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Gerrard settles for draw with Derby in first game in charge of Liverpool Under 18s

Date Posted,August 10, 2017

Steven Gerrard has completed his first competitive game as manager of Liverpool’s Under-18s.

The Kop legend guided the young Reds side to a 1-1 draw against Derby County, as he got off to a solid start in his new role.

Glen McAuley had a goal ruled out for Liverpool and Reds goalkeeper Dan Atherton saved from the spot before Liam Coyle headed Gerrard’s men in front at the break, report the Liverpool Echo.

But the hosts levelled early in the second period as Jack Stretton forced the ball over the line – and the two teams had to settle for a point apiece from their league opener.

It was almost a dream start to the Gerrard era with barely three minutes on the clock as a turnover in possession in midfield saw Edvard Tagseth move the ball forward to Liam Millar and he immediately through to McAuley, who nonchalantly swept a fine finish from the left into the right corner.

Gerrard ahead of his first game in charge of Liverpool (Image: EMPICS Sport)
Gerrard shouts instructions to the young Liverpool team (Image: EMPICS Sport)
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But celebrations were stopped by the linesman’s flag for a narrow offside.

Gerrard would have been pleased with the way his charges were controlling the tempo, though they presented Derby with a golden chance to take the lead on 12 minutes.

Morgan Whittaker got free in behind to reach a flick-on and was fouled in the area by Anthony Glennon, but the subsequent low penalty was superbly palmed away by Atherton to his left.

Liverpool reasserted themselves as the opening 45 minutes elapsed and McAuley was frustrated after demanding and receiving a neat pass into the right channel of the box from Curtis Jones and sending his shot too close to the goalkeeper.

Gerrard watches on as Derby move the ball forward (Image: EMPICS Sport)
It was Gerrard’s first game in competitive management (Image: EMPICS Sport)
Gerrard reacts during the U18’s game against Derby (Image: EMPICS Sport)

The breakthrough finally arrived before the interval, though as Adam Lewis’ left-footed, in-swinging corner from the right flank found Coyle, who diverted a looping header into the far corner to put Gerrard’s side in front.

There was action at either end at the outset of the second half, Atherton agilely clawing an effort off the line and the lively McAuley drawing a save from the Derby stopper.

And the home side equalised in the 51st minute as a cross into the six-yard area from the left hand side prompted a scramble and Atherton and his defence were unable to prevent Stretton from forcing the ball over the line.

Gerrard saw his team lose the lead against Derby (Image: EMPICS Sport)
Gerrard is continuing his long association with Liverpool (Image: EMPICS Sport)
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The Reds looked the more likely to find a winner from then on but were almost caught on the break as Derby substitute Luis Longstaff might have won it for his team moments after coming on, only to skew a strike wide on the bounce following a burst along the flank and cross by Millar.

Liverpool U18s: Atherton, Hunter, Lewis, R Williams, Glennon, Coyle, Sharif (Longstaff, 76), Tagseth, McAuley (Simmonds, 66), Jones, Millar.

Unused substitutes: Lattie, Kelly, Brookwell.

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