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SEASON 2003-04

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Liverweb Match Report

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Liverpool 2 West Bromwich Albion 0

Liverpool reserves got the better of a West Brom side at Chester thanks to two first half goals from Richie Partridge and John Welsh. West Brom fielded a number of first team players whilst the Reds played a relatively young side boosted by the continued return from injury for Stephane Henchoz and Didi Hamann.

The Reds got the game underway at the Deva stadium in front of just over five hundred fans and within a minute of the start the ball had been cleared over the stand. There was fog starting to drift into the stadium as the game got underway but never enough to put the game in doubt.

On five minutes Robbie Foy played a ball over the top of the defence down the left side for Partridge. Richie ran on to the ball before cutting it back at the byeline but no Red had tracked the run and the danger went. West Brom were a very large physical side and it showed at times with players like Foy and Partridge.

The first real chance fell to the visitors on eight minutes as a long cross field ball to Chambers was controlled. He passed Whitbread and crossed in towards Lee Hughes but his shot bounced up and over the bar. Three minutes later and Salif Diao got forward well and got a shot in on goal after a neat one two with Foy. Sadly his shot was nothing like the build up and it sailed well well wide.

The Reds were the dominant side going forward with Hamann in particular letting nothing past him without even breaking sweat. On thirteen minutes Whitbread was set free on the left but his cross was blocked out. Foley had a second chance to whip it in but his cross was cleared before Foy could get on the end of it.

Foley was again involved on twenty seven minutes when he was sent clear with a ball over the top but as Foley raced through to get on the end of it the bounce favoured the keeper and he headed clear from just outside his box. Three minutes later though and the Reds were deservedly in the lead through a Partridge goal. He collected the ball in the inside right channel and cut inside his man before shooting low past the full stretch of Joe Murphy in the net.

Partridge had a great opportunity just four minutes later to double the lead but as he went through on goal a superb last ditch tackle from Berthe stopped the chance. The Reds did double the lead though three minutes later from the penalty spot. Foley played a superb ball to Foy who was charging into the area. He collected the ball and went to carry on but was brought down by Joost Volmer. Volmer was booked and penalty awarded. John Welsh stepped up and made no mistake when he blasted the ball straight into the back of the net.

The visitor's came back at the Reds well and straight away and were desperately unlucky not to score on thirty nine minutes. Artim Sakiri had a long range effort well saved from Luzi at full stretch but the ball was pushed round for a corner which was whipped in and not once but twice cleared off the line by Michael Foley. After two added minutes of play half time was blown and a good half of football from both side drew to a close.

The second half got underway and never got going as a contest really but that was mainly down to the forty eighth minute dismissal of Joost Volmer for a second yellow card. Volmer clattered through Robbie Foy who was about to get away from him and the referee really had no choice. He deserved to go but sadly it ended the contest really as the Reds were content with the two nil scoreline and West Brom were always finding it hard to do much with the ten men.

The Reds did survive a big scare on fifty two minutes though as Neil Clement thundered a free kick in on goal which despite being straight at Luzi he couldn't hold the ball. Lee Hughes reacted fastest and put the ball in the back of the net only to find the assistant referee flagging for offside. Hughes went mental at the decision hurling abuse at the assistant. The referee did calm him down to re-start the game off but as soon as it started up again Hughes did as well at the assistant and the referee stopped the game and booked Hughes.

Artim Sakiri was booked on sixty four minutes as he brought Foy down in full flight and Hamann blasted the free kick straight at Murphy. The game was becoming really laboured now with the scoreline inevitable. Lee Hughes did force Luzi into a save on sixty nine minutes which he pushed round for a corner which was well dealt with. Hughes went off five minutes later to be replaced by Lee Marshall. The Reds later replaced Foy and Partridge with Gillespie and Potter with seven minutes left on the clock as the game ran down and after just one extra minute of play the game was ended.

Overall the Reds can be pleased with the result and there was alot of plus points from the game with Foy looking more dangerous and Partridge continuing to look likely to create something whilst the back line was very assured. Hamann and Henchoz both played the full ninety minutes of the game in their bid for a place in the first team in a fortnight.

MotM : Carl Medjani - played very well throughout the game on the night. His reading of the game has improved hugely since his arrival at the Reds and at least on this kind of performance you can see what the Reds saw in the player to bring him in.

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Liverpool Luzi, Otsemobor, Whitbread, Medjani, Henchoz, Diao, Welsh (c), Hamann, Foy (Gillespie 84), Partridge (Potter 84), Foley-Sheridan
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Goal Partridge (29), Welsh (pen 38)
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West Bromwich Albion Murphy, J Chambers, Clement, A Chambers, Berthe, Moore (Adams), Volmer, Wallwork, Hughes (Marshall), Sakari, N'Dour
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Referee C Harwood
Att 534
Venue Deva Stadium, Chester
Kick Off 19:00:00