Terell Pennant

City’s Development Squad Defeated In EFL Trophy Encounter

Leicester City’s Development Squad were beaten 5-0 by Accrington Stanley in their Papa John’s Trophy Group G clash at Wham Stadium on Tuesday.

The Foxes youngsters faced the Lancashire side in their second group game after defeat to Fleetwood Town in late August and came up against an experienced Sky Bet League 1 outfit.

Three changes were made to the starting XI that defeated Leeds United Under-23s on Friday, with Ben Nelson, Lewis Brunt and Thanawat Suengchitthawon coming in for Bayli Spencer-Adams, Sammy Braybrooke and Papy Mendy.

Reverting to a 5-3-2 formation, City fielded Tawanda Maswanhise and Ethan Fitzhugh as the front two, with the returning Suengchitthawon alongside Marcal-Madivadua in advanced midfield positions.

Leicester enjoyed some early possession in the opening exchanges without forcing Toby Savin into a save, while Stanley managed to get a shot away when Colby Bishop’s left-footed drive had to be diverted behind by Ronny Nelson.

Jovan Malcolm then weaved his way into a shooting position, firing wide of Brad Young’s left post, in another sign of the home side’s attacking potency within the first 15 minutes. And Accrington had the ball in the net soon after when Jack Nolan’s cross to Bishop was nodded into the corner - only for the offside flag to be raised.

Though Marcal-Madivadua saw a half volley land narrowly wide of the target, it was Accrington who seized the early advantage. Nolan’s floated cross from the left was met by Tommy Leigh to rise highest and head the ball back into the corner on 24 minutes.

After creating the opener for the hosts, Nolan laid the ball off to Malcolm, though his low effort was comfortable for Young to claim.

At the other end, Archie Proctor almost inexplicably handed Leicester an equaliser, playing a pass back to his ‘keeper Savin, who had come out himself to claim the ball. Fortunately for Accrington, the ball rolled back onto the post and out, rather than into the empty goal.

The Lancashire club’s League 1 quality was on show when Bishop used his strength to muscle his way into the box and Young had to spread himself to divert the ball behind. From the resulting corner, Accrington doubled their lead.

Nolan was involved yet again, curling an in-swinging corner that was met by Michael Nottingham to power home a decisive header and ensure Stanley would enter the break with a two-goal cushion.

Further chances followed before half-time, including when the ball dropped for Tom Scully to take aim from range and strike wide, while Nolan’s effort was straight into the arms of Young. Shane Flynn also managed to get a block in on John O’Sullivan’s shot and Bishop’s header was then turned behind in the final action of the half.

It was largely more of the same from the hosts in the second period. The lively Nolan fired a half volley into the side netting, though the Accrington wing-back would be more accurate with his next effort, hammering it into the near top corner.  

The fourth goal arrived from Leigh’s pinpoint cross, headed into the net by John O’Sullivan at the far post.

To their credit, City kept pressing and when McAteer created a pocket of space in the midfield, he threaded a ball through for Marcal-Madivadua down the left, before the midfielder cut inside and found the side netting.

Just after the hour mark, Accrington wrapped up the scoring courtesy of Malcolm’s driving run into the box, which was followed by an equally impressive finish from the Stanley midfielder.

Young was called upon again to hold Bishop’s header after also being kept busy by substitute Luke Stowe, while a free-kick was one of Leicester’s best openings in the second half, though Suengchitthawon fired over the bar from 25 yards out, ahead of Will Russ capitalising on Bishop’s loose header, though the angle was against him and he failed to trouble Savin.

Two substitutes combined for the home side as Matty Carson teed up former Foxes defender Mitch Clark on the volley, bringing another save from Young, ahead of the former Hartlepool stopper keeping Carson’s own effort out.

Bishop was unable to add to the tally late on in the contest, heading onto the roof of the net, but the points were already in the bag for the home side.

Major moment… 

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Tawanda Maswanhise
Tawanda Maswanhise

City's Development Squad failed to find the net for the first time this season.

With the score at 1-0, Accrington almost gifted the Foxes an equaliser, and had that gone in, it might have been a different story. But the home side were ruthless in the second half, demonstrating their quality in front of goal.

Where does it leave us?

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Shane Flynn
Shane Flynn

Shane Flynn looks to carry the ball forward for the visitors.

City’s Development Squad remain fourth in Group G following tonight’s results, which also included a 3-1 win for Fleetwood Town at AFC Barrow. The Foxes are now unable to qualify for the first knockout round.

Coming up… 

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Vontae Daley-Campbell
Vontae Daley-Campbell

Wing-back Vontae Daley-Campbell captained the Foxes youngsters at Wham Stadium.

Next up in Premier League 2 Division 1, the Foxes’ Development Squad travel to meet Manchester City Under-23s at Academy Stadium on Saturday 16 October (3pm BST kick-off).

The final Papa John’s Trophy group stage fixture sees City face Barrow on Tuesday 9 November (7:45pm GMT kick-off).

The details…

City: Young; Daley-Campbell (c), Brunt, B. Nelson, R. Nelson (Russ 46’), Flynn; McAteer, Suengchitthawon, Marcal-Madivadua; Maswanhise (T. Pennant 55’), Fitzhugh (Alves 55’).

Subs not used: Odunze, Hughes, Cover, Wormleighton.

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