Fulham’s Under-18s returned to winning ways on Wednesday afternoon with a 4-2 thumping of Liverpool.
Steve Wigley’s side made the trip to the Reds’ Kirkby Academy base and made light work of their Merseyside counterparts following last Saturday’s disappointing defeat against Newcastle United - their first loss of the 2013/14 campaign.
In-form striker Moussa Dembele capped a bright start for Fulham, adding the finishing touch to a jinking run from Patrick Roberts on 25 minutes, by curling in from 15 yards.
Roberts and Dembele both went close to extending the Whites’ lead, before Daniel Trickett-Smith levelled from the spot on 40 minutes with the referee adjudging George Williams to have handled in the box.
However, within minutes Wigley’s charges were back in front with Williams making amends with a confident strike following a clever pass from Solomon Sambou.
Liverpool responded positively after the break, and by pressurising their opponents higher up the pitch, gradually began to push Fulham back.
However, the Whites used the space to their advantage, with Josh Smile setting Roberts on his way. The England youth international ran at the Liverpool defence before smashing in from the edge of the box on the hour mark.
Two minutes later, Fulham had a fourth, with the impressive Smile freeing Dembele with another probing pass. The French youngster kept his cool, finishing smartly beyond the home keeper to claim his 12th goal of the season. Harry Wilson snatched a late consolation for the Reds.
Academy Director Huw Jennings said: “It was important that the boys got back into their momentum because, in truth, Saturday’s performance against Newcastle was pretty lacklustre.
“They’d won six games on the bounce, but came back down to earth last time out. But sometimes, especially at this level, defeat can serve you well because they were forced to react. Different experiences are vital for their development.
“There were a lot of positives, and again, they showed that they know where the goal is. It was a bit up and down at times, but it was a deserved three points. Our two goals in the second half came against the run of play, but I thought our play probably warranted more in the first half.
“We’ll be looking for more of the same when we make the trip to Leicester City on Saturday, and that will be another test for the boys. They [Leicester] are a bit more direct than Liverpool, so it’s another style to go up against.
“It will be our third game in eight days, with matches coming thick and fast before a short break in the fixture calendar. But, as always, we’ll go out and play our own game and hopefully continue the good work.”
Fulham: Rodak, Baba (Sheckleford), Evans, Donnelly, Burgess, Sambou (Nabay), O’Halloran, Smile, Dembele, Roberts (Leacock-McLeod), Williams.