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Blackburn beat Liverpool 3-2 in the U18 Premier League

Goalkeeper Luke Hewitson of Liverpool is unable to stop Junior Nsangou of Blackburn Rovers scoring from the penalty spot during the U18 Premier League game
[Photo by Nick Taylor]

Blackburn beat Liverpool 3-2 as two second-half substitutes handed Blackburn their second away win of the season and condemned Liverpool to their fourth defeat in a row in the U18 Premier League.

Ben Thirkill and Ari Shaw came off the bench and scored for the Lancashire side in their U18 Premier League debut to secure a valuable three points.

Liverpool started the first half brightly with Elijah Gift providing a constant threat down the right-hand side. Gift hit the post five minutes in after beating two Blackburn defenders, with Cody Pennington unable to put the rebound away.

Liverpool opened the scoring in the 9th minute as Terence Miles headed the ball in at the back post from a Tommy Pilling delivery from a corner.

The hosts created numerous chances to double their lead, but Blackburn were able to find a way back into the game against the run of play as Brandon Powell was tripped by Francis Gymiah to secure a penalty, which was neatly tucked away by Junior Nsangou in the 15th minute.

After the goal, Blackburn gained confidence and began to dominate, with James Edmondson having a low shot from close range smartly saved by Luke Hewitson.

On the brink of half-time, Pilling hit the bar with a 20-yard free kick, but the ball somehow stayed out to ensure that it was 1-1 at the break. Pilling has been at the Liverpool academy since he was five years old and was a key part of Liverpool’s first-half dominance from the centre of midfield.

Blackburn controlled the early parts of the second half with Miles clearing the ball off the line from an Edmondson shot in the 60th minute.

The Blackburn substitute Ben Thirkill made a run in behind five minutes later and tucked a right-footed shot away into the bottom corner to put the visitors ahead.

In the 67th minute, a low Pilling cross from the left-hand side was scored by Iwan Roberts to bring Liverpool back on level terms.

Blackburn restored their lead in the 73rd minute after George Chmiel beat two Liverpool defenders on the right-hand side and cut the ball back to the substitute Ari Shaw, who tapped the ball into an empty net.

The victory is only Blackburn’s third of the season in the league, while the defeat for Liverpool moves them down to the 7th in the table.

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