Josh Eppiah

Six Wins On The Spin For Flying Young Foxes

Leicester City's Development Squad made it six wins in a row in all competitions with a stunning 4-1 victory over Derby County at Holmes Park in Premier League 2 Division 1 on Monday.

City’s line-up included just one change from the 2-1 win at Sunderland in the Leasing.com Trophy, as forward Josh Eppiah came in for defender Filip Benković in a 4-2-3-1 system.

In rainy conditions in Whetstone, the young Foxes got off to a flier as Josh Eppiah burst down the right wing, found Admiral Muskwe, whose effort was parried by Jon Mitchell.

However, the Rams goalkeeper couldn’t get there to deny George Hirst, lurking in the six-yard box, as the England youth international pounced to set his team up nicely in the early exchanges. 

Ahead after just eight minutes, it could have got even better for Leicester’s youngsters when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who scored a rocket at Sunderland, fizzed an effort just wide.

When Callum Wright played Hirst in, the 20-year-old was only denied another by a determined last-ditch block by Ethan Wassall as the Foxes pushed to double their lead.

They did extend their advantage just before the half-hour mark, though, as Muskwe’s low attempt came back off the post for Josh Eppiah, who converted from close range.

Within just a few minutes, it was 3-0 to the ruthless hosts as Muskwe was rewarded for his early promise by sending an absolute rocket into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Derby did get one back, however, as Jahmal Hector-Ingram finished from inside the area, but City’s three-goal lead was restored before the break after excellent work from George Thomas.

The former Scunthorpe United loanee dispossessed Louie Sibley in the middle and immediately ran at goal, muscling his way into space before unleashing a fierce drive.

Leicester controlled matters after the break, despite a few fleeting moments of opportunity for the Rams, while Khanya Leshabela and Ali Reghba emerged from the bench.

Reghba could have scored straight from the off after coming on with 20 minutes to play, but Rams sub Festy Ebosele was able to get a touch onto it to deny the Irish striker.

Ebosele was there again to deny Dewsbury-Hall later on before the young central midfielder tried to play in Hirst, who fired it narrowly wide as the Foxes pushed for a fifth goal late on.

Major moment

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George Hirst
George Hirst

George Hirst applies a tidy finish to make it 1-0 to City after just eight minutes.

City set the tone early, racing into a three-goal lead before 30 minutes had been played, following George Hirst’s opener in front of a crowd of 232 in Whetstone.

The home side were ruthless in their pursuit of goals from that point onwards and they had the game wrapped up by the half-way point.

Who impressed?

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George Thomas
George Thomas

City's League Cup-winning captain, Matt Elliott, picked out the performance of George Thomas.

Speaking live on air, former Foxes captain Matt Elliott said: “There were a number of contenders after a strong 45 minutes, such as Josh Eppiah – he was dynamite. Both central midfielders were great too, but the fact that George Thomas grabbed himself a goal which he created himself gives him the edge over [Kiernan] Dewsbury-Hall, so he’s my Man of the Match.”

Where does it leave us?

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Josh Eppiah
Josh Eppiah

City celebrate their second, netted by Belgian youngster Josh Eppiah.

Leicester stay fourth in Premier League 2 Division 1, but close the gap to third-placed Arsenal to just a single point, while they are also within three of leaders Chelsea.

After 11 games, City’s Under-23s have gathered 19 points to their name, largely courtesy of four wins on the spin in Premier League 2 since October. 

Coming up…

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Steve Beaglehole
Steve Beaglehole

Senior Professional Development Phase Coach Steve Beaglehole gives instruction during the clash.

The Foxes travel to Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday evening for their Round 2 tie against Doncaster Rovers in the Leasing.com Trophy (7:45pm GMT kick-off).

The details...

City: Johansson; Clark (Daley-Campbell 78'), Johnson, Ughelumba, L. Thomas; G. Thomas (c), Dewsbury-Hall; Eppiah, Muskwe (Reghba 70'), Wright (Leshabela 62'); Hirst

Subs not used: Davies, Tee

Goals: Hirst 8’, Eppiah 26’, Muskwe 29’, G. Thomas 41’

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