Our FSA PRO players had the amazing opportunity to take on Leicester City FC in a showcase fixture at their new training facility at Seagrave. It turned out to be a very open game with both sides having chances to decide the game either way. What happened was a thrilling battle with great feedback from both coaching staff.
We approached the game with our FSA PRO London team starting the first half of the game and our FSA PRO Leicester 11 being fielded in the second 45 minutes.
The first half started as a close affair, FSA were matching LCFC's intensity while earning the respect from the professional outfit. FSA were the team who looked to have opened the scoring first when Dominic Fisher managed to beat the defender and hit a hard ball across the 6 yard box. Unfortunately the ball didn't find anybody at the receiving end and was cleared away. This was one of a few good opportunities that we created. Leicester had their first period of possession in the 25th minute before a long range striker forced a good save from Jaidon Regis. The resulting save was pushed wide of the goal, however, it was back into the path of the oncoming striker who finished the rebound. A difficult setback but FSA didn’t let that stop their enthusiasm as they continued to play and try and create.
FSA came close when a miss hit clearance from the LCFC's goalkeeper fell at Mark Soares feet, a carefully placed chip looked as of it were going to level the scores but landed on top of the net. Only a few moments later Leicester won a penalty and converted to take the score to 2-0. A final push before the half-time whistle by FSA, with attempts from Dominic Fisher hitting the side netting, and Cameron Ashia after being put through by Kenny Bellanmingle, didn't result into goals and so score was 2-0 at the break. A competitive first half from FSA who created chances but couldn’t convert them!
FSA PRO Leicester began the second half on the front foot with LCFC being forced to defend from the start with play all inside the Leicester City half. Aaron Nuttall looked lively on the left side, creating an early chance for Joe Kerrins, on the other flank Ben White got forward well to create opportunities from both sides.
When Leicester were looking to play out from the back, FSA pressed the ball well to unsettle their back line, which created a few half chances early on. FSA's back 3 with Charlie Kilburn, Brad Bennett, and Tom Coates commanded the ball and continued to spend most of the time in the Leicester City half. Aaron Nuttall again got forward down the left in an attack which saw Joe Kerrins calmly finish into the net to open the scoring for FSA PRO.
Suhaib Gannan continued to cause problems to LCFC's defence upfront and with another great run he saw himself in a good situation but the ball was cleared out of the area before he could finish.
Our team kept the pressure high and half way through the second period they were able to even out scores. Joe Kerrins showed again great energy to win the ball upfront and to calmly finish into the corner pulling the overall score back 2-2.
The game was open to be decided for both ends and it was not until the last minute of the game when Leicester City were able to score their third goal of the day. After an excellent battle in the middle third during the closing stages of the match, Leicester City won possession and with a cross pulled back to the edge of the box, they put their player into a great position to finish off the game making it 3-2.
Moments later the final whistle went, with a creditable performance from both FSA teams finishing 2-1 to FSA PRO in the second half and 3-2 to Leicester City overall.
The result and performance will give plenty of confidence to the FSA PRO players, both in London and Leicester, who were very competitive against a strong Cat 1 Premier League Academy side.