Tawanda Maswanhise

Young Foxes Win On Final Day Of PL2 Season

Leicester City's Development Squad ended the Premier League 2 Division 1 season with a 2-0 win over Everton on Monday afternoon at Finch Farm.

A long and testing campaign came to a close for the Under-21s, who will be playing Premier League 2 Division 2 football next season. However, they managed to round off this campaign with a clean sheet and victory over the Toffees after goals in either half from Tawanda Maswanhise and Wanya Marcal-Madivadua.

Following a draw with the Red Devils, there were three changes to Monday's line-up, as Brad Young, Deniche Hill and Chris Popov were replaced by Chituru Odunze, Mirsad Ali and Kian Pennant, with one familiar name in the Everton camp, with England international Andros Townsend lining up for the hosts.

It was the Foxes who started the game brightly on Merseyside, and saw the first chance of the game 13 minutes in when Maswanhise had a right-footed shot on goal, which was claimed by Everton goalkeeper Zan Luk Leban.

The next opportunity within the game came for the home side, who had the chance from a free-kick on the edge of the box. Townsend stepped up, but the former Crystal Palace winger's effort was high and wide of the Leicester net.

Just over half-an-hour in, City broke the deadlock. Maswanhise, once again at the forefront of the action, was fouled in the box by Leban, and stepped up to convert from 12 yards, firing his penalty into the right-hand corner. 

Only five minutes later, Everton had their best chance of the half, when Jenson Metcalfe fired a powerful effort with his left foot towards goal, but the tall presence of goalkeeper Odunze was able to leap across and tip the ball over the bar, guiding the Foxes to a one-goal advantage at the break. 

The Foxes made one change at the interval which saw a trialist replaced with central defender Ben Grist as they transformed into a back three formation, however this didn't halt their attacking momentum and they increased their advantage 50 minutes in.

A low whipped-in corner from Marcal-Madivadua flew into the box and required no touch from the onrushing captain Lewis Brunt as the ball headed straight into the net, handing City's Under-21s a strong lead on the final day of the season. 

Over the next 10 minutes, the Foxes continued to stand firm, while looking to stretch their lead further. Striker Kian Pennant was providing a useful outlet in Popov's absence, but it was Everton to see the next sight of goal.

On the volley, Sean McAllister hit a looping effort towards City's net, but after a smart save from range in the first half, Odunze was there again to make the stop, before his defenders managed to clear any further danger from the follow-up. 

In the final 10 minutes, the young Foxes frustrated the home side, and limited them to few chances, but were willing to give vital chances themselves to youngsters on the bench such as striker Amani Richards, who scored 12 goals this season for the Under-18s. 

The forward was quickly into the action as he saw a chance five minutes from time, when a curling left-footed effort required a deflection from an Everton defender to turn the ball behind for a Leicester corner.

As the rain continued to pour, the referee brought an end to proceedings at Finch Farm. Leicester's Under-21s go into the summer with hope of return to the top league, after a promising display on Merseyside. 

Major moment – Maswanhise's penalty

Competitive throughout the first half, it was Tawanda Maswanhise's penalty which gave the young Foxes the lead and confidence to pick up a second through Wanya Marcal-Madivadua on their way to three points. 

Who impressed? – Tawanda Maswanhise

Tawanda Maswanhise was a constant threat down the lefth-and side, forcing numerous saves out of the Everton 'keeper, while also winning and converting a spot-kick to confirm victory for Leicester. A notable mention must be given to Chituru Odunze, who made several saves to earn the Under-21s a clean sheet.

Where do we stand? – 14th in PL2

The win sees City's youngsters end the 2022/23 campaign with a victory, however they will finish at the foot of the PL2 Division 1 table, and will play PL2 Division 2 football next season. 

The details...

City: Odunze; Wormleighton, Brunt, Godsmark-Ford, Ali (Hill 80'); Cover, B. Amartey; Marcal-Madivadua, Trialist (Grist 46'), Maswanhise (Lewis 90'); K. Pennant (Richards 80').

Sub not used: Young.

Goals: Maswanhise 34' (P), Marcal-Madivadua 50'.




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