Leicester U21s 0-3 Spurs
Report from KP Stadium
18 March 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Cy Goddard’s sumptuous stoppage-time volley typified the manner of our performance as our Under-21s notched up a long overdue victory at Leicester City on Friday night (March 18).
Shayon Harrison, injecting some purpose into our attack along with the impressive Kazaiah Sterling, got the final touch on Emmanuel Sonupe’s low drive to give us a deserved half-time lead at the King Power Stadium before the front man doubled his tally seven minutes after the break.
Under-18s forward Sterling, on only his second ever appearance at this level – the first coming in the reverse fixture in September – was tireless in his running and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself before substitute Goddard finished off an excellent display with the pick of the bunch as we secured our first Barclays Under-21 Premier League victory since late November. It was also Goddard’s first goal at Under-21 level.
We moved the ball around with confidence from kick-off and quickly showed our attacking intent. After only three minutes, Will Miller burst forward from deep, used Kyle Walker-Peters to open up some space and surged down the right channel before squaring for Harrison, who was dispossessed by Elliott Moore as he tried to turn and shoot in the box.
Nabil Bentaleb then saw his effort charged down as we kept the early pressure on before we found the opener on 14 minutes. Miller's corner was repelled as far as Sonupe on the edge of the box and Harrison stuck out a leg to steer the winger’s drive past goalkeeper Ben Hamer.
Bentaleb was forced off injured moments later with Joe Pritchard coming on in his place.
Sterling was a lively influence in attack but he just failed to make contact with Miller's free-kick on 20 minutes with the Foxes then going close to an equaliser as Tom Glover saved Joe Dodoo's low shot from the left angle before Anthony Georgiou intervened with a vital tackle to deny Matty Miles on the follow-up with the goal gaping.
Leicester were starting to come into the game a bit more with Darnell Johnson's corner finding its way to Admiral Muskwe at the back post, but he seemed to be blocked off by team-mate Liam Moore as he tried to convert from close range.
We soon wrestled back the momentum, though, and subjected the hosts to some sustained pressure with Pritchard dragging across the face of goal and Miller's first-time effort from Georgiou's left wing cross spinning up into the arms of Hamer.
Georgiou was getting forward well down his flank while Sonupe caused Leicester problems on the right, with Sterling equally committed as he won possession out on the left and squared for Pritchard, whose effort was charged down with 42 minutes gone.
Sterling then tested Hamer with a low shot, while Glover had Muskwe's header covered at the other end as Leicester tried to level on the stroke of half-time.
We came out with the same attacking vigour after the break and it was 2-0 on 52 minutes when Georgiou’s cross from the left took a slight touch off Miles and fell perfectly for Harrison to steer inside the near post.
Jacob Blyth’s header was comfortably caught by Glover while Leicester substitute Danny Rowe was off target from a tight angle on the hour mark, before Sterling almost grabbed a stylish third for us when he took a touch to control Georgiou’s cross at the near post and went for a shot-on-the-turn but again Elliott Moore was in the way for the Foxes.
Blyth lashed over the top in space just inside our box on 73 minutes as Leicester saw a chance to respond go begging, Pritchard shot wide after a good ball over the top by Walker-Peters at the other end while Rowe wriggled free after an intricate build-up from Leicester but aimed straight at Glover with 81 minutes on the watch.
Walker-Peters’ drive crept inches wide six minutes later before Goddard’s moment of magic rounded off proceedings in the second minute of stoppage time. Georgiou cushioned the ball in from the left at the second time of asking and Goddard arrowed a shot into the top corner with his left foot from just inside the area.
Ugo Ehiogu said
“The performance contained a lot of the things that have been missing for a large part of the season – competitiveness, forward running, purpose, intent, football control and composure in the middle of the field and it was pleasing to watch,” he said.
“Kaz was very combative, he looked a real handful, he won headers, was sharp in the box and got shots off so hopefully that will give him a lot of confidence. He also has to add goals, though.
“Moving on to Shayon, goalscorers will find a way to score and I thought his first goal was excellent – just as pleasing as his second and credit to Anthony Georgiou who’s put it in the right area for the second one.
“Cy has come on and made an impact and come up with a wonderful finish with his left foot – certainly what we’re looking for Cy to do now is be more of a goal threat, not just in games where we’re leading but also when it’s tighter.
“There were some really good performances around, I thought Tom Glover was brave when he came for crosses, his kicking was a lot more accurate today and I thought the two centre-halves, Anton Walkes and Luke Amos, provided the platform for a wonderful performance of character, guts, steel and style. For me, those two were standouts.
Leicester City U21s: Hamer, Johnson (Cain 46), Trialist, Watson, E Moore, L Moore, Muskwe, Miles, Blyth (c), Barnes (Rowe 46), Dodoo (Mitchell 52). Substitutes (not used): Knight, Maddison (GK).
Spurs U21s: Glover, Walker-Peters (c), Georgiou, Walkes, Amos, Bentaleb (J Pritchard 18), Sonupe (Owens 83), Lesniak, Harrison, Sterling, Miller (Goddard 72). Substitute (not used): Austin (GK).