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Blues U21s 0 Leicester City U21s 3

Posted: Mon 08 Apr 2013
Author: Andy Walker
Reece Hales

Reece Hales was forced off through injury in the 17th minute.

Image by: Neil Plumb

Blues U21s were well-beaten by an experienced Leicester City side at St. Andrew's.

A Paul Gallagher brace and a late Jacob Blyth header sealed victory for the Foxes which, alongside Derby being held to a goalless draw at Coventry, saw them clinch top spot in this season's U21 Professional Development League 2 North.

Richard Beale was only able to field one over-aged player in centre-back Pablo Ibanez, while Leicester named first-team trio Gallagher, Richie Wellens and Martyn Waghorn in their side. Blues were also running the rule over on-trial striker Dominic Dell.

The opening half-an-hour was largely uneventful with Blues' Viv Solomon-Otabor carving out the only real opportunity of note in the 13th minute when the winger picked up a loose pass, charged into the area and fired a low shot just wide.

Blues were forced into a change in the 17th minute when striker Reece Hales hobbled off to be replaced by Liam Truslove.

Gallagher ensured the game came to life in the 35th minute when he found the top corner with a screamer from 30 yards. And the one-cap Scotland international didn't have to wait long for his or Leicester's second. In the 41st minute, Wellens' cross from the left was met by a glancing header from Gallagher that crept in at the far post.

Blues did manage to create chances of their own after the break. Dell had the ball in the Leicester net in the 53rd minute when he coolly tucked home a rebounded Amari'i Bell shot but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Waghorn should have made it 3-0 on the hour mark when he read Wellens' quickly-taken free-kick to race through on goal only to fire over.

At the opposite end, Charlee Adams blasted an 18-yard shot over but it was Leicester who were already looking clear winners.

Waghorn rattled the crossbar with a free-kick from 18 yards in the 74th minute before Blues goalkeeper Callum Preston denied Gallagher with a great save two minutes later and Jack Deaman followed up with a goal-line clearance from Wellens' shot.

Further chances arrived for Blues, skipper Olly Lee had a low drive kept out by Adam Smith while a combination of Demarai Gray and Eddy Gnahore almost forced the ball home from close range, but Leicester finished their opponents off in the 88th minute.

Foxes substitutes combined as Harry Panayiotou's cross from the right picked out the head of Blyth to wrap up the result.

Blues U21s: Callum Preston; Ryan Higgins, Pablo Ibanez (Graham Hutchison H/T), Jack Deaman, Amari'i Bell; Charlee Adams (Demarai Gray 72)    1`2, Olly Lee (C), Eddy Gnahore, Viv Solomon-Oatabor; Reece Hales (Liam Truslove 17), Dominic Dell.
Subs not used: Connal Trueman, Reece Brown.

Leicester City U21s: Adam Smith, Jamie Anton, Callum Elder, Connor Clifford, Alie Sesay, George Taft, Paul Gallagher, Richie Wellens, Tom Hopper (Jacob Blyth 62), Martyn Waghorn, Joe Dodoo (Harry Panayiotou 68).
Subs not used: Karlton Watson, Josh Smith, Michael Cain.