Callum Hulme

City's Youngsters Fall To Fleetwood Defeat In EFL Trophy Opener

Leicester City's Development Squad were beaten 4-1 by Fleetwood Town in Tuesday evening’s Papa John’s Trophy group stage encounter at Highbury Stadium.

The Foxes made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers Under-23s in Premier League 2 Division 1 on Friday with Thanawat Suengchitthawon and Ethan Fitzhugh replacing Will Alves and Sammy Braybrooke.

The visitors shaped up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for the Northern Group G encounter, but were dealt an early blow as the hosts got off to the perfect start. Callum Morton showed his goalscoring instincts, capitalising on a stray pass and rounding Brad Young before slotting the ball into an empty net after just six minutes.

City gradually settled into the game and Lewis Brunt, forward from the back, tried his luck from just outside the area, but his effort was off target, failing to trouble Billy Crellin in the Fleetwood goal.

Back at the other end, the home side remained a threat and Young had to be out sharply twice in quick succession to pounce on the ball ahead of Anthony Pilkington and, soon after, Morton. Ryan Edmonson then headed over Pilkington’s pinpoint free-kick as Town tried to deploy their set piece qualities.

In a free-flowing encounter, Tawanda Maswanhise used his pace to move his side up the pitch and find Lestyn Hughes on the overlap, but former Fox Darnell Johnson got a vital block in to stop his cross and deny City creating a clear-cut opportunity.

Fleetwood were also dangerous from open play, demonstrated by a thunderous long-range strike from Jay Matete that crashed back off the crossbar, before Pilkington tried to place the follow up into the corner and dragged it wide of target.

The crossbar was rattling once more as Morton took aim searching for his second of the night, beating Young but seeing his strike skim the upright and sail over the bar.

The forward would have his and Fleetwood’s second with three minutes of the half to play. Collecting the ball before reaching the 18-yard box, he took a touch before sliding it into the corner with his left boot.

There were signs of a Foxes revival when Jake Wakeling broke free and fired a low shot at goal but saw it glance wide of the far corner in the final action of a lively first 45 minutes.

City were made to pay for that miss immediately after the break as Morton grabbed his hat-trick, with a glancing header from Matete’s cut back.

Fleetwood were threatening to run away with proceedings from there on, as Pilkington’s free-kick, which James Hill nodded wide, preceded the winger having two shots of his own that failed to find the target.

It became four courtesy of Edmonson, who met Max Clark’s cross and diverted it past Young on the hour mark, further extending the advantage.

The away side continued to give their all, though, and Callum Hulme tested Crellin with a long range drive, before the elusive goal finally arrived with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Wakeling expertly turned home Vontae Daley-Campbell’s cross with a deft flick, sparking a period of sustained Leicester pressure.

Maswanhise drove wide and Hulme’s free-kick was headed into Crellin’s arms by Ronny Nelson, as City continued to push late on, but it would be Fleetwood who took all three group stage points.

Major moment…

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Thanawat Suengchitthawon
Thanawat Suengchitthawon

Thanawat Suengchitthawon returned to the starting XI after missing the opening two games of the season through injury.

It was always going to be a tough clash against Sky Bet League 1 opposition, but if City had been able to emerge for the second half with only a single goal deficit to overturn, there was always a chance of a comeback.

Callum Morton’s second goal, coming just before the interval, put pay to any hopes of the Foxes taking anything from the game, and he later added his third to seal three points for the hosts.

Who impressed?

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Jake Wakeling
Jake Wakeling

Jake Wakeling grabbed City's only goal in the second half.

On a difficult night for City’s Development Squad, Jake Wakeling’s tireless running as a lone forward was constant throughout and although it did not affect the result, his late goal was a small reward for his and the team’s efforts across the 90 minutes.

Where does it leave us?

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Tawanda Maswanhise
Tawanda Maswanhise

Winger Tawanda Maswanhise was a threat during the second half.

City’s are fourth in the Papa John’s Trophy Northern Group G table after matchday one, with Fleetwood topping the group, followed by Accrington Stanley and Barrow AFC, who played out a 2-2 draw in the other fixture in this pool.

Coming up…

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

The Foxes are back in Premier League 2 Division 1 action after the international break.

Leicester City’s Development Squad return to Premier League 2 Division 1 action on Monday 13 September, entertaining Crystal Palace Under-23s at LCFC Training Ground (7pm kick-off).

The team’s next Papa John’s Trophy fixture, meanwhile, sees them travel to face Accrington Stanley at Wham Stadium on Tuesday 5 October (7:45pm kick-off).

The details…

City: Young; Daley-Campbell (c), Brunt, R. Nelson, Hughes; Hulme, McAteer (T. Pennant 71'); Fitzhugh (Godsmark-Ford 45'), Suengchitthawon (Alves 77'), Maswanhise (Marcal-Madivadua 81'); Wakeling.

Subs not used: Odunze, Wormleighton, Booth.

Goal: Wakeling 76’.

All times BST.

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