Thanawat Suengchitthawon

Sensational City Come From Behind To Defeat Everton Under-23s

Leicester City’s Development Squad recorded a third straight Premier League 2 victory, beating Everton Under-23s 2-1 in testing conditions at Haig Avenue on Friday evening.

City had also triumphed over the Toffees in Seagrave earlier this campaign and, after falling behind before the break, initiated a second-half turnaround to complete a league double over their Merseyside opponents.

Both teams came into the game in good form, with Everton on a seven-game unbeaten run in Premier League 2 Division 1 and Leicester winning their last two, including at leaders West Ham United last time out.

Four switches in the Foxes XI saw Jakub Stolarczyk, Vontae Daley-Campbell, Kasey McAteer and Josh Eppiah all drop out of the squad after securing loan moves away from the Club in January. They were replaced by Brad Young, Shane Flynn, Sammy Braybrooke and Thanawat Suengchitthawon.

The Thailand international played alongside Khanya Leshabela, with both positioned in behind Tawanda Maswanhise, who led the line as part of a 3-4-2-1 system from the visiting Foxes.

A mazy run from right wing-back Wanya Marcal-Madivadua led to the first attempt on goal of the game, though Harry Tyrer was equal to it.

The Toffees also looked purposeful in attack when Isaac Price exchanged a one-two with Francis Okoronkwo before unleashing a fierce left-footed strike that Young had to deal with.

Rhys Hughes then fed Elijah Campbell down the left and his cross was met by Stanley Mills, who fired in a low effort that Young managed to push away from danger, before Ryan Astley sent a glancing header wide from the resulting Hughes corner.

The free-flowing nature of the game continued inside the opening 20 minutes as neat build-up involving Leshabela, Suengchitthawon and Maswanhise led to the latter firing in a shot that came close to testing Tyrer, but was narrowly off target.

But it would be the home side that struck first, with Joe Anderson opening the deadlock, turning home Hughes’ free-kick on 23 minutes, though Leicester felt aggrieved not to have won a foul seconds earlier.  

A tame effort from Leshabela was comfortable for Tyrer to keep hold of as the visitors looked for a route back into the contest, while the home side remained dangerous in attack. When Hughes played the ball into Tom Cannon, his shot-on-the-turn tested Young, who held on to keep the deficit down to a single goal.

In the last action of the first half, Suengchitthawon took aim from a free-kick positioned just outside the penalty area but his effort curled over the crossbar.

After switching to a four-at-the-back formation at the interval, it was all Leicester in the opening minutes of the second period. Successive Oliver Ewing corners were met by skipper Lewis Brunt and Bayli Spencer-Adams, but Tyrer claimed both headers, before Ewing chested down Leshabela’s cross and volleyed wide of the near post.

That pressure paid off on 56 minutes as Maswanhise found the equaliser with a neat volley arrowed through the ‘keeper’s legs, after chesting down Spencer-Adams’ aerial ball forward.  

A double City switch saw Terell Pennant and Will Alves introduced for the final 20 minutes and the latter made an immediate impact, twisting and turning in the box before his blocked attempt came out to Marcal-Madivadua, who was inches away from finding the corner of the net.

The second goal did arrive, via another Ewing set piece. This time Spencer-Adams rose to meet the ball but it was Campbell who got the decisive touch, turning it into his own net, with Tyrer only able to watch on as it nestled into the bottom corner.

Looking for a third, Marcal-Madivadua found Pennant, who forced a close-range save from Tyrer, ahead of Marcal-Madivadua going for goal himself, only for the shot-stopper to beat away his attempt.

Another neat run from Alves led to his strike being saved too, though by then the points were already in the bag for the visiting Foxes.

Major moment…

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Thanawat Suengchitthawon
Thanawat Suengchitthawon

Thailand international Thanawat Suengchitthawon was in the starting XI for the first time in 2022.

The equalising goal was a moment of outstanding quality from Tawanda Maswanhise, taking control of the ball and precisely finishing to draw City level. It was his second Premier League 2 goal in as many games and set up the visitors to go on and claim all three points.

Who impressed?

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Bayli Spencer-Adams
Bayli Spencer-Adams

The centre-back was involved in both of Leicester’s goals during the second half.

Bayli Spencer-Adams was involved in both of the key moments, providing the assist for Tawanda Maswanhise’s composed finish, before putting pressure on Elijah Campbell as he turned the ball into his own net.

Where do we stand? 

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Khanya Leshabela
Khanya Leshabela

Midfielder Khanya Leshabela made his second successive start after also featuring at West Ham last week.

Following tonight’s results, Leicester’s youngsters move up to seventh in the Premier League 2 Division 1 standings, level on 25 points with fifth-place Crystal Palace and Manchester United in sixth.

Coming up... 

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Khanya Leshabela
Khanya Leshabela

It was a hard-fought victory for the young Foxes, who had to come from a goal down in Southport.

City’s Development Squad entertain Arsenal Under-23s at LCFC Training Ground on Monday 21 February (7pm GMT kick-off) in their latest Premier League 2 Division 1 encounter.

The details…

 

City: Young, B. Nelson (Wormleighton 78’), Brunt (C), Spencer-Adams; Marcal-Madivadua, Braybrooke, Ewing, Flynn; Suengchitthawon, Leshabela (T. Pennant 72’), Maswanhise (Alves 72’).

Subs not used: Odunze, Fitzhugh.

Goals: Maswanhise 56’, Campbell OG 77’.

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