Date: 16th February 2008 at 11:25pm
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Such classic games are mostly remembered for their last minute goals, in this case Brian Howard’s last ditch strike that sent Liverpool crashing out of the FA Cup. Yet many will argue that the hero of the hour was in fact Luke Steele, thrown into the deep-end to make his debut in goal at Anfield after signing on an emergency loan from West Brom. The twenty-three year old pulled off a string of top-drawer saves to seal an historic win for the Tykes, denying Rafa Beniztez`s men of some of the much needed silverware down at Anfield.

The young stopper was snapped up by Manchester United in 2002 from his hometown club of Peterborough before being loaned out to Coventry City. The 6ft 2″ ‘keeper then moved to West Brom, and after yet another loan spell at the sky blues last season, Barnsley manager Davey brought Steele in on loan after finding it difficult to break into the side at the Hawthorns.

The Barnsley boss Simon Davey told the pre-match press conference on Thursday;
“We`ve kept tabs on Luke for a long time, as we were preparing for Heinz (Muller) to leave in January. I spoke to Tony Mowbray and he`s allowed Luke to join us on an emergency loan.”

Steele`s first real save of the day was when Xabi Alonso tried placing a splendid shot into the far corner, but the young ‘keeper turned the ball wide with his finger tips. Although Steele couldn`t do anything about Dirk Kuyt`s 32nd minute strike, he raked in the plaudits for a second time when he denied Yossi Benayoun a certain goal after the Israeli danced his way into the Barnsley box and struck low from eight yards.

Again Steele proved his mettle when he denied Dirk Kuyt a certain goal, the Dutchman`s rising effort seemed destined into the roof of the net, but the Steele was more than up to the task.

The last Barnsley goalkeeper to put on a superb display was the giant German Lars Leese, who kept the likes of Karl Heinz-Reidle, Michael Owen, Patrick Berger and Steve McManaman at bay when the reds came away from Anfield with a fine 1-0 win in the Premier League back in November 1997.

One thing is for sure, Simon Davey certainly has an eye for a good ‘keeper and the Barnsley fans will be hoping that their gaffer can secure the services of the young Englishman on a permanent basis.

 

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