Liverpool U18s cruise into the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals after a great performance away at Watford.
Ben Smith was there to report on the game for us, giving us the lowdown.
Liverpool’s youngsters advanced to the last eight of the FA Youth Cup, following a routine 2-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road earlier this evening.
The reds hit the front through Daniel Trickett-Smith’s first half goal, before Harry Wilson secured the win late on.
It was a performance befitting of a modern day Liverpool outfit, as the midfielders pressed and passed immaculately, and the front three tormented the opposition defence throughout.
Neil Critchley made seven changes to the side that overcame Sunderland by a goal to nil on Saturday. Captain Connor Randall, Lloyd Jones, Joe Maguire, Jordan Williams, Cameron Brannagan, Jordan Rossiter and Sheyi Ojo all returned to the starting eleven.
The Hornets, who drew 2-2 with Luton Town last time out, drafted in George Byers, Alfie Young, Kurtis Cumberbatch at the expense of Carl Stewart, Matthew Hall and Ollie Cox.
Watford’s prolific striker Alex Jakubiak tested Ryan Fulton from an acute angle early on, but it was one-way traffic from then.
Ryan Kent showed good trickery to earn Liverpool a free kick on the edge, but Daniel Wilks saved his subsequent free kick with ease.
Trickett-Smith almost nodded in a Kent corner, but his effort was deflected into the side netting.
Liverpool continued to probe The Hornets’ defence, and looked more and more likely to profit as the half bore on.
Ojo was a constant threat from left wing, showing good pace in getting to the byline and causing uncertainty amongst the Watford back line on several occasions.
On 40 minutes, Liverpool’s persistence was rewarded. Brannagan played it wide to Randall who had advanced down the right. The full back rolled it in towards Trickett-Smith, and the former Crewe midfielder made no mistake, glancing in low beyond the reach of Wilks.
Jakubijak had a rare half chance early in the second period, but Jones got across just in time to block the shot.
Five minutes later, Trickett-Smith ran onto a ball that sat up perfectly for him, but Wilks made the stop.
Wilson was the next in red to come close, firing over on the half-volley after a clever piece of skill.
Liverpool eventually killed the game off twelve minutes from time. Randall again the provider after Trickett-Smith slid him in, and Wilson was on hand to meet the skipper’s cutback and put the game out of sight.
The Under 18 Premier League North side were happy to run down the clock from that point onwards, although Sinclair may have added a third off the bench in stoppage time.
The young reds will travel to Reading for their quarter-final clash, after The Royals breezed past Accrington Stanley 3-0 in their fifth round encounter last week.
Watford: Wilks, Barnum-Bobb, Doherty, Byers, Johnson (C), Young, Cumberbatch (Lewis 51), Hope (Stewart 58), Jakubiak, Rosenthal (Bawling 72), Martin. Substitutes: Bawling, Kyprianou, Stewart, Lewis, Dillon.
Yellow Cards: Doherty 45.
Liverpool: Fulton, Randall (C), Maguire, Williams, Jones, Rossiter, Wilson, Brannagan, Kent (Sinclair 76), Trickett-Smith (Chirivella 82), Ojo. Substitutes: Hart, Firth, Cleary, Sinclair, Chirivella.
Goals: Trickett-Smith 40, Wilson 78.
Yellow Cards: Rossiter 84.
Referee: Colin Lymer