Leicester City's Development Squad

Leicester's Under-23s Win Five-Goal Thriller In Seagrave

Leicester City’s Development Squad produced a scintillating first-half display to overcome Manchester United Under-23s 3-2 in Premier League 2 Division 1 on Monday.
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Four changes were made from the side beaten by Tottenham Hotspur before the international break as Joe Wormleighton, Sammy Braybrooke, Will Alves and Chris Popov all came into the side – the latter making his debut at this level after a goal-laden season in the Under-18s.

It was a lightning start from the Foxes at LCFC Training Ground, who came out of the blocks quickly to create an opening inside 60 seconds. Thanawat Suengchitthawon’s effort was sent wide of goal from outside the area, before Popov had an early sighter, curling a left-footed shot that had to be stopped by Andrej Mastny.

The visitors’ first attempt was fashioned by Alejandro Garnacho as he looked to beat Brad Young but flashed his shot just past the post.

City almost immediately went on the attack themselves and it was a move that led to the first goal. Suengchitthawon’s powerful strike was handled by Bjorn Hardley to prevent it heading on target and referee Aaron Jackson pointed straight to the spot.

Captain Lewis Brunt stepped up and calmly slotted the ball home from 12 yards, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way and finding the bottom corner to give Leicester the advantage on 17 minutes.

Ben Nelson came close to a second, striking the bar with a header from Braybrooke’s corner, before Khanya Leshabela played in Suengchitthawon, whose latest attempt was blocked in the box.

But Leicester did not have to wait too long to double their advantage. A neat move from front to back led to Wormleighton’s deep cross finding Wanya Marcal-Madiavdua at the back post and he cut inside onto his right foot, executing a precise finish into the far corner.  

Less than two minutes later, it was three, and another excellent strike, this time from Braybrooke. The midfielder started the move, winning back possession and driving forward, before Popov, Wormleighton and Leshabela were all involved, the latter laying the ball off for Braybrooke to send a first-time finish past Mastny.  

City weren’t about to sit back and Popov looked unfortunate not to turn Braybrooke’s corner home, before his free-kick was headed straight at the United shot-stopper by Brunt.

Man Utd also came into it at the end of the half, with Charlie Savage, son of former Foxes midfielder Robbie, shooting well over the crossbar from the edge of the area.

And the away side were handed a lifeline four minutes into the second half when Charlie Wellens’ strike cannoned back off the post, hitting the unfortunate Brunt before trickling over the line.

Popov saw two shots deflected wide as he continued to search for a goal of his own on his PL2 debut, but it was Man Utd who struck again with 20 minutes remaining.

Hannibal's shot deflected into the path of Shola Shoretire, who managed to acrobatically hook it past Young from close range and bring the visitors right back into contention.

The pressure was building when Hannibal was the creator again, cutting the ball back for Reds substitute Dan Gore, whose strike crashed off the crossbar, before Savage had an effort blocked.

Young then pulled off a smart diving save to deny Alejandro Garnacho from point-blank range and as the clock ticked into five added minutes, Gore headed wide from a corner.

The Foxes had surrendered a two-goal lead late on when the sides last met but they was to be no repeat this time around, with the Red Devils unable to find an equaliser. City could have even wrapped things up with a fourth, but Marcal-Madivadua dragged his shot wide from distance, though the points were in the bag.

Major moment…

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Lewis Brunt
Lewis Brunt

The skipper dispatched an early spot kick to set the Foxes up for a dominant first half.

It was very much a game of two halves, with Leicester dominating the first and scoring three goals, before the away side came back into the contest after the interval. The Foxes stood strong, though, and withstood significant pressure to earn the three points.

Who impressed?

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Sammy Braybrooke
Sammy Braybrooke

The England youth international celebrates with Khanya Leshabela after scoring the third goal.

Sammy Braybrooke was a key figure in ensuring that Leicester’s Under-23s got back to winning ways. His dangerous set pieces caused problems throughout and he rounded off City’s scoring with his first of the season.

Where do we stand? 

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Wanya Marcal-Madivadua
Wanya Marcal-Madivadua

Wanya Marcal-Madivadua now has six Premier League 2 goals to his name this term.

City remain eighth in the Premier League 2 Division 1 standings, increasing their tally to 31 points from 22 matches and moving level with seventh-placed Liverpool with a game in hand.

Coming up... 

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

The Foxes youngsters will play on Filbert Way twice later this month.

Back-to-back games at King Power Stadium follow for the Foxes’ Development Squad, facing Derby County on Friday 15 April (1pm kick-off) and then tackling Blackburn Rovers three days later (7pm kick-off).

The details...


City: Young, Brunt (c), B. Nelson, Flynn, Wormleighton, Braybrooke, Alves (Maswanhise 80’), Marcal-Madivadua, Leshabela, Suengchitthawon (Booth 73’), Popov (T. Pennant 83’).

Subs not used: Odunze, Godsmark-Ford.

Goals: Brunt (pen) 17’, Marcal-Madivadua 37’, Braybrooke 39’.

All times BST.

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