Harry Wilson was again amongst the goalscorers as the Welshman netted his 14th goal of the season as Liverpool U23s came from behind to beat Chester 2-1 in a friendly at the Deva Stadium.

Tomi Adeloye put the National League side ahead ten minutes after half-time before Wilson equalised from the penalty spot in the 66th minute after Sheyi Ojo was fouled.

Cameron Brannagan then completed a turnaround for Mike Garrity’s side eight minutes later as Liverpool U23s made it five games unbeaten in all competitions.

Liverpool U23s: George; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Sakho, Juanma; Stewart, Ejaria, Brannagan; Ojo, Woodburn, Wilson.

Ojo was the only player to keep his place in the side that beat Chinese side Hangzhou Greentown on 16 December. The winger impressed in that game at the Kirkby Academy, scoring twice in a 5-1 victory for the Reds.

Jack Dunn, who returned from his loan spell at Morecambe, also grabbed a brace whilst Nathaniel Phillips scored his first goal in a Liverpool shirt since signing from Bolton Wanderers in the summer.

The game was a good opportunity to give some minutes to fringe players such as U18s midfielder Jake Brimmer and Kane Lewis, whilst full-back Anthony Glennon came on to make his debut.

Liverpool U23s: Firth; Lewis (Brannagan), Brewitt, Whelan, Maguire (Glennon); Phillips, Brimmer, Virtue; Gomes, Lennon, Ojo.

Elsewhere, Liverpool U18s progressed to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup after a 5-4 penalty shootout victory at home to Crystal Palace after the initial tie ended 2-2.

Levi Lumeka opened the scoring for the hosts before goals from Curtis Jones and Toni Gomes turned the tie back in Liverpool’s favour, but the Reds were then reduced to ten men as Liam Coyle was sent off.

Kian Flanagan then took advantage of the extra man by netting an equaliser for Palace, but Kamil Grabara was the hero in the shootout, saving two penalties before Glen McAuley won it for the Reds.

Neil Critchley’s side will now face a trip to Manchester City in mid-January, with the sides meeting in a dress rehearsal in the Premier League on 7 January.

Liverpool U18s: Grabara; Lattie (Camacho 70’), Masterson, Johnston, Lewis; Coyle, Jones; Adekanye (Gomes 45’), Brewster (Parker 106’), Dhanda; McAuley.

Many of the youngsters who featured in that game were called up to Melwood to train with the first-team this week, including Jones, Coyle, Rhian Brewster, Adam Lewis and Bobby Adekayne.

Finally, rumours of Brannagan’s loan spell to Bolton have been quashed and the short-term future of the midfielder is yet to be decided, with speculation set to continue throughout January.

Written by Scott Taylor

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