Liverpool Reserves ensured they ended their 2009-10 Barclays Premier Reserve League North campaign with a victory thanks to a 1-0 success at Sunderland on Tuesday evening.
Lauri Dalla Valle gave John McMahon's men the three points with a finely worked move that resulted in the 18-year-old finding the back of the net from 20 yards on 34 minutes.
Sunderland pressed for an equaliser in the second half, though their cause was hindered by the dismissal of Liam Noble 15 minutes from time, with the visitors remaining resilient.
The result brought the Reds second-string's five-match losing streak to an end as they collected their first three points since a 2-1 triumph at Bolton on March 29.
McMahon's side went into the clash in the North East having lost every match in April - a sequence that extinguished their hopes of clinching title success.
Still, there was no question the second-string boss would demand 100 per cent from his players in their final league fixture of the campaign.
Liverpool had dispatched the Black Cats 2-0 at Prenton Park earlier in the campaign - a game notable for Alberto Aquilani's Reds debut as a late substitute.
Dani Pacheco and Robbie Threlfall were the scorers that October evening on the Wirral, but neither player was involved this time around.
Instead, Academy starlets Conor Coady, Alex Cooper, Deale Chamberlain and John Flanagan were included in the 16-man squad that travelled to the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground in Hetton-Le-Hole - birthplace of legendary Anfield boss Bob Paisley.
It was the hosts who made the brighter opening and only a fine block by Martin Hansen prevented Oumare Tounkara from putting Sunderland into a third minute lead after the striker was sent bearing down on goal by 'keeper Trevor Carson's long punt forward.
Liverpool's custodian fashioned a similar chance for Dalla Valle soon after, with the Finn firing a dipping volley into the arms of Carson from the right corner of the box.
Back came Sunderland and after Liam O'Mahoney's strike ricocheted off Victor Palsson on 14 minutes, Liam Noble clipped an effort from 20 yards millimetres wide of the upright.
Dalla Valle headed wide from Gerardo Bruna's corner 10 minutes later as the open start to the contest continued - however the latter was forced off just after the half-hour mark, with Cooper his replacement.
But Dalla Valle did find the target in the 34th minute with a goal that exemplified his vast potential.
Collecting the ball on the right wing, the striker played an exquisite flick inside to Nikola Saric. The Dane motored forward towards the Sunderland goal before returning possession to Dalla Valle, whose touch took him away from Michael Kay before the No.9 slipped a low left-footed drive beyond Carson's reach from the edge of the box.
It ensured Liverpool went into the half-time interval holding a well-earned lead.
Sunderland made a pressing start to the second half, though the Reds defence - powerfully led by Chris Mavinga - managed to repel the early onslaught, with only David Dowson's run and shot testing Hansen in the opening exchanges.
Alex Kacaniklic then skewed a volley wide on the hour after Steven Irwin's cross had only been half cleared to the edge of the box by Sunderland before Adam Reed struck a long range effort into the midriff of Hansen.
The Dane thwarted the Black Cats' midfielder again moments later, smothering an attempted overhead kick.
Sunderland went closer still in the 67th minute when O'Mahoney crashed a close-range header against the crossbar from Conor Hourihane's dangerous cross, when perhaps the winger should have done better.
However, the home side were reduced to 10 men with a quarter of an hour remaining when Liam Noble collected two yellow cards in the space of three minutes following rash challenges on David Amoo and Irwin.
With Liverpool holding the numerical advantage, the visitors were able to see out the latter stages in relative comfort and claim their first victory in over a month to fittingly end a season of real encouragement on a high.
Sunderland Reserves: Carson, Weir, Hourihane, Reed, Kay, Liddle, O'Mahoney, L Noble, Tounkara, Dowson (R Noble 71), Luscombe. Subs: Madden, B Wilson, Chandler, Galer.
Liverpool Reserves: Hansen, Flanagan, Kacaniklic, Palsson, Mavinga, Irwin, Saric (Brouwer 62), Amoo,Dalla Valle, Kholert (Coady 80), Bruna (Cooper 32).Subs: Chamberlain, Sokolik.
Liverpoolfc.tv man of the match: Chris Mavinga - A powerful and commanding presence in the Reds' backline throughout.
he was mint on champ!