Swan 26, Nuttall 82
- Match reports
- Sat 01 Sep 2012, 1:30PM
- Posted by Mark Booth
City under-18s continued their Barclays U18 Premier League campaign with an impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool.
After getting a first win under their belts last Saturday away at Middlesbrough, expectations were high for Adam Sadler’s men to carry the momentum through to this clash with the Reds and the Blues didn't disappoint.
Austrian no.10 Sinan Bytiqi finally received international clearance to make his debut and his competitive nature was clear from the off, throwing himself into a physical duel against the Liverpool midfield with real gusto.
That kind of steel set the tone for the first period, with both teams hardly shy of a tackle but there was a plenty of star quality underpinning matters, with Jose Angel Pozo continuing his fine form by being a constant thorn in the side of the Merseysiders’ defence.
It was Pozo and Brandon Barker that looked likeliest to notch first for City, the pair dovetailed effectively, swapping wings in an attempt to unsettle the visitors by varying their angles of attack.
Barker, the epitome of a player willing to run through brick walls for his teammates, shone with his tight dribbling and ability to get his body between the man and the ball.
City’s commanding captain George Swan gave the Blues the lead after 26 minutes with a well judged glancing header from a Jack Byrne corner. The Blues skipper deserved his goal for his all-round performance which saw him putting in five crucial blocks in his own penalty area.
There was a controversial couple of minutes just before half-time when Pozo could, and perhaps, should have won his team a couple of penalties.
One time his shot was blocked with what looked like an arm and he was dragged back by the Liverpool defender on another occasion as Liverpool struggled to live with the Spaniard.
Liverpool dominated either side of half-time and carved out a clutch of good chances but a combination of smart work by stopper Ian Lawlor and the woodwork kept them at bay.
City’s second goal arrived with 10 minutes to play and it was a dream cameo from substitute Joe Nuttall.
The youngster received a pass, took a touch to set himself and then opened his body to slot a cool finish around Fulerton to double City’s advantage.
It was a moment that emphasised the importance of taking chances when in the ascendency and City were without doubt the more clinical team on the day, converting two of their five shots on target.
Sadler’s men will now enjoy a fortnight’s break from matches before taking on Fulham away on September 22.