Jake Wakeling

City's Under-23s Scintillating In Southampton Victory

Leicester City's Development Squad produced a stunning performance to beat Southampton B 7-1 and record their biggest win of the season at LCFC Training Ground on Monday evening.
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There were four changes from last Monday's 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s, as City shifted back to a 4-3-3 formation, with Shane Flynn, Sidnei Tavares and Thanawat Suengchitthawon re-introduced to the side.

It was a battle between the bottom two teams in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table and the hosts started the brighter as they looked to extend the gap back to Southampton to four points.

Suengchitthawon flicked the ball through for Flynn on the overlap early on and his cross towards Jake Wakeling fell nicely for Kasey McAteer, whose shot clipped the top of the goal frame.

Leicester continued to set the tempo throughout the opening exchanges but did not threaten Jack Bycroft in the opposing goal.

Southampton should have broken the deadlock themselves when Kazeem Olaigbe had time and space to pick his spot but fired wide of the far post.

The Saints winger had another opportunity midway through the first 45, this time seeing his driven shot deflected over the crossbar.

Back at the other end, Flynn's deep cross was met by Ben Nelson at the back post but Bycroft was able to hold on to his header.

Chances began to flow more freely as Jayden Smith took hold of possession inside the Leicester half, feeding Ramello Mitchell who curled the ball inches wide of target.

Suengchitthawon was then set away down the right and with Wakeling free in the middle looked to find the forward for a tap in but he was unable to get the crucial touch on the ball.

Wakeling would soon be amongst the goals, however, firing a first-time strike into the far corner after a quick one-two with Suengchitthawon to give City the lead.

Wakeling's second arrived three minutes later. Played in by Callum Hulme, he took a touch before smashing the ball past Bycroft.

Leicester were now the dominant force, ending the half strongly and could have even had a third if Hulme had connected better with his volley inside the area.

There was almost a first half hat-trick for Wakeling too when he nodded Flynn's cushioned header just wide, but it was the away side who would grab the third goal of the contest.

A corner deep into first half injury-time was headed towards goal by Allan Tchaptchet, forcing Jakub Stolarczyk into a smart reaction save, but he could only parry the ball into the path of Dare Olufunwa, who turned it into the net from close range.

City came out for the second period with the same energy and restored their two-goal cushion with a stunning third.

Sidnei Tavares scooped the ball over the Southampton backline and half-time substitute Tyrese Shade volleyed it into the roof of the net without breaking stride.

Shade was in the mood for more, making a mazy run into the box before Bycroft made a low stop to deny him.

And Leicester continued putting on the pressure when Vontae Daley-Campbell volleyed over from Wakeling's cross, before Hulme's long-range strike was held by the Southampton stopper. 

Shade then glanced a header onto the post from Hulme's in-swinging free-kick as the Foxes hunted more goals.

The home side broke away again with Leshabela and Shade involved, but when the latter's shot was blocked, it fell kindly for Suengchitthawon to nestle a first-time strike into the bottom corner.

Substitute Cole Dasilva soon scored a stunning fifth, volleying in from Hulme's corner after the ball landed on the edge of the 18-yard box.

Wakeling then grabbed his hat-trick when his shot deflected over the Saints 'keeper and into the back of the net, scoring his ninth league goal of the campaign in the process.

Shade rounded off the scoring late on, too, cutting inside onto his right and arrowing the ball into the far corner to cap off a superb night's work from the young Foxes.

Major moment…

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Jake Wakeling
Jake Wakeling

Jake Wakeling fired home the opener after 36 minutes at LCFC Training Ground.

With the home side two to the good just before the break, Southampton's goal looked to have given them a lifeline back into the contest. But Tyrese Shade's first goal, on 48 minutes, set the tone for the rest of the half and the stunning goal-laden performance that followed.

Who impressed?

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Jake Wakeling
Jake Wakeling

The forward celebrates his second goal of the evening.

Jake Wakeling's three goals were all well taken finishes, especially the first, which was hit with venom on his right foot. That takes the forward to nine for the season in Premier League 2 as he continues an impressive first season at the Club.

Where does it leave us?

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Shane Flynn
Shane Flynn

Full-back Shane Flynn returned to the squad after missing last week's fixture against Spurs.

Leicester are up to 11th in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table and back above West Ham United Under-23s on goal difference, with both teams on 20 points with three games remaining. 

Coming up…

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Sidnei Tavares
Sidnei Tavares

Sidnei Tavares looks to play the ball forward during an impressive first half from the Portuguese midfielder.

Arsenal are set to visit LCFC Training Ground for City's next Premier League 2 Division 1 fixture on Monday 26 April (7pm BST kick-off).

The details…

City: Stolarczyk (c); Daley-Campbell, Clark, Nelson (Dasilva 65'); Flynn; Hulme, Leshabela, Tavares; McAteer (Shade 46'), Suengchitthawon (Ewing 73'); Wakeling.

Subs not used: Odunze, O'Connor.

Goals: Wakeling 36', 39', 83', Shade 48', 86', Suengchitthawon 70', Dasilva 80'.

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