Blackburn U18s 1-2 Liverpool U18s: Adekanye and Dhanda the scorers as Reds extend unbeaten run

Liverpool Under-18s extended their unbeaten run to nine games as summer signing Bobby Adekanye scored his first goal in a 2-1 win away at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday morning.

Adekanye, who signed from Barcelona a few months ago, handed Neil Critchley's youngsters the lead early on before Yan Dhanda's stunning second-half free-kick doubled the visitors' lead.

The home side pulled one back with just five minutes left but the young Reds held on courtesy of Shamal George's excellent late save to avenge a 4-0 loss to Rovers earlier in the season.

Changes for Critchley but Adekanye the shining star

The visitors made several changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Wolves on Tuesday, as George JohnstonMich'el Parker, Ben Woodburn and Dhanda came in for Kane Lewis, Kris Owens, Corey Whelan and Adam Phillips.

16-year-old Adekanye, who threatened on his full debut in that fixture, started brightly and fired an early shot over the crossbar as the rain hurtled down.

Toni Gomes was the next to go close for the away side after beating his marker down the left-hand side and driving towards goal, but his effort from a tight angle was well saved by Andrew Fisher.

But Gomes was able to make a more telling contribution when his backheel diverted the ball into the path of Adekanye, whose left-footed effort beat the goalkeeper at his near post to make it 1-0.

Liverpool had to do some defending of their own as Tre Pemberton's effort forced a good save from George, who pushed it onto the post mid-way through the first-half.

They should have doubled their lead after a lightning quick counter-attack released Woodburn, but he could only find the side netting with the 'keeper off his line. 

Young Reds take deserved victory despite conceding late on

The away side doubled their advantage after 53 minutes as 16-year-old Dhanda fired a sensational free-kick over the wall from 20-yards, just days after he had missed two penalties in the 0-0 draw with Wolves.

The Kirkby side should have stretched their lead further but Gomes was unable to make the most of his effort after Woodburn's turn and run. 

They allowed Blackburn some late hope as Herbie Kane's poor clearing header fell to Ramirez Howarth, who spun his marker and beat George with a well-placed finish.

An excellent save from George was the only thing that maintained their lead late on after captain Trent Alexander-Arnold allowed Joseph Rankin-Costello through on goal, as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run.

Liverpool U18s: George, Alexander-Arnold (c), Johnston, Masterson, Parker, Kane, Ejaria, Woodburn (Owens 90), Dhanda (Alves 75), Adekanye (Brimmer 63), Toni Gomes.

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