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Liverpool knock Watford out of the FA Youth Cup after 2-0 victory at Vicarage Road
Watford are out of the FA Youth Cup at the fifth round stage after Liverpool’s 2-0 victory at Vicarage Road.
The Reds made their first-half dominance count just before the break when Daniel Trickett-Smith opened the scoring.
And despite the Hornets enjoying more possession in the second period, the visitors’ progression was secured with just over ten minutes remaining when Harry Wilson finished confidently.
Liverpool controlled possession for most of the opening period and had several half-chances, without initially troubling the Hornets – who like the first team, played in a 3-5-2 formation.
For the Reds, Trickett-Smith had a header saved, Jordan Rossiter’s shot from distance was not far wide and Ryan Kent struck a free-kick under the wall which Watford’s Dan Wilks needed to save.
Alex Jakubiak had the Golden Boys’ only clear-cut chance of the first half and it came early on, as he had a powerful shot from a tight angle saved.
The Hornets’ striker almost manufactured an opening when he closed down goalkeeper Ryan Fulton but the clearance rebounded comfortably wide.
Liverpool didn’t trouble the home side for a considerable chunk of the first half despite controlling possession.
However, moments after Cameron Brannagan called Wilks into action, Trickett-Smith had another header at goal which, this time, hit the side-netting and when Wilks fumbled a routine catch, Josh Doherty was forced to scramble clear.
The opening goal came just before half time when good wing play from Connor Randall saw him pull the ball back to Trickett-Smith and his low shot from eight yards nestled in the bottom corner.
There was a slow start to the second period and when Brannagan did finally get a shot away, Wilks was equal to his 20-yard effort.
Watford were looking to counter when possible and Jakubiak created space to shoot immediately after but it was deflected wide.
Trickett-Smith went close to scoring a second when he hit a powerful drive but Wilks parried his initial effort and the follow-up was scrambled clear.
Another Hornets counter-attack was started and ended by Tom Rosenthal but his shot from just outside the box was wayward.
The Hornets enjoyed more of the play in the second half but the lead was extended with just over ten minutes remaining when Wilson finished calmly in the bottom corner from ten yards out.
There was added disappointment for the Hornets when George Byers was carried off injured late on after a heavy challenge which resulted in a yellow card.
The Reds almost grabbed a third on three separate occasions in the final minutes. Brannagan was slid through but Jorrell Johnson recovered to deflect his shot over the bar and then in injury-time, Wilks twice did well to save Jerome Sinclair’s shots from close range.
Liverpool will now face Reading in the quarter-finals of the prestigious competition.
Watford: Wilks; Young, Johnson, Doherty; Barnum-Bobb, Hope (Stewart 58), Byers, Cumberbatch (Lewis 51), Martin; Rosenthal (Bawling 73), Jakubiak.
Subs: Kyprianou, Dillon.
Liverpool: Fulton; Ranbdall, Williams, Jones, Maguire; Rossiter, Brannagan, Trickett-Smith (Chirivella 82); Ojo, Kent (Sinclair 77), Wilson.
Subs: Hart, Firth, Cleary.
Referee: Colin Lymer.
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