U21s Report: City 2 Stoke 1

Jeff Schlupp was at the double for Leicester City Under-21s on Monday night as his brace of goals helped them secure a last minute victory over Stoke City at King Power Stadium.

Zoumana Bakayogo, as well as young striker Tom Hopper, featured in the latest match of the Future Foxes series, and it took just six minutes for Steve Beaglehole’s side to take the lead.

Schlupp raced onto Hopper’s flick-on and fired past the goalkeeper in a first half that belonged to the Foxes.

After the break James Alabi pulled the visitors level with an opportunistic strike from close range, but it was Schlupp who would have the final say with a powerful finish into the roof of the net after a scramble in the box to seal it.

Looking for their first win of the campaign since opening day, the Foxes came flying out of the blocks, and after Michael Cain had tested Daniel Buchmann with an effort from range, Schlupp put Steve Beaglehole’s men in front with a fine finish.

Hopper rose highest to nod the ball down into the path of Schlupp, and the striker’s pace took him clear of the Stoke back line before he slotted calmly past the goalkeeper.

The front two were combining well, and Hopper himself could have had two goals by the 20-minute mark – first he headed wide from Cain’s short corner, and then had a low drive saved after cutting inside on his right foot.

It was a highly competitive and entertaining fixture in front of the fans at King Power Stadium, and one that City were having the better of.

Hopper again was at the heart of the City threat, but when he flicked on Cain’s left wing cross, Bachmann was equal to it.

At the other end Kevin Gomez and Brek Shea both tried their luck from range, but neither efforts were good enough to beat Adam Smith in the City goal.

After Schlupp’s early heroics for the Foxes, the game became much tighter, but the same player did have a chance to send his side in 2-0 up at the break – a loose ball dropping to him in the box only for a difficult volley to fly a foot or so wide of the post.

Shea went close for Stoke in the second half, but it was the Foxes who were looking the most likely to grab the next goal, and they almost did shortly after the hour when Cain struck a thunderous volley from inside the area that was somehow kept out by Bachmann.

Big Stoke striker Alibi then almost took advantage of a City defensive error with a fine shot from the right, but Smith got fingertips to the ball and diverted it out for a corner with 20 minutes to play.

The visitors were to take their next chance though, when Shea’s far post header looped up and into the path of Alabi, who was in space inside the six yard box, and able to prod the ball home for 1-1.

But after a scrappy spell, City roared back into life to seal the victory in the final minute of the match.

George Taft swung in a left footed cross from the right, which was flicked on by Hopper into the path of substitute Panayiotou. His effort was cleared off the line, as was Bakayogo’s, but Schlupp made no mistake with an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.

City:Smith, Watson, Bakayogo, McCourt, Sesay (c), Taft, Cain, Paratore (Panayiotou 75), Schlupp, Hopper, Dodoo (Dawson 84)

Subs not used:Frempah, Sharpe, Anton

Goals:Schlupp 6, 90

Stoke:Bachmann, Wheeler, Gomez, Edu, O’Reilly (Grant 80), Keane (c), Thomas, Ness, Alabi, Rossi, Shea

Subs not used:Eve, Natkins, Ward, Barrington

Goal:Alabi 76

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