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Match Reports

REPORT: TOWN 1-1 LEICESTER

16 September 2017

The John Smiths Stadium faithful were in for a treat as Town and Leicester City shared the spoils whilst playing out an entertaining 1-1 draw.

David Wagner made three changes ahead of the visit of the Foxes. Abdelhamid Sabiri and Laurent Depoitre made their first respective Premier League starts, replacing Rajiv van La Parra and Steve Mounié (missing through injury). Danny Williams taking the place of Philip Billing completed the starting eleven's adjustments following Monday's defeat to West Ham United.

Town spent large quantities of the first period camped in the visitor's half; Belgian striker Depoitre initiated the Terriers' sustained patch of pressure by heading comfortably into the arms of Jonas Lössl's Danish counterpart, Kasper Schmeichel.

Depoitre continued to use his large physical frame to his and Town's advantage, this time by leaping highest to out-jump recent England squad member Harry Maguire. The resulting success of that particular aerial duel saw Abdelhamid Sabiri pick up the loose ball and roll wide to a waiting Tom Ince- who in turn saw his powerful effort heroically blocked by Danny Simpson.

The tide of home attacks continued to flow, as Chris Löwe surged forward before whipping a teasing cross towards the barnstorming Abdelhamid Sabiri at the near post. Town's summer recruit from FC Nurnberg missed with a connecting header by a matter of inches, with the cross eventually trickling past every player congregated in the Foxes' penalty area.

Town were evidently out to avenge the previous outing's defeat from the off; and the foot was firmly on the accelarator in search of the elusive opener as Danny Williams rounded off a passage of neat interchanges to fire harmlessly wide of the away goal.

Aaron Mooy's cross looped over the head of Tommy Smith at the far stick, before Laurent Depoitre couldn't quite reach Tom Ince's bending delivery from the left-hand side towards the penalty spot.

Leicester's opening half-chance of the contest arrived through Kelechi Iheanacho; the Nigerian rode the challenge of Danny Williams with impressive strength before unleashing a strike towards goal, but Tommy Smith recovered superbly to throw his body in the way to block off the intended route.

Aaron Mooy was continuing to be his industrious self; consistent accurate deliveries into the danger areas posed questions for the Leicester defence, as Christopher Schindler saw his glancing header turned away at a vital moment.

Schindler would then turn his attentions to replicating solid defensive work which has been a shining light within the opening weeks of the campaign. Kelechi Iheanacho's sharp change of pace on the edge of the Town area worked some space to advance into, but the German's positioning was again top class to cover round and clear the lines.

The tempo of the match seemed to deteriorate as both sides would cancel each other out in terms of stemming offensive manoeuvres from the deep areas, and it was Elias Kachunga who would reignite the spark to set the game alight as a positive, pacey run down the right resulted in Tommy Smith cutting the ball back from the by-line, but Laurent Depoitre's dummy failed to be capitalised on by any blue and white shirt in the vicinity.

Craig Shakespeare's Foxes finished the half with intent; firstly Iheanacho's shot on the turn was blocked by a resilient Aaron Mooy, before Jamie Vardy could only thump a volley wide of the target after Wes Morgan had done well to rise and flick the ball forward.

Many supporters would only have been returning to their seats following the interval when Town eventually made a telling amount of pressure count, as just 40 seconds into the second period, as the impressive Depoitre showed magnificent strength to hold off and roll his marker Harry Maguire before slotting calmly into the far corner past a sprawling Schmeichel to give the Terriers what arguably would have been a more than deserved advantage.

That lead would only last a matter of minutes, nonetheless, as Jamie Vardy brought Leicester back on level terms from the penalty spot after Chris Löwe was adjudged to have illegally brought down Andy King. The Foxes could well have equalised just seconds before that defining moment, as Kelechi Iheanacho latched onto Riyad Mahrez's cultured flick, but witnessed his resulting dinked effort scrambled hesitantly off the line by the determined Mathias Zanka.

One of four Danish Internationals included in either side's match-day squad, Zanka would be marginally denied from regaining the Town lead in response to Vardy's penalty finish, as the central defender showed a striker's touch to fire an effort on the half-turn which caused Schmeichel to tip over the cross-bar; all coming from Aaron Mooy's tenacity to win the ball back and deliver an accurate pass to the lurking Zanka who had positioned himself dangerously on the edge of the visitor's 18-yard box.

That man Zanka would again have a considerable involvement on the hour mark, as his reactive shot following a clearance was nodded into the empty net by the highly agile Elias Kachunga. However, the Terriers' joy would be disappointingly premature, as the linesman's flag on the far side was raised to deny the Congolese winger from nudging David Wagner's outfit back in-front.

Chances would then come and go in the blink eye for both Clubs; firstly Danny Williams flashed wide from distance for Town, before England striker Jamie Vardy somehow failed to connect with Riyad Mahrez's fizzed pass across the face of goal following a creative bit of skill to free up some space and produce a delivery.

Demarai Gray's introduction had injected extra pace down the Leicester left, and it wouldn't take long for the former Birmingham man to provide evidence of his quickness by surging towards the Town area with pace following an intricate through ball, but Zanka would again cover important ground to make the block which denied any black shirt to be able to muster a threatening attempt.

Tom Ince curled a delightful effort inches wide of the post having received possession in the number 10 role behind the tireless looming figure of Depoitre, before yet another Mooy cross caused headaches- which ex-Town loanee Ben Chilwell cleared at a crucial moment to ensure Collin Quaner's sneaky route round the back failed to materialise.

Substitute Quaner would round off the Terriers' chances by this time prodding wide from a typically delicate Aaron Mooy centre, before one of Leicester's own replacements, Islam Slimani, blasted high and wide deep into injury time ensuring both Clubs gained a creditable point.

The Club and it's supporters would also have been buoyed by the return of Jonathan Hogg, who took to the field as a second-half substitute on his come-back from a lengthy injury lay-off.

TOWN'S STARING LINE-UP (4-2-3-1):
Jonas Lössl; Chris Löwe, Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka, Tommy Smith (c); Danny Williams, Aaron Mooy; Tom Ince, Abdelhamid Sabiri (Jonathan Hogg, 82'), Elias Kachunga (Collin Quaner, 73'); Laurent Depoitre (Rajiv van La Parra, 90')

UNUSED SUBS:
Joel Coleman, Scott Malone, Philip Billing, Michael Hefele

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