Callum Wright

Foxes Beaten Late On By Spurs In PL2

A second half comeback from Tottenham Hotspur subjected Leicester City’s Development Squad to a 2-1 defeat in Premier League 2 Division 1 at Holmes Park on Friday evening.

Khanya Leshabela’s strike from outside the penalty area in the 19th minute gave the Foxes the lead, but a brace from Jack Roles, at the start and end of the second half, settled matters.

There were three new faces in City’s line-up, including goalkeeper Eldin Jakupović, 34, midfielder Leshabela and forward Taylor Allen, currently on a short trial with the Club.

Jakupović’s involvement - made possible by Premier League 2 rules stipulating that sides can include a goalkeeper and three outfield players over the age of 23 - was the Bosnian-born Swiss shot-stopper’s fourth appearance for the Club’s Development Squad this campaign.

Centre-back Sam Hughes, meanwhile, was Leicester’s skipper on the night, making his fifth consecutive start for the Under-23s, following a recurring back injury earlier in the season.

Development Squad

In Brief: Leicester City U23s 1 Tottenham Hotspur U23s 2

Watch a summery of the Leicester City Development Squad's Premier League 2 meeting with Tottenham Hotspur at Holmes Park.

It was the home side who displayed the most industry in attacking positions during the opening 10 minutes as Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s corner came to Hughes in the box.

However, the 21-year-old defender’s header, sent downwards, bounced up off the turf and behind for a goal-kick in front of a supporting home crowd in Whetstone.

After 19 minutes, City were rewarded for their intent when another Dewsbury-Hall corner landed at the feet of Leshabela, on the edge of the box, to smash it into the bottom corner.

While on top for the remainder of the first half, Leicester were limited to half-chances before the break and Spurs levelled the arrears within three minutes of the restart.

A marauding run upfield from visiting left-back Dennis Cirkin was followed by a smart pass into J’Neil Bennett and his cross found substitute Roles to poke it beyond Jakupović.

With 65 minutes on the clock, Leshabela did well to intercept Cirkin for the Foxes and play Muskwe in behind goal, but Jonathan Dinzeyi got back to make a last-ditch challenge.

However, with City pushing for a winner, they were hit on the counter with eight minutes to go as Tariq Hinds’ cross was flicked into the net by Roles, who added his second of the night.

A frantic end to the clash saw Leshabela's low drive blocked by Harvey White for Tottenham. In added time, meanwhile, City's Calvin Ughelumba was dismissed for an off-ball incident.

Who impressed?

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Khanya Leshabela
Khanya Leshabela

Leshabela is congratulated by his colleagues in the first half.

South African midfielder Khanya Leshabela is a scorer of outstanding goals. While this effort was only his second of the season, the ability to take the ball down was admirable.

Following another impressive effort, struck with the outside of his boot against Nottingham Forest in November, the 19-year-old’s goal was a reward for an expressive performance.

Where does it leave us?

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Sam Hughes
Sam Hughes

Centre-back Hughes clears the ball at the back for City.

Leicester’s youngsters remain in fifth-place in Premier League 2 Division 1, on 27 points, one behind Liverpool, in fourth, following the Reds’ success over Derby County earlier in the day.

While there are just three league fixtures to go, City remain in with a chance of bettering last season’s third-place finish, with six points separating them from Brighton in second.

Coming up…

Expand photo
Lamine Kaba Sherif
Lamine Kaba Sherif

Kaba Sherif was utilised in right-back by the Foxes.

An exciting Premier League International Cup Quarter-Final clash with Bayern Munich is next up for the Foxes, at Holmes Park, on Wednesday evening (7pm GMT kick-off).

Supporters can attend the fixture by buying tickets on the night in Whetstone, priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, while free live LCFC TV coverage begins at 6:45pm GMT.

The details…

City: Jakupović, Kaba Sherif, Ughelumba, Dewsbury-Hall, Hughes (c), Pascanu, Wright, Leshabela, Muskwe, Ndukwu (Loft 79’), Allen (trialist) (Shade 76’)

Subs not used: Johansson, Heaven, Tavares

Goal: Leshabela 19’

Attendance: 193

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