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A fantastic experience for the young imps at the Lner stadium

30 March 2022

Youth Development Phase Lead Coach Danny Johnson felt his side would benefit from the experience of playing on the main LNER Stadium pitch after taking on Leicester City in Tuesday night's Academy Showcase fixture.

He said: “It was a really good experience for every one of them - the lads showcased us as an Academy and what were about and how far we have come in recent times.

"What an occasion for the players and for the fans a great opportunity to see what the future looks like. As young lads it can be easy to let the occasion get the better of you sometimes, but I felt as the game went on their nerves settled and we saw more of what they’re about."

Throughout the season we have seen a number of members of Johnson’s U15 squad have the opportunity to be around older age groups, which he believes will help push them in their development.

He added: "For the boys who have been in and around the 18s it's another tool in their development which gives them exposure to different environments and again they’ve done really well."

The Imps showed bravery against their opposition to try to play an attractive style of football throughout the game, moving the ball around the pitch at the LNER Stadium.

During the first period, City found it difficult to deal with Leicester’s runners in behind the defence as the Foxes found routes through the Imps to capitalise on chances.

Throughout the half the Imps keeper made some nice saves and showed great bravery to come and collect a dangerous cross.

It was great to see the young Imps continue to try to play with confidence in the face of strong opposition, with the goalkeeper and two centre backs looking calm on the ball to help the Imps play out from the back and through midfield.

The Imps got their first goal after 43 minutes. After some excellent hold up play got the Imps in down the right flank where the City winger showed great composure to capitalise on the chance down to the keeper’s right.

Despite going into the half time break behind, the young Imps players appeared to have enjoyed the experience and the challenge thus far.

The Imps started the second half in similar vain. Showing great confidence to play under pressure as Leicester pressed intensely.

Continued bravery on the ball helped the Imps create more in the second period, the Imps seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the experience. Some fantastic moments of quality led to the Imps testing the hands of the Leicester keeper on a number of occasions who made some smart stops to keep the Imps out.

As the Imps appeared to continue to grow in confidence, some fantastic running in behind got the Imps through on goal, the forward rounded the keeper before being brought down and winning the Imps a penalty, which was smartly converted low to the keeper’s right.

The young Imps ended the game behind, but can certainly be proud of their performance in what was a fantastic experience for the boys.

Final score: 5-2 Leicester City

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