TOWN’S FA Youth Cup campaign is over for another year as they were beaten 5-0 by Liverpool at The County Ground.
Paul Bodin’s side found themselves 4-0 down at the break as the Premier League side cruised into the next round.
After a cagey opening to the match, the visitors took the lead in rather fortuitous circumstances just nine minutes into proceedings. Jordan Ibe cut in off the left flank and drilled a shot goalwards that clattered back off the foot of the upright before striking goalkeeper Josh Helm on the back and trickling into the open goal.
Seeking an immediate response, Connor Waldon reached a deep cross from the right but could only direct his header into the side netting. Just past the midway point of the half, Liverpool doubled their lead. Ibe this time managed to write his name onto the scoresheet, picking up the ball 20 yards from goal and arrowing a shot into the top corner.
Minutes later, Town had shipped their third goal inside a half hour. Jack Dunn was allowed too much space to cut in onto his right foot and drive home past Helm. Just before the half time whistle, it was four: a cross from the right took a deflection and picked out Dunn who sidefooted the ball high into the corner of the net.
In a moment that seemed to sum up Town’s fortunes at the other end, a ball bounced up for Mark Francis in the six yard box but his toe-poke goalwards was quickly snaffled by Ryan Fulton.
Just seven minutes into the second half, Liverpool scored a fifth goal. Jerome Sinclair found himself in all sorts of space inside the Town box and he had the simplest of tasks, lifting the ball over the exposed Helm and into the empty net.
Despite the scoreline, Town continued to battle and managed to create a chance for Connor Waldon. A long ball over the top bounced perfectly for the striker but he could only volley his effort over the crossbar and into the Fastplant Town End.
With the result beyond any doubt and with time running out, Dunn jinked his way into the area and fizzed a shot goalwards from a tight angle that cannoned back off the foot of the far post, denying him a hat-trick.