Tawanda Maswanhise

Leicester's Under-23s Beaten By Palace In PL2

Leicester City's Development Squad suffered their first loss of the Premier League 2 Division 1 season, defeated 6-1 by Crystal Palace Under-23s on Monday evening.

Playing at LCFC Training Ground for the first time this season, the Foxes made two changes from the clash with Fleetwood Town in the Papa John’s Trophy two weeks ago, with Oliver Ewing and Sammy Braybrooke coming in for Callum Hulme and Ethan Fitzhugh.  

City shaped up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Tawanda Maswanhise, who scored the equaliser against Blackburn Rovers Under-23s in the team’s previous PL2 encounter, and Kasey McAteer on either flank, supporting Jake Wakeling.

The hosts started on the front foot and Maswanhise went close to opening the scoring, shifting the ball onto his left foot and seeing an effort flash narrowly past the post.

That bright start was stopped in its tracks when centre back Lewis Brunt was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Reece Hannam. The away side were soon in the ascendency and, from Jesurun Rak-Sakyi’s low cross, Hannam was inches away from breaking the deadlock.  

Sean Robertson then played in Michael Olise and, although the former Reading winger’s shot was well saved by Brad Young, David Omilabu was on hand to pounce on the rebound and make it 1-0 on 10 minutes.

Rak-Sakyi continued to cause problems for 10-man City, creating the second goal two minutes later with a low ball across the box that Rob Street was able to turn into the back of the net.

City’s’ keeper was soon called up again to keep out Hannam after Olise found his team-mate in space, before Young also parried away Robertson’s driven shot, which was heading for the top corner.

After that period of pressure, Vontae Daley-Campbell headed wide from Braybrooke’s floated free-kick in a rare foray forward for the hosts. Back at the other end, Rak-Sakyi should have added a goal of his own when he cut inside and only had Young to beat, but managed to drag his shot wide.

In the 38th minute, City fell further behind as Omilabu calmly slotted the ball past Young for his brace and went close to a hat-trick when his shot came back off the post and straight into the path of Rak-Sakyi to tap home.

Olise then tried his luck twice either side of half-time, whipping a free-kick wide of target and then carrying the ball forward before his strike was deflected wide. The fifth goal arrived four minutes into the second period, courtesy of Street, who turned in Olise’s cross with a smart first-time finish.

Rak-Sakyi then added his second and Palace’s sixth shortly before the hour mark, getting on the end of another cross from Robertson.

Omilabu searched for more, shooting narrowly wide, while substitute Jack Roles curled an effort over the bar, but to their credit, City never stopped working and after McAteer had two shots blocked, they found a consolation goal with 14 minutes to play.

Wanya Marcal-Madivadua, on as a half-time substitute, drove forward and struck his left-footed effort into the bottom corner and almost found a second when good work from Wakeling sent the winger free, but he hit his second attempt high and wide.

Major moment… 

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Vontae Daley-Campbell
Vontae Daley-Campbell

The hosts were on the front foot early on in the contest.

Following a promising start, Lewis Brunt’s early red card, which came inside four minutes at LCFC Training Ground, completely changed the complexion of the contest and allowed the visitors to make their player advantage count with several goals before the break.

Where does it leave us?

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Kasey McAteer
Kasey McAteer

It was a difficult night for City's youngsters against the Eagles.

City’s Development Squad sit 13th in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table, having collected two points from the opening three games of the 2021/22 campaign.

Coming up… 

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Jake Wakeling
Jake Wakeling

The Foxes will look to bounce back when they return to Premier League 2 action next week.

It’s Everton Under-23s up next for the Foxes in Premier League 2 on Monday 20 September (7pm BST kick-off) at LCFC Training Ground.

The details…

City: Young; Daley-Campbell (c), Brunt (s/o 4'), R. Nelson, Hughes (Wormleighton 45'); Braybrooke, Ewing (Marcal-Madivadua 46'); Maswanhise, Suengchitthawon (Fitzhugh 65'), McAteer; Wakeling.

Subs not used: Chibueze, T. Pennant.

Goal: Marcal-Madivadua 76’.

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