Two weeks earlier, Bobby Clarke, who was on duty in the first team, was ready to start when Liverpool under-18s defeated Port Vale 1-0 in the FA Youth Cup.
Port Vale U18 0-1 Liverpool U18
FA Youth Cup, 4th round, Vale Park
January 11, 2023
Goal: Laffy 19′
After four consecutive defeats in the league, the FA Youth Cup gave Liverpool under-18s a long-awaited respite, and on Wednesday they scored another victory.
After seeing off Bournemouth in the third round, a trip to Port Vale brought a close but decisive victory to the team of Mark Bridge-Wilkinson.
Not knowing which players he could use to build up, since at the same time the under-21 team was fighting Paris Saint-Germain in Kirkby, Bridge-Wilkinson was able to launch Clark in his attack.
Otherwise it was an inexperienced line-up: both sides traded blows early on until Michael Laffey got the only one in the game.
The decisive moment came at half-time: Ivan Roberts sent Laffy into a pass, and Port Vale captain James Plant knocked the ball on the line, and the young midfielder was ready to finish the game.
However, Liverpool subsequently did themselves no favours: the impressive Luke Hewitson required strong saves several times to keep Port Vale out.
Ben Lomax came closest to the hosts, but his header could only hit the crossbar, as the young “reds” held on for victory and a place in the 1/8 finals.
Clarke, who was on the bench just two weeks ago after beating Leicester 2-1 at Anfield, played the full 90 minutes in a fighting game.
Thus, Liverpool were able to do what Everton and Manchester United could not, as they booked their place in the last 16 matches — there is hope that they will now be able to confidently participate in their Merseyside derby on Saturday.
Liverpool Under-18s: Hewitson; Davidson, Lucky, Samuels, Scanlon; Miles, Luffy, Pilling; Danns (Young, 63′), Clark, Roberts
Unused replacements: Trueman, Giblin, Gyimah, Pennington, Gift, Ahmed.
Next match: Everton (D) — Premier League Under 18 — Saturday, January 14, 11:00 (GMT)