- Match reports
- Sat 21 Jan 2012, 2:58PM
- Posted by Emily Brobyn
City’s Under 18s battled the elements to secure a well-earned point with a 1-1 draw against a testing Liverpool side in the Barclays Premier Academy League.
With experienced players Alex Henshall, Courtney Meppen-Walters, Devante Cole and leading goal-scorer Jordi Hiwula missing after the Blues’ superb 4-1 victory in the FA Youth Cup fourth round tie against Swindon Town on Tuesday night, Adam Sadler was forced to field a much younger side for the trip to a windswept Merseyside.
The Blues started positively and seized the initiative after eight minutes, when a free kick into the box from George King was met with a looping header from Dominic McHale that beat Liverpool goalkeeper Tyrell Belford into the net.
With City gaining the advantage, Liverpool ventured forward in search of an equaliser but struggled to create any chances of note. The blustery conditions made life difficult for both sides, but the Blues seemed happy to absorb any pressure and tried to attack on the break through the lively McHale.
However a mistake by City defender Greg Leigh gifted Liverpool midfielder Jack Dunn a chance to draw level, but his shot produced an excellent save by Angus Gunn.
Just moments later the Blues were awarded a penalty after King was fouled by Matty Regan. Slovakian play-maker Albert Rusnak took the spot-kick and Reds’ goal-keeper Belford produced a solid stop to prevent City from doubling their lead.
After the break Liverpool continued to dominate possession and piled the pressure on in a persistent hunt to draw level, with substitute Adam Morgan blazing over the bar.
With 20 minutes left, Liverpool were awarded a penalty when City defender Ashley Smith-Brown was adjudged to have clipped Ryan McLaughlin in the area. Morgan took the chance and Gunn made a crucial stop with his legs to maintain the Blues’ advantage.
Captain Paul Clowes went close for City with a powerful shot but Liverpool found an equaliser with just a couple of minutes to go through a free kick from Jordan Lussey.