A first-half brace from Harry Wilson was enough for Liverpool’s youngsters to extend their 100% record in The PL2 Division One this season, as our Hammer starlets tumbled down the table in Dagenham.
The encounter was one that could have gone either way as agonizing chances continued to go by the wayside in the early stages for Terry Westley’s men against a clinical Reds side.
There was all change before the game as both Westley and Liverpool boss Neil Critchley were missing regular starlets that have been called up to the first-team for Carabao Cup action this week.
The former made five changes to the side that was bested 3-1 at The King Power Stadium just over a week ago, with Nathan Trott replacing Rihards Matrevics, Ben Johnson coming in for injured Vashon Neufville, Nathan Holland being replaced by Martin Samuelsen, Dan Kemp taking the place of Sead Haksabanovic and Jahmal Hector-Ingram replacing Domingos Quina.
The latter absent trio are all expected to feature for Slaven Bilic against Bolton Wanderers tonight.
Meanwhile, for the visitors, the likes of Danny Ings, Marko Grujic and young sensation Ben Woodburn were all at the disposal of Jurgen Klopp for Liverpool’s visit to The King Power Stadium.
However, this didn’t prevent the league leaders from getting off to a very fast start indeed at The Chigwell Construction Stadium as they led within the first 15 minutes on a chilly East London night.
Welshman Harry Wilson, who has been earmarked for a promising future on Merseyside, picked up the ball on the right side and drove into the area to unleash a low bullet that buried in the far corner, taking Trott by complete surprise.
The lead would be doubled by the Wales international just eight minutes later as he was clipped in superbly by Rhian Brewster on the turn and left to finish with a neat volley past Trott.
The starlet could have and probably should have gone on to net his hat-trick, but our England U20 shot-stopper was in fine form to deny him twice from achieving that feat.
However, almost immediately after Liverpool doubled their advantage, we were rewarded a clear path back into the game with Ingram being hauled down by Conor Masterson in the box, resulting in referee Andy Parsons pointing to the spot immediately.
Prolific Spanish striker Antonio Martinez stepped up to take and had his powerful low effort wondrously saved by Reds keeper Kamil Grabara, to deny him a 16th goal in 21 PL2 appearances.
The miss proved to be a huge confidence knock for the hosts and it was a borderline miracle that the away side didn’t inflict a Tottenham style thrashing on the youngsters, as Trott put in a fine performance.
Apart from a Marcus Browne free-kick and a late effort from substitute Noah Sylvestre, we never really looked like preventing a third successive League defeat.
With the thumping victory, Liverpool maintain their quite remarkable start to the campaign and their position at the very top of the whole PL2, they will welcome Spurs to Anfield next up on Friday.
Meanwhile, we have now dropped from an impressive early place of second to now being fifth in the standings after game week five.
In their next outing, Westley’s boys will travel to the north east where they will face Sunderland at The Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground on Sunday afternoon, in a must-win tie to arrest a downward slide for the starlets.
Young Hammer of the Match: Nathan Trott.