Mark Jackson salutes 'special' Joe Gelhardt ability shown in Leeds United under-23s romp at Liverpool and makes penalties quip

Boss Mark Jackson saluted a "special" brace from Joe Gelhardt as Leeds United's under-23s romped to a 4-0 victory at Liverpool - that Jackson said could have been even better.

Sunday, 19th September 2021, 7:42 pm

Nineteen-year-old forward Gelhardt netted an incredible double in Sunday afternoon's Premier League Two Division One clash at Liverpool' s Academy through a pair of wonder goals.

The teenager firstly lobbed Reds 'keeper Marcelo Pitaluga with a sensational effort from inside the centre circle to give the Whites a 13th-minute lead.

Brilliant skill from Gelhardt then set up Amari Miller to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time, before first team defender Pascal Struijk bagged United's third when thumping home a header from a corner on the hour mark.

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'SPECIAL' BRACE: From 19-year-old Leeds United forward Joe Gelhardt, above, in Sunday's 4-0 victory for the Whites under-23s at Liverpool. Picture by Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Struijk is serving a three-game ban for his straight red card picked up in the 3-0 Premier League loss at home to Liverpool but is eligible to play for the 23s and marked a solid display with a bullet header goal.

But then came part two of the Gelhardt masterclass as the teen fired home a 30-yard rocket that flew into the top left hand corner of the net.

Amazingly, the forward's day then looked set to get even better as he stepped up to take a penalty after being tumbled in the box.

But Pitaluga saved the spot kick to deny the teenager a hat-trick, something that Jackson will revisit in training on Monday - as well as his two mesmerising goals.

"Special," said Jackson, asked how he would best describe Gelhardt's two strikes.

"Special goals from Joffy there.

"He's a player who can create things like that and score goals like that.

"I am really, really pleased for him and really, really pleased for the group of players as well."

Asked about the teen's reaction to missing out on a hat-trick, Jackson smiled: "I haven't really seen him so I haven't spoken to him on that.

"It's something that he needs to get better at!

"It he wants to be a penalty taker, he needs to start scoring a few!

"But I don't want to be negative with players straight after a result like that and I have not actually spoken to him on it.

"I am sure we will do at some point.

"We will be in training on Monday and we will have a chat about it along with the other stuff regarding the game.

"But I just congratulate the boys on the result."

A fine afternoon all round for Leeds also featured the return of first team midfielder Adam Forshaw from a calf injury.

The 29-year-old was brought on just before the hour mark and quickly began making an impact in centre midfield.

Leeds could and should have added to their tally as a deflected Miller effort smashed off the post whilst Gelhardt flashed another fierce effort just wide at 1-0.

Liverpool had their moments and Kristoffer Klaesson produced a brilliant save to tip Tyler Morton's lob over the bar but Leeds were hugely impressive as they took their league tally to ten points out of a possible 15.

"First and foremost it's about the result," said Jackson, whose newly-promoted side now sit fourth.

"It's a fantastic result for the club and the players and I congratulated them on that.

"As a performance, there were really strong elements to the performance but there were areas where we can be better as well.

"We always know that and we always strive for that perfection.

"You are never ever going to get perfection but you always want to strive for that in all elements of the play.

"But the result was really, really positive and there were lots and lots of positive elements to our play."

Liverpool: Pitaluga, Gallacher, Beck, Clayton (c), Koumetio, Corness (Boyes 46), Bearne, Morton (Dixon-Bonner 46), Woltman, Norris, Musialowski. Subs not used: Hughes, Wilson.

Leeds United: Klaesson, Drameh, McCarron (McKinstry 46), Kenneh, Hjelde, Cresswell (Greenwood 46), Miller, Struijk, Gelhardt, Bate, McGurk (Forshaw 60). Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel, Hughes.

Referee: Aaron Jackson.

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Thank you Laura Collins