night saw the Foxes provide the opposition to Newcastle reserves for a second
successive game on Tyneside, but this time it was the visitors who departed from
Whitley Park with a thoroughly deserved victory.
Adam Armstrong bagged a brace when the Foxes lost 1-2 here in the U21 Cup last
December, but the striker was here only as a spectator tonight on his 17th
birthday - one of eight changes from the last home fixture.
The visitors looked brighter in the opening stages but didn't really test United
'keeper Jak Alnwick, with former Northampton Town loanee Jacob Blyth twice
blasting wildly over and seeing one other effort blocked.
What proved to be Newcastle's most convincing passage of play saw Jonathyn Quinn
narrowly fail to connect with a Rolando Aarons centre from the left on 15
minutes, before firing at Foxes custodian Adam Smith when Jamie Sterry returned
the ball from the opposite flank.
A 22nd minute cross from Michael Richardson towards the back post then exposed
the City defence, but Greg Olley could only steer his shot wide of the target.
As the half wore on, Leicester threatened further and after further miscues from
Blyth, the opener arrived just before half time when the ball ran loose to Adam
Dawson, who lifted it over Alnwick and into the empty net for his second goal in
as many visits to Whitley Park.
Magpies Coach Peter Beardsley attempted to kick-start a revival by introducing
Alex Gilliead in an advanced role shortly after the interval, Olley dropping
back into his more usual central midfield slot.
However the nearest Gilliead came was when a long ball reached him on 68 minutes
and he made his way into the Leicester box under pressure from two defenders,
before firing over the crossbar.
Aarons did force Smith into a save with 16 minutes left, but a physically
superior City side always looked likely to increase their advantage as they
adjusted better to a tricky playing surface that began to cut up in places.
after Sterry cleared off his own line on 79 minutes, City got their second soon
after when a United corner was intercepted. Three City players broke upfield and
Michael Cain strolled on before thumping the ball home.
Even greater punishment was then averted three minutes into added time, as
Harry Panayiotou found space down the Leicester right and rolled the ball across
the box for the unmarked Blyth - who completely fluffed his shot.
The result leaves United third bottom of the table, with just one win in
their last eight league fixtures.
There were reserve debuts for left back Liam Gibson and central defender Callum
Williams - the latter yet to start an U18 league game but holding his own
against more experienced opponents just days after turning 17. We've now used 41
players in 14 U21 league games this season.