George Thomas

Thomas & Hirst Seal Fourth Win In A Row For City's Under-23s

Strikes from George Thomas and George Hirst sealed a fourth successive victory and seventh match unbeaten for Leicester City's Development Squad in a 2-0 success at Manchester City on Friday.

There was only one change to the Foxes line-up which beat Grimsby Town in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday as Luke Thomas came in for Filip Benković.

A tight opening meant it took 21 minutes for the first real opportunity to come and it was Leicester who carved it out as Admiral Muskwe’s long-ranger forced Daniel Grimshaw to save.

From the resulting corner, whipped in by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Darnell Johnson headed it down to ground, making it bounce back up, but Grimshaw tipped it over the crossbar.

Elsewhere, the Foxes thought they were ahead when George Hirst nodded another Dewsbury-Hall corner into the net. The referee, though, elected to disallow it for a tangle in the area.

At the other end, Viktor Johansson was on his toes and got a hand to Tommy Doyle’s low effort, while Luke Thomas also had to be alert to prevent the rebound from falling to Adrian Bernabe.

Like Hirst, Callum Wright was also denied an opener after straying offside, before Grimshaw also got a hand to Dewsbury-Hall’s 18-yard effort as the half-time whistle approached.

At the interval, Academy graduate Josh Eppiah, who scored a brilliant brace at Grimsby three days before, joined the action in Manchester, replacing Khanya Leshabela on the flanks.

The Belgian forward made a quick impact on the game, first testing Grimshaw from close range before finding Muskwe in space, although the 21-year-old’s finish originated from an offside position.

Johansson, on the other hand, had to make a sterling save to deny Doyle once more, who arrowed a fearsome half-volley the Swede's way, which City's shot-stopper touched over the bar.

With just 13 minutes to go, when Eppiah's dragged cross fell to Thomas in space in the penalty area, the former Coventry City man confidently dispatched it to give the visitors all three points.

It got even better in added time as Eppiah played the role of provider yet again, this time for Hirst, who capped off an impressive performance with a composed close-range finish.

Major moment

While the Foxes had been dominant for large spells in Manchester City, particularly in the first half, the home side remained a considerable threat throughout the entirety of the match.

It will have been a frustration for Leicester to have to wait for so long, but George Thomas' stylish effort in the 77th minute ultimately continues an excellent run of form.

Who impressed?

Speaking live on air for LCFC TV, former Fox Sean St Ledger said: “It was a very good team performance, but I think the standout player was George Thomas – not just for his goal, but for his overall display. Both Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Thomas have worked hard, done lots of running but I think George edges it on the night.”

Where does it leave us?

Another win sees the Foxes climb up another place in Premier League 2 Division 1 to fourth after 10 matches, with a points tally of 16 and a goal difference of +5.

Coming up…

Next up for City’s youngsters is a trip to Stadium of Light to face Sunderland on Tuesday in their final Northern Group A fixture in the Leasing.com Trophy (7:45pm kick-off).

They then have a three-week break from action before Premier League 2 Division 1 high-fliers Derby County visit Holmes Park on Monday 25 November (7pm kick-off).

The details…

City: Johansson; Clark (Gyamfi 85'), Johnson, Ughelumba, L. Thomas; Dewsbury-Hall; G. Thomas, Leshabela (Eppiah 45’); Wright, Muskwe (Tee 71'), Hirst

Subs not used: Stolarczyk, Arlott-John

Goals: Thomas 77', Hirst 90+4'

All times GMT.

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