Premier League 2 Academy Stadium Att: Sunday, March 3, 2019 1:00:00 PM
- Humphreys Harwood-Bellis 46’
- Poveda Rosler 90’
- Touaizi Garre 71’
- Unused subs
- Scott, Dele-Bashiru
- Loft Leshabela 56’
- Unused subs
- Heaven, Bramley, Meite, Tavares
Manchester City’s EDS side broke a five-match winless run in the Premier League 2 as Adrian Bernabe’s early finish secured a narrow victory over Leicester U23s at a rainy City Football Academy.
Paul Harsley’s young Manchester City side began the game on the front foot and made their early dominance count by opening the scoring in the fifth minute. Great play on the right wing by Ian Poveda saw him dribble past his man before cutting the ball back for Adrian Bernabe, who provided a calm finish from just outside the six-yard box.
Leicester almost hit back two minutes later as Daniel Grimshaw’s punch from a corner landed at the feet of Lamine Sherrif, but the Englishman blazed over the crossbar.
The Young Blues looked lively and a lovely interchange on the left-flank between Felix Nmecha and Bernabe resulted in Nabil Touaizi finding space inside the 18-yard box, but his driven effort was deflected out for a corner.
We were unlucky not to score our second of the afternoon in the 26th minute as Touaizi met Bernabe’s whipped cross with a powerful header, but Tobias Johansson’s spectacular reflex save preserved the one goal deficit.
Our relentless pressure continued as Nemcha’s powerful left-foot volley from inside the box cannoned off the inside of the post and away from danger. The 18-year-old came close again minutes later as he nutmegged Sherrif before unleashing a powerful strike, but unfortunately for us, it hit the side netting.
Johansson was forced into another fine save in the 36th minute as he got down smartly to save from Taylor Richards, who found himself clean through on goal.
The visitors struggled to create any clear opportunities in the first-half and their frustration was clear as Callum Wright dragged a long-range effort wide of Grimshaw’s post.
We continued our attacking intent in the second half, with Touaizi testing Johansson with a long-range effort seconds after the restart.
The Foxes worked themselves back into the game and were growing in confidence, with Admiral Muskwe and Wright both trying their luck from distance within a matter of seconds, but both were easily saved by Grimshaw.
However, Harsley’s side continued to threaten through the tricky Nmecha, whose curling effort just after the hour mark was deflected wide.
The visitors almost scored the equaliser in the 79th minute, but Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s vicious strike was parried away expertly by Grimshaw.
As the rain began to pour down at the CFA, Grimshaw was called into action again with five minutes to play, but he showed good control to hold on to Sam Hughes’ header.
We saw out the final few minutes well to secure a well-deserved three points.
What it means
The victory means Paul Harsley’s side move up into seventh place in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table, one point behind sixth-placed Chelsea.
How we lined up
Daniel Grimshaw lined up in goal, with a back four of Jeremie Frimpong, captain Eric Garcia, Cameron Humphreys and Tyreke Wilson. It was a midfield three of Iker Pozo, Taylor Richards and Adrian Bernabe, whilst Ian Poveda and Felix Nmecha provided the width for frontman Nabil Touaizi.
Our EDS side’s next Premier League 2 fixture is against Chelsea at the EBB Stadium in Aldershot on Friday 8 March, with kick off scheduled for 7:00 PM (GMT).