Leicester 6-1 Spurs (PL2)
Report from Holmes Park
03 January 2018|Tottenham Hotspur
Our nine-man Development Squad let in four goals in the last 14 minutes and collapsed to a 6-1 defeat at barnstorming Leicester City in the Premier League 2 on Wednesday night.
The title-chasing Foxes came into the match at Holmes Park on a 17-match unbeaten streak and after a moment of magic from Keanan Bennetts gave us an early lead, that was swiftly extended to 18.
Sam Hughes levelled during a first half that saw goalkeeper Brandon Austin pull off a series of vital saves, but when George Marsh – operating at right-back – was shown a second yellow card in as many minutes shortly before the hour mark, the rapid and physically-powerful hosts took full advantage.
Having hit the woodwork four times over the course of the game, Leicester finally went ahead through George Thomas before central midfielder Oliver Skipp was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Josh Gordon, condemning us to continue with nine players.
We still tried to play forward with Kazaiah Sterling and substitute Jack Roles willingly pushing on, but the shortage in manpower meant we were so vulnerable and Darnell Johnson, Gordon – twice – and Thomas piled on the misery in the closing stages.
Goal: Leicester 0-1 Spurs - Keanan Bennetts - 11mins
The opener from Bennetts was a stunner. Looking to attack with pace and purpose in the opening exchanges, we were rewarded when Bennetts advanced in from the right side, looked up, took on another defender and bent a fine shot inside the far post with his left foot.
Goal: Leicester 1-1 Spurs - Sam Hughes - 28mins
Leicester began to impose themselves on the game and after keeper Austin rushed out to dive at the feet of Gordon and deny the lively striker when through on goal, the Foxes grabbed a 28th-minute leveller. A long diagonal ball from the right side was knocked down in the area and fell kindly for Hughes to tap home from eight yards out.
Woodwork/save: Leicester turn the screw - 29-32mins
We could easily have found ourselves behind as the half-hour mark came and went, with the hosts forcing us back and not allowing us to play out. Layton Ndukwu's curler cannoned back off the far post with Austin doing just enough to prevent Thomas' strike on the rebound from squirming under his body. Three minutes later, Skipp uncharacteristically lost possession on the edge of the area which saw Thomas through on goal, but Austin (pictured, below) again raced out to make a big save. Ndukwu hit the outside of the near post as half-time approached.
Red card: Marsh shown quickfire yellows - 57mins
A big turning point in the game came on 57 minutes when Marsh received a second caution in the space of a minute, the second for a challenge on Gordon. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had rattled the bar in between, but it would be an uphill battle from there and a few moments later, Thomas curled against the post after seeing his initial shot charged down at the edge of the box by Christian Maghoma.
Goal: Leicester 2-1 Spurs - George Thomas - 66mins
Leicester went ahead on 66 minutes when we lost possession cheaply and found ourselves under intense pressure. After a couple of shots caused a scramble, Thomas was finally able to steer in on the turn amid a congested area.
Red card: reduced to nine men - 73mins
Things went from bad to worse as Skipp made a challenge on half-way but slipped on the surface as he went in, accidentally clattering Gordon. Referee Christopher O'Donnell brandished a straight red card to further deplete our ranks.
Goal: Leicester 3-1 Spurs - Darnell Johnson - 76mins
The floodgates soon opened and Leicester's third goal arrived on 76 minutes when Johnson bundled the ball home after a scramble in the six-yard box.
Goal: Leicester 4-1 Spurs - Josh Gordon - 82mins
The Foxes' fourth was of our own making as the ball was again lost in a central area in our own half and the hosts obliged with Gordon driving in from the left angle.
Goal: Leicester 5-1 Spurs - Josh Gordon - 89mins
Thomas took a corner short to Dewsbury-Hall, he hooked it in from the right and Gordon steered a header inside the near post to make it 5-1.
Goal: Leicester 6-1 Spurs - George Thomas - 90+4mins
Josh Eppiah might have further increased Leicester's lead when Austin was left stranded at the corner of his area after coming for a long ball, but Jaden Brown was back to block his shot on the line. However, we were hit for six when the same player sped down the right flank and drove across for Thomas to convert from close range as TJ Eyoma tried desperately to get back and make a block.
Leicester City: Iversen, Johnson, Wood (L Thomas 83), Hughes (c), Knight, Huth, Kaba Sherif (Eppiah 65), Dewsbury-Hall, Gordon, G Thomas, Ndukwu (Martis 68). Substitutes (not used): Bramley, Debayo.
Spurs: Austin, Marsh, Brown, Amos (c), C Maghoma, Eyoma, Bennetts (Roles 74), Skipp, Sterling, Harrison (Pritchard 78), Georgiou (Tracey 71). Substitute (not used): Whiteman.
Goals: Leicester - Hughes 28, Thomas 66, 90+4, Johnson 76, Gordon 82, 89; Spurs - Bennetts 11.
Yellow cards: Leicester - Ndukwu 64; Spurs - Amos 43, Marsh 56, 57.
Red cards: Spurs - Marsh 57, Skipp 73.
Referee: Christopher O'Donnell.
We're back in action at home in our next Premier League 2 encounter as we welcome Everton to Hotspur Way for a 12pm kick-off on Monday 15 January. We went down 4-1 against the Toffees at Goodison Park earlier in the season so an improved performance will be required against a side currently fourth in the standings.