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Five Aside

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By ESPN Staff

Wrexham 0-2 Liverpool: Debut goal for Bellamy

Craig Bellamy got the goal he desperately wanted on his Liverpool debut.

The striker drove through on the left early in the second half to send a left-footed effort wide of substitute goalkeeper Michael Ingham.

• Bellamy delighted to play with Fowler

It was a big day for Bellamy but also for Wrexham. Their 19-month battle to save the club is coming to a successful end and they will pick up £100,000 from this match after Liverpool waved their cut of the gate.

Liverpool had Salif Diao and Florent Sinama-Pongolle on show but a host of youngsters were given a run-out with Anfield's World Cup players still on holiday.

The game was delayed for 15 minutes to allow a near-capacity 11,335 crowd into the Racecourse Ground, and they saw Liverpool cruise into the lead after six minutes.

Paul Anderson, star of the FA Youth Cup final victory, met a John Arne Riise cross on the volley to crash the ball past Michael Jones from 12 yards.

New signing Gabriel Paletta played the first half and a side sprinkled with youth were doing their best to impress manager Rafael Benitez.

But Wrexham, who will come out of administration on Tuesday and had four new signings of their own on display, produced a spirited response. Mark Jones and Chris Llewellyn both went close, but keeper Jones was thankful for a benevolent referee - Mike Jones - who gave him a ticking-off for handling outside the box. The offence would have meant a red card in league action.

Bellamy almost punished a Llewellyn error before being one of only three Liverpool players not to be substituted at the break.

The reason was pretty clear - the Welshman wanted to score in front of the Welsh fans - and once that had been achieved eight minutes after the break, Benitez's sentimentality deserted him and off came the £6million striker.

Sinama-Pongolle, who may well figure this season if Benitez fails to sign a right-sided player, looked lively and determined.

  • Bellamy delighted to play with Fowler

    Craig Bellamy revealed his delight at teaming up with his hero Robbie Fowler - and thanked the Anfield legend for his first Liverpool goal.

    Bellamy scored early in the second half in the 2-0 friendly win at Wrexham, and it was Fowler who made the goal.

    Bellamy said: 'I've admired Robbie for years, he is a great player and he set me up with my goal when he lifted a very good ball into my stride for me to run onto and score.

    'It means a lot to me to be on the same side as him. I have played against him before but being in the same team is a great honour.'

    Bellamy admitted he knew he only had 10 minutes of the second period to get the goal he craved.

    He said: 'The boss (Rafael Benitez) told me before the game I would be on for about an hour, that I had just a few minutes after the break before I was substituted.

    'So it was pretty special to get that goal, I know it's only a friendly, but it was good to score in front of the Liverpool fans. I'm one myself.

    'They have taken to me well, but then Liverpool fans always give their new players plenty of support, that's what they are like.

    'I know I've been given a 15-goal target by the boss, but I don't think pre-season ones count! But I expect to score goals, and that's what I aim to do.'