George Hirst Trophy: The Young Foxes' Journey So Far

Leicester City's Development Squad have safely secured their place in the knockout phase of the Trophy for the third time in four years of participation.
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There are 64 teams which compete in the competition in total, which are split into 16 regional groups of four teams, of which the top two progress to the knockout stages.

City contested Northern Group A with Grimsby Town, Scunthorpe United and Sunderland after the Club were one of 16 invited to enter an Under-21s squad.

Following three group stages fixtures, all away from home as per the competition's rules for Under-21s squad, Leicester's youngsters finished top, not losing once.

After being drawn to face Doncaster Rovers at home in Round 2, remembers their journey so far, which has seen them go head-to-head with Football League opposition. 

Development Squad

Scunthorpe United 1 Leicester City Development Squad 1 (1-3 Pens)

Watch extended highlights from the Development Squad's opening fixture in Northern Group A of the Trophy.

In their maiden group stage outing, City followed a 1-1 draw at Scunthorpe United with a 3-1 shootout success to seal a bonus point from their Trophy opener on Tuesday 24 September.

With just three minutes to play, an excellent away performance, against the odds at the home of a professional Football League side, appeared to have paid off in dramatic fashion for the Foxes.

Substitute Tyrese Shade, who had just moments earlier replaced Callum Wright in midfield, burst into the penalty area and eventually found Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who sent a fearsome drive into the net.

However, just as it seemed City would win out in normal time, the home side retaliated as Ryan Colclough collected the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box and powered it beyond Eldin Jakupović.

After ending 1-1 over 90 minutes, a bonus point was on offer to the victor of a penalty shootout at Sands Venue Stadium, a rule unique to the Trophy in English football.

While Admiral Muskwe's spot-kick was saved, following misses by Colclough, George Miller and Levi Sutton, goalscorer Dewsbury-Hall, Josh Eppiah and Luke Thomas all found the net to secure a second point.

Development Squad

Goals: Grimsby Town 1 Leicester City Development Squad 2

Enjoy all three goals from an entertaining night of Trophy action at Blundell Park as Leicester City’s youngsters climbed to the top of their group.

A double from Josh Eppiah, including a breath-taking 90th-minute winner, sent Leicester to a 2-1 victory over Grimsby Town at Blundell Park on Tuesday 29 October.

On the hour-mark, when Moses Ogbu leapt highest, there was little City’s backline could do to prevent the 28-year-old, who has previously played in Sweden and Saudi Arabia, from heading in at the far post.

However, they hit back with 17 minutes to play as the industrious George Hirst burst into a pocket of space and galloped at goal, taking two defenders with him on the left flank.

His deft lay-off for Eppiah was perfect and the 21-year-old did the rest, stylishly powering it beyond Sam Russell, into the bottom corner, to make it 1-1 late on at Blundell Park.

It was so nearly 2-1 to Leicester on 77 minutes, meanwhile, as Thomas’ free-kick bounced up for Hirst to nod it towards goal, only to be excellently palmed away by Russell in the hosts’ net.

Just as the fourth official's board rose to the heavens, the home crowd were on their feet, applauding their opposition - as an extraordinary strike by Eppiah, from 25 yards, settled the encounter.

Development Squad

Sunderland 1 Leicester City Development Squad 2

Watch extended highlights as the young Foxes took a 2-1 victory over Sunderland's first team in the Trophy at the Stadium of Light.

On Tuesday 5 November, George Hirst's precise penalty and a rocket from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall sealed a comeback 2-1 win for City at Sunderland to seal safe passage into the knockout phase.

Phil Parkinson’s hosts struck after 14 minutes as Chris Maguire produced a free-kick almost identical to the one he hit in a recent 5-0 win over Tranmere Rovers into the near corner.

After the break, Leicester upped the tempo in dramatic style, completing a three-minute turnaround in fortunes which saw them take a lead over their League 1 hosts in the North East.

Firstly, the visitors were handed a precious opportunity to level the scores on 50 minutes as Callum Wright was felled in the area, with Hirst making no mistake from the penalty spot.

After the 20-year-old’s cool finish into the bottom corner, City pushed for another and they were rewarded as Dewsbury-Hall launched a stunning rocket into the top corner from the edge of the area.

With seconds of normal time remaining, the Black Cats were desperately unlucky not to level it when Viktor Johansson tipped it into Grant Leadbitter's path, but his half-volley bounced up and over.

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