Report: Ilkeston 0 LCFC XI 0

A Leicester City XI battled to an entertaining goalless draw at Ilkeston’s New Manor Ground on Saturday in a match that saw a number of impressive performances from the young Foxes side.

Harry Panayiotou, Joe Dodoo and Michael Cain all had great chances to win it in either half for City, but a solid display from home goalkeeper Rob Peet made sure the game ended all-square.

Centre back George Taft captained The Foxes, who went with a squad of development group players for the fixture as they warmed up for the Barclays U21 Premier League opener against Middlesbrough next month.

It was a bright start to the match from both sides, with Dodoo almost sending Panayiotou in on goal for City, while Ilkeston captain Laurie Wilson fired over from a free kick in a promising position.

Ilkeston’s Danny Gordon then had the best early chance of the game in the 23rd minute when he found himself with the ball 20 yards out, but with the goal at his mercy he curled a right-footed shot well wide.

The Foxes responded after the 30 minute mark, and it was Cain who was the driving force – finding Jacob Blyth with a free kick and then forcing a impressive save from Ilkeston ‘keeper Rob Peet moments later.

A string of set pieces followed for City, who were still left frustrated by their hosts despite a powerful header from Taft and an instinctive bicycle kick from Panayiotou that Peet saved acrobatically.

There was still time for Ilkeston to have one last effort before the break though as Kane Richards pulled the trigger from the left hand side, only to be denied the opener by a superb headed clearance from Jamie Anton.

After the break it was the hosts who enjoyed the better of the early exchanges as Kane Richards enjoyed plenty of space on the right while Callum Chettle drilled low a powerful low effort narrowly wide of Adam Smith’s goal.

City substitute Pierre Larrauri, who was introduced for Blyth at the break, was in the thick of the action on the left on the hour mark and put in a sublime ball for Rob Paratore at the far post, only for it to be taken off his toes.

The game was certainly in need of a goal, and when Larrauri’s appeals for a penalty were waved away, Ilkeston attacked through Kane Richards. However the youngster’s right-footed shot was curled high and wide.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes, City’s fitness began to tell and they enjoyed an extended spell of pressure that saw Dodoo have arguably the best chance of the half. The attacker picked up Cain’s pass to drill at low effort at goal that was saved brilliantly by Peet.

Despite the friendly status of the match, there was a real desire to secure the victory from both sides as they exchanged late blows. First Cain weaved his way into the Ilkeston box only to be denied by Peet, while Kane Richards’ shot was stopped comfortably by Smith to ensure a 0-0 draw.

Ilkeston: Peet, Cullingwood, R. Wilson, L. Wilson, Barker, Craven, Chettle, Gordon, Garnett, K. Richards, M. Richards

Subs: Wright, Reid, Mahon, Mistra, Burrows, Swift, Arim, Yeomans

City: Smith, Paratore, Anton, Taft, Casey, Hendrie (King 60), Cain, McCourt, Dodoo, Panayiotou, Blyth (Larrauri 46)

Subs not used: Sharpe (GK), Ngoma

Attendance: 452


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