Admiral Muskwe

U23s Suffer First Loss Since September

Leicester City’s Development Squad were beaten for the first time in 12 outings in all competitions after a 3-1 defeat by Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in Premier League 2 on Friday evening.

The Foxes were unchanged for the trip to Lancashire, having already recorded a Premier League 2 triumph this week after defeating Everton 2-1 at Holmes Park thanks to strikes from Admiral Muskwe and Callum Wright.

A turn and strike from George Hirst saw City start brightly against Blackburn, as the England youth international fired wide of the mark on four minutes, while Hayden Carter’s deflected shot at the other end of the pitch was held with ease by Viktor Johansson.

But the hosts, who headed into the game on the back of three-straight defeats, maintained their early pressure and took the lead through Dominic Samuel, who side-footed in from close range with nine minutes on the clock.

Seeking an immediate response, a fine run from skipper George Thomas down the right flank nearly led to a leveler, but Muskwe couldn’t get a clean connection on the ball, allowing Andrew Fisher to make a routine save.

A strike from George Hirst was then blocked just moments later after Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall won the ball in midfield, but Blackburn doubled their advantage midway through the first period.

Dewsbury-Hall was deemed to have fouled Daniel Butterworth in the area, and the Rovers No.10 converted from 12 yards, despite Johansson getting a touch on the ball before it found the back of the net.

It looked as if striker Hirst had pulled a goal back for the Foxes, only for his effort to curl just inches wide of Fisher’s upright, while Luke Thomas whipped a powerful free-kick over the crossbar on 27 minutes.

City finally had their goal a minute later, as Dewsbury-Hall headed the ball into the path of defender Darnell Johnson, who in turn found Muskwe, and the Zimbabwe international striker kept his cool to slot in and halve the deficit.

A neat save from Johansson at his near post denied Samuel, while the Sweden youth international bravely smothered a loose ball in the six-yard box shortly after, throwing his body in the way of Samuel’s scuffed strike.

Two huge chances to level matters before the interval fell to Luke Thomas and Hirst, but the former flashed his strike across the face goal before the latter struck the post in first-half stoppage time.

Calvin Ughelumba put in an excellent challenge to prevent Samuel from making it 3-1 10 minutes into the second half, before the left-back surged forward just after the hour mark to deliver into Hirst, who headed wide.

Hirst had another opportunity to restore parity with 15 minutes to play. Mitchell Clark was fouled in the Blackburn box and Hirst stepped up to take it, but his penalty was well saved by Fisher.

The three points were sealed by Blackburn in injury-time, as substitute Brad Lyons burst through before finishing beyond Johansson for 3-1.

Major moment

 

The Development Squad showed their spirit to get themselves back into the game when Admiral Muskwe pulled one back in the first half.

A chance to make it 2-2 fell to George Hirst after Mitchell Clark was fouled in the 12-yard box, but he couldn’t beat Andrew Fisher from the penalty spot.

Who impressed?

 

Co-commentator Sean St. Ledger told LCFC TV at the full-time whistle: “George Hirst has performed well tonight. He was a major threat in the first half, and he worked really hard. Yes, he missed a penalty, but you have to have the confidence to pick the ball up and take it.”

Where do we stand?

 

The Foxes remain in third in the Premier League 2 rankings after 13 games, and have collected 22 points during that period.

Coming up…

 

The Foxes conclude their 2019 fixture schedule with a Premier League International Cup tie versus Villarreal at Holmes Park on Wednesday 18 December (7pm kick-off).

They will resume their Premier League 2 campaign on Friday 3 January, when they entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers at Holmes Park (7pm kick-off).

The details…

 

City: Johansson, Johnson, L. Thomas (Eppiah 46’), G. Thomas (c) (Reghba 86’), Ughelumba, Benković, Clark, Dewsbury-Hall, Hirst, Wright (Leshabela 60’), Muskwe

Subs not used: Daley-Campbell, Davies

Goal: Muskwe 28’

All times GMT.

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