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Match Reports


1 January 2024

Match Reports


1 January 2024

Defeat on the road against the league leaders

- Leicester City 4-1 Huddersfield Town
- Foxes pull away in the second half
- Michał Helik scores a second half consolation

Town were defeated in the first game of 2024 by league leaders Leicester City at their King Power Stadium, who put the game to bed through three second half goals.

There was only a goal in it at the interval, but a second for Leicester inside 90 second half seconds set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

Although a seventh of the season from Michał Helik gave feint hopes of a late rally at 3-1, it wasn’t to be.

Darren Moore made two changes to the side that performed well despite defeat to Middlesbrough last time out. One was through choice, with Lee Nicholls returning from injury to replace Jacob Chapman in goal, whilst the other was enforced, with Jonathan Hogg unwell and replaced by Rarmani Edmonds-Green.

As expected against the league leaders, Town had to be very organised in defence in the face of possession for Leicester. However, they showed signs on the break as they have done consistently over recent weeks thanks to the front two of Sorba Thomas and Josh Koroma.

As early as the third minute, Jack Rudoni played the ball low into the area for Koroma, who lobbed it over the goalkeeper towards the back post. Only Ricardo Pereira’s volleyed clearance prevented Thomas from slotting it home.

At the other end, a ball over the top from big defender Jannik Vestergaard was only inches ahead of Pereira’s run, who had ghosted into the box off the shoulder of Tom Lees.

Town attacked again in the eighth minute with Edmonds-Green releasing Thomas into space down our left with a good pass. He tried to square the ball low to Koroma in the area, with the ball blocked by a defender to the edge of the box. Up stepped Ben Wiles, but he could only volley over with his left as the ball bounced awkwardly.

Town defended the box well but were dealt a blow on the half hour when Jaheim Headley suffered an ankle injury when fouled by Cesare Casadei. He tried to continue after treatment but couldn’t continue soon after and was replaced by 20-year-old Frenchman Loick Ayina. It was the third game running that Moore was forced into a first half change due to an injury or illness.

Five minutes from the interval, the Foxes took the lead. A cross from our left from James Justin was pushed back into the path of striker Tom Cannon by Pereira’s outstretched leg and the former Everton man let fly with a powerful snapshot that flew low between Nicholls’ dive and his right-hand post.

Nicholls had one more piece of action before the interval, comfortably collecting a shot from out wide by winger Abdul Fatawu.

Sadly, just as happened at Norwich City in December, Leicester scored their all-important second in quick fashion after the half time break. Leicester took kick-off and worked the ball around the pitch before Justin looped a cross towards the back post, where Pereira headed it across Nicholls and inside the far post.

Yunus shot wide before Ayina had to divert Fatawu’s goal-bound effort wide, and then Cannon had a second disallowed for offside from the resulting set piece.

Rudoni headed wide at the near post after a decent move and good cross from Sorba Thomas, but then Leicester netted a third when Cannon raced unmarked through the centre of the pitch onto Winks’ through pass, shrugged off the last-ditch challenge from Lees and placed the ball past Nicholls.

Town’s goal came soon after in the 63rd minute after Kasumu had a good shot turned around the post by Leicester goalkeeper Hermansen. Thomas’ deep corner found Lees and although his shot was blocked, the ball fell to Helik, and he diverted it into the roof of the net.

That spurred Town on for 10 minutes. Wiles soon saw a shot deflected wide after good work from Thomas led to a pull back from Rudoni.

Ayina then won possession for his side and set Thomas away on the counter, who combined well with Rudoni and Nakayama to find Koroma with a pass on the edge of the box. He stepped onto his right and tried to bend the ball into the bottom corner, but Hermansen did well again to tip the ball wide.

Despite that passage of play, it was the host who scored the game’s final goal when Ayina fouled Mavididi on the right edge of our area, from which the winger managed to fire the free kick past the defensive wall and inside Nicholls’ near post.

Town’s final effort of note saw Thomas beat two defenders on our left before finding Koroma with a pass on the edge of the area. He used Diarra’s overlap as a decoy and let fly, rattling the crossbar from 20 yards out.

Town’s team (3-5-2)
Lee Nicholls; Tom Lees, Michał Helik (c), Yuta Nakayama; David Kasumu, Ben Wiles (Brahima Diarra, 79’), Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Jack Rudoni, Jaheim Headley (Loick Ayina, 37’); Josh Koroma, Sorba Thomas

Unused substitutes
Jacob Chapman; Kyle Hudlin, Josh Austerfield, Tom Iorpenda, Michael Stone, Conor Falls

Town booking
Loick Ayina (76’)



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