Leicester U21s 3-1 Spurs - report from KP Stadium
Report from KP Stadium
23 March 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-21s fell just short against an experienced Leicester City side in the Barclays U21 Premier League at the King Power Stadium on Monday night.
Trailing 2-0 with less than 20 minutes remaining, the arrival of Ismail Azzaoui off the bench added an extra spark and after the winger created a goal for Kenny McEvoy, we pushed the Foxes all the way before a late penalty put the issue beyond doubt.
Shayon Harrison made his first start at Under-21 level as the lads faced up against a Foxes team that started with seven players with Football League experience. McEvoy was the only player with that experience in our ranks.
There was a zip about our play in the first 20 minutes with success down both flanks and McEvoy looking particularly bright down the right. Will Miller didn't get hold of his shot from the left angle on seven minutes while Anton Walkes tested Ben Hamer down to his left from 20 yards 20 minutes in.
Leicester began to take control midway through the half and Christian Maghoma was well-placed to divert Jak McCourt's goalbound volley in 26 minutes.
Marc Albrighton fired into the side-netting from the corner and the former Villa man's influence grew as Foxes got on top.
McCourt came closest to breaking the deadlock on 33 minutes with a low fizzer from 25 yards that cannoned off the foot of the post and Connor Ogilvie was next in line to make a key block as Anthony Knockaert darted in from the right.
Albrighton provided the ammunition for a Kieran Kennedy header blocked by Carter-Vickers on 41 minutes and a minute later, Dodoo was inches away from Albrighton's cross from the right byline with the goal at his mercy.
After such a good defensive show in the first half the team was hit by an early goal after the break. Knockaert got to the left byline and crossed for Stankevicius to glance his header across Luke McGee and home.
Miller's decent hit from 20 yards was blocked after Carter-Vickers won possession on halfway but then substitute Brandon Fox blazed a good chance over from Albrighton's cross.
Our best chance fell to Daniel Akindayini on 53 minutes. Maghoma picked out the striker's run between defenders from deep and Akindayini controlled well, steadied himself and drove low at goal but Hamer was up to it and blocked with his feet.
The second goal arrived just before the hour as the home team broke from our attack, Albrighton threaded a pass through to Drinkwater who finished one-on-one.
McEvoy delivered a fine cross from the right that Akindayini couldn't turn on target at full stretch and the pair combined again on 68 minutes, this time the striker didn't get enough power on his header to seriously trouble Hamer.
Miller drove forward two minutes later, exchanged passes with Ogilvie but blasted over.
Azzaoui entered the fray for Walkes on 71 minutes and had an instant impact, his low cross from the left provided McEvoy with the easiest of tasks to make it 2-1 on 74 minutes.
Leicester remained a danger on the break though and McGee was alert as Drinkwater broke into the box from the right, saving low to his left. McCourt then stung the keeper's fingers from 30 yards, 80 minutes on the clock.
The Foxes were firmly on the back foot in the final 10 minutes as we pushed on for an equaliser. Hamer spectacularly cleared McEvoy's cross before saving easily from Alex McQueen, Harrison curled a free-kick over and Akindayini was denied by Hamer one-on-one, although the flag was up.
Leicester put the issue beyond doubt in the final minute when Maghoma brought down James Pearson and McCourt converted from the penalty spot.
There was still time for Hamer to turn away Harrison's header and deny Azzaoui as the lads kept going until the final whistle.
Ugo Ehiogu said
“It was a real football test for us,” said coach Ugo.
“If you looked at their teamsheet there was a lot of Football League and Premier League experience in their team, so the lads should look at that and have a pat on the back, because it took a real shift and took a good side that clicked to beat us.
“We had to dig in at times as well, it was testing for Christian Maghoma and Cameron Carter-Vickers and they stood up to that and it was good to hear organisation and voice out on the pitch.
“Leicester’s second goal was a blow but even then, I fancied us to work the ball and create a chance and we did that.
“We ended with six scholars on the pitch and okay, we’re disappointed, but we were always in the game at 0-0, 1-0 and even 2-0, so I’m pleased that they have showed a real spirit. We got a reaction.”
Leicester City U21s: Hamer; Pearson, Kennedy (Fox, 46; Scott, 74), Moore, Sesay; McCourt, Drinkwater, Knockaert (Kipre, 82); Albrighton, Stankevicius, Dodoo. Unused subs: Smith, King.
Spurs U21s: McGee; McQueen, Carter-Vickers (C), Maghoma, Ogilvie; Lesniak, Walkes (Azzaoui, 71), Miller (Goddard, 82); McEvoy, Harrison, Akindayini. Unused subs: Miles, Loft.