Kasey McAteer

Development Squad Held By Brighton In PL2

Leicester City's Development Squad were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23s at LCFC Training Ground on Monday night.
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Kasey McAteer's first-half goal looked to have handed the young Foxes a first win in five league games, but Brighton hit back to level late on and ensure the points would be shared in Seagrave.

Leicester made four changes to the side that lost to Manchester City last week, with goalkeeper Chituru Odunze making his Under-23s debut.

Shaping up in a 4-2-3-1 system, Jake Wakeling led the line with McAteer and Harry McKirdy either side of Will Russ behind the centre forward.

Odunze was called into action within the first minute, tipping Evan Ferguson's effort past the post after the Brighton forward capitalised on a defensive slip.

It continued to be the visitors who started the brighter as Marc Leonard's strike from the edge of the area had to be deflected over the bar.

The Foxes came into the game as the half wore on and took the lead on 28 minutes. After building up the play down the right, McKirdy made a darting run into the box, dropping his shoulder before pulling the trigger and Carl Rushworth could only parry the ball into the path of McAteer, who made no mistake heading in from close range.

Leicester enjoyed more possession after breaking the deadlock, but failed to trouble the Brighton shot-stopper via Wakeling's free-kick or a wild effort from McKirdy.

The Seagulls threatened twice in the closing stages of the half, with Odunze tipping Jensen Weir's snapshot half-volley over the bar, while Ferguson was unable to keep his attempt on target.

City looked to extend their lead immediately after the interval as McKirdy saw his shot blocked and fall to Tyrese Shade, whose strike had to be deflected over the bar. Russ headed the resulting corner straight at Rushworth, but there were promising signs from the opening few minutes of the half.

The visitors had their own chances, with captain Teddy Jenks going closest when his goal-bound attempt was well blocked by Danny Simpson.

As Brighton pushed more bodies forward, there was space to exploit and Shade launched a swift counter attack that almost produced a second goal. His pass was thread through for Wakeling who looked to find the far corner with his left-footed effort that Rushworth did well to tip away from danger.

Back at the other end, Jack Spong rose highest from James Furlong's cross and his powerful header was saved at point blank range by Odunze, keeping City ahead. Danny Cashman also went close, firing narrowly wide of the far post with a first-time effort.

The Seagulls were then awarded a penalty when Brighton substitute Jack Wakely went down in the box. Jensen Weir stepped up and skied his spot-kick well over the bar.

But the away side did finally grab an equaliser with 10 minutes to play. Ayo Tanimowo's cross was turned into his own net by Harvey Godsmark-Ford, who came on as a second-half substitute.

Brighton could have won it in stoppage time, when Cashman squared the ball to Weir, who opted to shoot first time and saw his effort drift wide of the post. Jenks was soon on the end of Romark Yapi's cross but Odunze spread himself well to snuff out the danger.

Then the final chance of the game came the way of Leicester as Mitch Clark got to the byline and fizzed the ball across the box, but no one was there to get on the end of it.

Major moment…

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Leicester City's Development Squad
Leicester City's Development Squad

The young Foxes secured a point via Kasey McAteer's first half header.

The opening goal, scored by Kasey McAteer just before the half hour mark, was a real confidence boost for the hosts and allowed them to play their passing game more freely after that. It ultimately proved to be crucial in earning the young Foxes a first point in five games.

Who impressed?

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Chituru Odunze
Chituru Odunze

Chituru Odunze made his first Development Squad appearance between the sticks against the Seagulls.

Debutant goalkeeper Chituru Odunze made the step up from the Under-18s and produced a commanding performance between the sticks. He was called into action early on and kept his focus deep in injury-time when Brighton looked to nick a winner. He was a calming influence on the backline and unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet.

Where does it leave us?

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Tyrese Shade
Tyrese Shade

Midfielder Tyrese Shade captained the side for the first time this season.

City's Development Squad move up to 11th in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table, on 16 points from 17 games played. 

Coming up…

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Jake Wakeling
Jake Wakeling

Forward Jake Wakeling went close to finding the net in the second half.

The young Foxes are back in Premier League 2 Division 1 action when they take Chelsea Under-23s at LCFC Training Ground on Monday 1 March (7pm GMT kick-off).

The details…

City: Odunze; Abdulai, Simpson, Clark, Dasilva; Shade (C) (Godsmark-Ford 67'), Hulme; McAteer, Russ (K. Pennant 84'), McKirdy (Braybrooke 58'); Wakeling.

Subs not used: Doherty, Ewing.

Goal: McAteer 28'.

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