George Hirst

Spurs Victory Sends City's Under-23s To PL2 Summit

Leicester City’s Development Squad climbed to the top of Premier League 2 Division 1 with a determined 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at a rain-lashed Holmes Park on Friday.
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City’s line-up featured two changes from the 1-0 reverse at Newport County in the Leasing.com Trophy 10 days earlier, with Sam Hughes and Khanya Leshabela coming in.

Despite Spurs starting the brightest, Leicester thought they had taken the lead on 15 minutes when George Hirst finished Luke Thomas’ cross from the left, but the referee had spotted a handball.

From seemingly going ahead, the Foxes were behind four minutes later as Dilan Markanday burst into the area before sending a deflected effort past Viktor Johansson.

The hosts looked to hit back and would have done so immediately if not for a fine low stop from Josh Oluwayemi to deny Josh Eppiah following good work from Leshabela and Matty James.

It may have got worse before it got better for the Foxes on the half-hour as first Malachi Fagan-Walcott forced a strong save from Johansson before Rodel Richards blazed over.

City’s response was emphatic and a foul in the area provided Hirst with the chance to convert from 12 yards, sending a powerful effort down the middle to level the scores.

The home side’s fortunes improved again before the break as, in the third of four added minutes, Callum Wright latched onto Vontae Daley-Campbell’s cross to head it well and make it 2-1.

Leicester were on the front foot in the second period, but a helter-skelter clash’s next development was an equaliser for Spurs, through Jubril Okedina’s composed effort in the area.

The final twist came on 73 minutes, as Hirst did excellently to take down a high ball, spin on the spot, and send the ball low into Spurs’ bottom corner to put City back in front.

Leicester could have even added to their lead later on with substitute Tyrese Shade, Hughes and Hirst going close, but the hosts nonetheless soared to the table’s summit with victory.

Major moment… 

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George Hirst
George Hirst

The winner also came from George Hirst midway through the second half.

After fighting back so impressively from a goal down, the Foxes will have been especially disappointed to lose their advantage just before the hour-mark in Whetstone.

However, they continued to press for a goal which would ultimately prove to be their winner as George Hirst showcased his strength and poise to seal a ninth league win of 2019/20.

Who impressed? 

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George Hirst
George Hirst

George Hirst converts his penalty, which initially levelled the score at 1-1.

The exploits of George Hirst yet again played a pivotal role for Leicester at Holmes Park as the young Fox netted his 11th and 12th goals of the season.

Following a hip injury, Hirst has gently been reintroduced to the Under-23s' starting XI over recent weeks - and his importance to the side was on show on Friday.

Where does it leave us?

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Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas

Young defender Luke Thomas makes progress down the left flank.

City head to the top of Premier League 2 Division 1 on 32 points, the same figure as Chelsea, who have played one game fewer.

They are one goal better off than the Blues on goal difference ahead of their fixture away at Arsenal on Monday evening.

Coming up… 

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Josh Eppiah
Josh Eppiah

Belgian Josh Eppiah carries the ball forward for the Foxes.

City’s youngsters have another two-week break until a visit to Southampton’s training ground in Premier League 2 Division 1 on Monday 2 March (7pm GMT kick-off).

Former Foxes striker James Scowcroft will join commentator James Fielden for LCFC TV’s live coverage of the clash – which will be available live and for free on LCFC.com.

The details…

City: Johansson; Daley-Campbell, Johnson (c) (Ndukwu 63’), Hughes, Ughelumba, Thomas; Leshabela (Reghba 63’), James, Wright; Eppiah (Shade 74’), Hirst 

Subs not used: Stolarczyk, Arlott-John

Goals: Hirst pen 44’, 73’ Wright 45+3’

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