Sammy Braybrooke

Late PL2 Defeat For City's Youngsters In Brighton

Leicester City's Development Squad were denied a point on the road as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23s on Friday evening.

Travelling down to the south coast for the Premier League 2 Division 1 clash at AMEX Elite Football Performance Centre, the Foxes were full of confidence following their first win of the campaign earlier in the week.

Brighton, though, had been early pacesetters at the top of the table, so it was always going to be a tough assignment for the visiting Foxes.

There were three changes to the team that defeated Everton 3-1 on Monday, with goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk and defender Shane Flynn making their maiden starts of 2021/22, while Ethan Fitzhugh was also restored to the starting XI.

City stuck with the three-at-the-back formation but, in the absence of forward Jake Wakeling, adapted the system to play a diamond in the midfield.

The visitors pressed high from the first whistle and forced a mistake which could have led to a goal inside the opening 60 seconds. Thanawat Suengchitthawon’s corner came out for captain Vontae Daley-Campbell, who volleyed over the bar.

Tawanda Maswanhise soon showed his pace to drive past the Brighton defence but slid his low shot wide of the far post, in another sign of attacking intent from the away side.

Foxes goalkeeper Stolarczyk’s first involvement, meanwhile, was to keep out Lorent Tolaj and Jeremy Sarmiento in quick succession, making two fine stops to ensure the scores remained level.

Another Suengchitthawon corner then caused problems for the home side’s backline and centre-back Bayli Spencer-Adams was inches away from getting on the end of it.

Back at the other end, experienced forward Jürgen Locadia managed to get a shot away and Stolarczyk was there again to stop the Dutchman breaking the deadlock, as he was when Tolaj tried his luck inside the area.

City captain Daley-Campbell almost followed up his goal against Everton with a carbon copy, but this time a slight deflection moved the ball the wrong side of the far post, before Marcal-Madivadua’s cross flashed across the face of goal without a finishing touch.

With 10 minutes of first half action to play, Brighton made the breakthrough. James Furlong’s delightful cross from the left was met by Sarmiento, who applied a well-timed finish into the roof of the net, beating Stolarczyk at his near post.

The Foxes looked to respond when good build up play led to Maswanhise’s effort on the edge of the box, though it didn’t have the required power to trouble Dutch ‘keeper Kjell Scherpen.

Within a minute of the restart, Tolaj was provided with a golden chance to double the lead but, like Locadia’s strike a few minutes later, he could not beat Stolarcyzk.

Leicester’s own efforts were also off target, including Marcal-Madivadua dragging a shot wide, before a lightning quick break from the Seagulls ended with Cameron Peupion slashing an effort wide.

City, though, really started to apply pressure in the final 20 minutes. Daley-Campbell’s powerful strike was close to levelling things up, as was McAteer’s deflected effort - a sign that the away side were getting closer.

Marcal-Madivadua then showed brilliant feet to swivel and volley towards goal, though it was just too high. Albion were also indebted to Scherpen for two incredible diving stops. Ethan Fitzhugh and Will Russ both must have thought they had scored until his outstretched arm twice prevented seemingly certain goals.

The visitors finally equalised with five minutes of normal time to play. McAteer collected the ball from Russ and when his initial shot was saved, the wing-back was on hand to bundle it in at the second attempt.

A Leicester winner could have followed but Terell Pennant slipped at the vital moment, allowing the Seagulls to clear and launch their own final attack.

Antef Tsoungui’s looping header had to be tipped round the post by Stolarczyk and from the resulting corner, Andrew Moran flicked home from close range in the final minute of added time.

Major moment… 

Expand photo
Ronny Nelson
Ronny Nelson

Foxes defender Ronny Nelson battles to keep Lorent Tolaj at bay.

A point was the least Leicester deserved and when Kasey McAteer scored for the second time this term, they looked to have secured a hard-fought draw. After throwing everything at Albion in the last 20 minutes they will be ruing the hosts’ injury-time winner.

Who impressed?

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Tawanda Maswanhise
Tawanda Maswanhise

Tricky forward Tawanda Maswanhise was a bright spark for the visitors.

While it was very much a team performance, Tawanda Maswanhise became a constant threat for the Brighton defence throughout the contest, though he did not find the goal that his performance deserved.

Where does it leave us?

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Wanya Marcal-Madivadua
Wanya Marcal-Madivadua

Wanya Marcal-Madivadua was close to finding the net for the Foxes in the second half.

The Foxes youngsters end the day in ninth position in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table, having collected five points from their opening five games, while Brighton move level on points with Manchester City at the summit.

Coming up… 

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Sammy Braybrooke
Sammy Braybrooke

Sammy Braybrooke produced another accomplished display in the centre of City's midfield.

City are scheduled to meet Leeds United Under-23s in their next Premier League 2 fixture at King Power Stadium on Friday 1 October (7pm BST kick-off).

The details…

 

City: Stolarczyk; Daley-Campbell (c), Spencer-Adams, Flynn (Russ 65'), R. Nelson, McAteer; Braybrooke (T. Pennant 70'), Marcal-Madivadua, Suengchitthawon (Ewing 47'), Fitzhugh; Maswanhise.

Subs not used: Odunze, Wormleighton,

Goal: McAteer 85’.

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