Win required to clinch play off spot
Barclays Premier Reserve League
Wednesday 23rd April 2014
City: Lawlor, Bossaerts, Leigh, Facey(Tasende), Plummer, Glendon, Fofana, Ntcham, Hiwula, Bytyqi, Cole(Bryan)
Goals: Cole, Ntcham
Unused: O'Brien (GK),Byrne, Ambrose,
Both teams had already qualified for the new divisional set up for next season, but either side had a purpose to seek victory in this fixture. The home side were aiming to continue their unbeaten run which stretched back over seven games(six wins & draw) whilst City sought to bounce back from the Premier League Final defeat to Reading and capture the three points they required to ensure an almost certain(subject to the Reading v Manchester United game tomorrow) place in the top four of the league and a place in the end of season play offs.
As the rain lashed down,City made a bright start to the game and in the opening minutes had a shout for a penalty when Greg Leigh was brought down in a challenge in the box, but nothing was given. Sinan Bytyqi then hit a well-struck free-kick from 25 yards but Leicester keeper Adam Smith was in position to pat it down and gather it in. The young Blues continued their early pressure and an excellent cross by Leigh was inches away from the head of Hiwula and ran through to Bytyqi who was unable to get his shot off. A last ditch tackle at the other end of the pitch from Ellis Plummer stopped the Leicester player Tom Hopper from having a clear run through on goal.
City finally broke the deadlock with a goal out of nothing on 29 minutes,when Devante Cole broke away, ignoring appeals for offside , drifting in from the left he fired a twenty yard drive into the opposite corner for his sixteenth goal of the season.
The Leicester player Hopper then had another threat on the City goal and should have scored but for a great stop from Ian Lawlor and City counter attacked and could of had a second goal of the night when Bytyqi's cross found Cole at the back post but he somehow missed from close range.
City continued their pressure in the opening stages of the second half and Smith in the Leicester goal produced a superb save to deny the lively Austrian, Bytyqi a certain goal and give City the cushion their play deserved, that soon arrived minutes later when Ntcham swivelled on the edge of the box and fired into the bottom corner, for his debut goal at this level, however Leicester were not giving in yet and halved the defecit with a goal from Hopper who was on hand to tap home from six yards out, after Jacob Blyth headed a Michael Cain free kick back into the path of the academy product who had recently been training with Leicester' first team.
As to be expected ,after such frantic goal action the game became a little bit fragmented, with lots of silly little breaks in play for various reasons, but City looked to continue to be solid and protect their lead but six minutes from time Sean St Ledger, at 29 years old playing for the under 21 side as the rules allow headed home a corner to level things, two minutes from time Hopper was on the score sheet again to give the home side the lead
Defeat means that City must win their last game of the season at home to Aston Villa, to join Chelsea, Liverpool and either Manchester United or Fulham in the end of season play offs.Lets hope they dont let it slip through their grasp
Posted in EDS Match Reports by Gavin Cooper/Andrew Waldon.