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#U18 #MatchReport #Leicester

Late rally not enough for Under-18s in Foxes defeat

Spurs 3-4 Leicester City (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 10 February 2024, 13:40|Tottenham Hotspur

Two late goals from Yusuf Akhamrich weren't quite enough as Leicester City escaped from Hotspur Way with a 4-3 victory on Saturday morning.

Josh King's hat-trick, coupled with Toby Onanye's strike in first-half stoppage time, saw the visitors take a commanding 4-1 lead as we failed to take our chances in the final third.

Callum Olusesi's effort on the 15-minute mark, which at that stage had made it 1-1, was all we had to show for our efforts until substitute Akhamrich popped up with two late goals, but it was too little, too late.

It was a lively game that exploded into life with less than a minute gone as Onanaye's shot was saved by Carey Bloedorn, with King on hand to tuck home from amidst a crowded area. The action continued apace from there, as King could have had another just afterwards but put his shot wide, but we pulled ourselves together and equalised with a quarter-of-an-hour gone as the ball was scrambled away from the Leicester goalmouth but only as far as Olusesi, who pinged a shot across goal and into the top corner from six yards out.

Ellis Lehane subsequently cracked a decent effort against the post while Damola Ajayi produced some fantastic play in the middle of the pitch without reward, but Leicester were always a threat on the break and they duly restored their lead on 24 minutes when King broke in behind and rolled the ball past the advancing goalkeeper from the left angle, his shot trickling in off the far post. Kirsten Otchere beat Bloedorn from a similar position two minutes later, but Maeson King was there to clear off the line.

Lehane fired a good chance over the bar as we tried to respond again but Leicester bagged an important third in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, a quick touch and finish in the box from Onenaye which Bloedorn got a low hand to but couldn't keep out.

The action didn't let up after the break as Ryan Donnelly fired fractionally over the bar, while an excellent volley from Ajayi was met by an equally-impressive stop from Leicester goalkeeper Harry French. But for all our efforts to find a way back into the contest, we were undone in routine fashion on 54 minutes when Donnelly stole the ball from our press and popped it over the top for King, who ran on and lobbed the advancing Bloedorn to gleefully complete his treble.

Leo Black fired an effort against the crossbar and later guided a shot just wide as we fought for a lifeline, although we still needed a vital block from Bloedorn to deny Otchere at the other end. Tyrese Hall embarked on a trademark solo run before shooting over the bar while half-time substitute Akhamrich saw a first-time effort blocked at the near post before the latter player gave us a glimmer of hope in the 89th minute, a cute back-heel from Ajayi setting him up to slide the ball beyond French for 4-2. That glimmer became bigger and brighter when we worked the ball to Akhamrich in the box once more in the 93rd minute, his drive from the right angle taking a deflection off defender Bobby Amartey on its way into the net, but although the game continued for a little over a minute after that, we couldn't find an unlikely leveller.

Spurs 3-4 Leicester City (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Bloedorn, Black, King, Arganese-McDermott (Logan 58), Chaplin (c) (Adelusi 79), Willhoft-King (Akhamrich 46), Ajayi, Olusesi, Lehane (Morgan 67), Hall, Irow. Substitute (not used): Archer.