Match Report: Cheltenham Town 6 Leicester City 1
- Leicester City suffered a 6-1 defeat to Cheltenham Town in round two of the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday 10 January
- Bartosz Kapustka scored early on for the Development Squad but a hat-trick by Diego De Girolamo set the tone for the hosts
- Daniel O'Shaughhnessy, Harry Pell and Amari Morgan-Smith strikes completed the scoreline at the LCI Rail Stadium
- City will be hoping to get back to winning ways against Chelsea at St George's Park in Premier League 2 on Friday afternoon
Leicester City’s Development Squad exited the Checkatrade Trophy in round two after suffering a 6-1 defeat by Cheltenham Town at the LCI Rail Stadium on Tuesday 10 January.
Bartosz Kapustka’s 10th minute strike cancelled out Diego De Girolamo’s early opener before Daniel O’Shaughnessy, Harry Pell and Amari Morgan-Smith efforts came in between two more goals from the Italian forward to ensure the Robins booked a third round tie with Bradford City.
Gary Johnson’s men had a goal disallowed inside five minutes when Danny Wright was adjudged by referee Brett Huxtable to have strayed offside before firing it past Ben Hamer in the City net.
They didn’t have to wait long to open the scoring, however, with De Girolamo receiving the ball from Jack Barthram at Hamer’s back post to convert from close-range in front of the travelling supporters.
Kapustka drew the Foxes level almost immediately, though, with a powerful strike inside the Cheltenham penalty area after a quick break from the restart in Gloucestershire.
After making his senior debut for Claudio Ranieri’s men at Everton in the FA Cup third round at the weekend, it capped off a productive week for the Poland international in a City shirt.
Steve Beaglehole’s men went looking for a second as the half progressed but it was the hosts who doubled their advantage when O’Shaughnessy riffled it in from 20 yards.
Hamer was then forced off through injury when he was the victim of a high boot in front of goal. Max Bramley was his replacement but he was unable to stop De Girolamo from scoring his second, and Cheltenham’s third, when the 21-year-old loan signing from Bristol City hit it on the volley from 22 yards out - after 34 minutes.
The Foxes came out after the restart with intent and they could have got back in it with Barnes firing just over within seconds of the referee’s whistle.
Beaglehole called upon Kairo Mitchell, too, to provide some extra firepower up front. But Cheltenham grabbed another just after the hour-mark.
Bramley made a fantastic save to tip James Rowe’s free-kick, from 20 yards, onto the post but Pell was on hand to seize upon the rebound and score the hosts’ fourth of the night.
Barnes went close again with 11 minutes remaining with a cross-turned-shot which almost lulled goalkeeper Calum Kitscha into a false sense of security, but it flew just wide of the far post.
More great work by Bramley, saving at point-blank range, soon followed. However, it went unrewarded as substitute Morgan-Smith ghosted into the area to slot it past the City shot-stopper after 80 minutes.
Barnes and Hamza Choudhury, who recently returned from a loan spell at Burton Albion, continued to work well in the middle for Beaglehole’s men but there was to be another goal for the Gloucestershire outfit.
With three minutes remaining, Cheltenham countered their guests with De Girolamo playing a neat one-two with Pell before sliding it past Bramley to add a gloss to the scoreline and complete his hat-trick.
A Premier League 2 encounter with Chelsea awaits on Friday afternoon (1.05pm kick-off) with City keen to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
CHELTENHAM: Kitscha, Barthram, Pell (c), Waters (Dayton 72), Wright (Munns 72), Boyle, Cranston, Rowe (Morgan-Smith 72), Onariase, O’Shaughnessy, De Girolamo.
SUBS NOT USED: Clayton, Downes, Parslow, Storer.
GOALS: De Girolamo 9, 36, 87, O'Shaughnessy 31, Pell 65, Morgan-Smith 79.
CITY: Hamer (c) (Bramley 32), Pascanu, Kipre (Mitchell 57), Johnson, Debayo (Wood 68), Barnes, Miles, Choudhury, Ndukwu, Kapustka, Muskwe.
SUBS NOT USED: Uche, Watts.
GOAL: Kapustka 10.
REFEREE: Brett Huxtable
ATTENDANCE: 1028 (77 away)
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