’s young Reds!
Middle: Liverpool U18 5-1 Middlesbrough U18
NEW: Liverpool reveal plan for new signings Ben Doak and Trent Kone-Doherty https://t.co/sMKyG9rh2W
— This is Anfield (@thisisanfield) July 28, 2022
Liverpool were equally dominant in the second half, with their front four of Doak, Young, Kone-Doherty and Koumas continuing to enjoy.
The Reds’ sixth goal was truly special. In the 61st minute, Doak went forward, showing the defender some neat backheels, before putting Young inside the box. The Under-18 debutant could have easily unleashed a shot on goal, but instead had the awareness to send the ball past Koumas to score the fourth.
With 20 minutes of normal time remaining, Bridge-Wilkinson decided Doak and Kone-Doherty had finished the job, with Keyrol Figueroa and Francis Gyimah replacing them.
Boro scored another goal in the closing stages, with an effort deflected into the path of Ashley MacCarthy, who was on hand to beat Fabian Mrozek.
6-2 was the final score, with Koumas finishing the game with four goals to his name. Bridge-Wilkinson’s decision to use the 16-year-old as a No.9 paid off.
The win marked an excellent start to the season for an under-18 side full of exciting young talent.
Liverpool U18: Mrozek; Osbourne, Miles, Pinnington, Giblin; Pennington (Laffey), McConnell; Doak (Figueroa), Young (Hayes-Green), Kone-Doherty (Gyimah); Koumas
Next match: Leeds (A) – U18 Premier League North – Saturday 20 August, 12:00pm
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