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U18 Premier League: Derby County U18s secure dominant 5-2 win over Liverpool with Wheeldon hat-trick

[Credit: Nick Taylor/ Liverpool FC]

Lennon Wheeldon netted a hat-trick as Derby County thrashed Liverpool 5-2 in a very entertaining match in the U18 Premier League North.

Louie Koumas opened the scoring for Liverpool before a Cameron Ashia penalty leveled the game. Jayden Danns then missed a penalty for Liverpool, and Wheeldon made him pay shortly after when he put the Rams in front.

Wheeldon netted again early in the second half before James McConnell pulled a goal back instantly from the spot. Derby made sure of the win with two stoppage-time goals, one each for Wheeldon and Ashia.

The Reds took the lead after just three minutes when Koumas caught out the Derby backline with his press to send the ball towards Elijah Gift, who rolled it back to Koumas to slot it into the net.

Derby won a penalty in the 28th minute following a well-worked counter-attack that saw them go from defending a corner to Josh Davidson bringing down Ashia in the box.

Ashia stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick himself and sent Luke Hewitson the wrong way to score his third goal of the season.

Liverpool won a penalty of their own in the 40th minute when Luke Banks brought down Gift in the area. Danns stepped up and saw his weak penalty saved comfortably by Jack Thompson.

The Rams took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Billy Gough charged forward from left-back and whipped in a dangerous cross for Lennon Wheeldon, who ghosted between the two center-backs and volleyed the ball into the net.

Derby doubled their advantage in the 55th minute when Banks broke into the box and drilled a low cross which Wheeldon tapped home to help himself to his sixth goal of the season.

Liverpool were awarded a second penalty just a minute later when Gift was pushed over in the box. McConnell fired the resulting spot-kick past Thompson to get the Reds straight back in the game.

The Rams wrapped up the points in stoppage time when Hewitson came out to claim the ball from a free-kick from out wide, but Wheeldon beat him to it and nodded into the empty net for his hat-trick.

Derby added insult to injury scoring a fifth with virtually the last kick of the game when Ashia took advantage of a poor clearance and fired in his second of the game.

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