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Reserves Held By Leicester

Chaplin hits crossbar in Premier League Cup draw

13 November 2017

Pompey striker Conor Chaplin

Pompey Reserves picked up their first point of the Premier League Cup group stages with a goalless stalemate against Leicester.

It might have been a better outcome, though, as the Blues created plenty of chances at Holmes Park, with Conor Chaplin a particular menace.

But a youthful Foxes side did improve after the interval and had some late chances to snatch victory themselves.

The Blues came roaring out of the traps and Chaplin could only guide a weak header at keeper Max Bramley after meeting a teasing delivery from Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain.

A shot from Jez Bedford then grazed the crossbar when a corner had only been partially cleared by the home defence.

And Chaplin almost broke the deadlock midway through the first, showing some good footwork before unleashing a dipping strike that was just about palmed over by Bramley.

Curtis Main was proving a handful up front, although an attempt from the striker lacked enough power and was comfortably gathered.

Matt Casey was then unable to guide Brandon Haunstrup’s deep free-kick on target, while Adam May’s shot fizzed inches past the post.

There was still time for Chaplin to go close again prior to the interval and he showed some fine footwork before drawing another decent stop from the busy Bramley.

Half Time: Leicester 0 Pompey 0

It was not as much of a one-sided affair after the break, as the chances became harder to find for Pompey, while Leicester started to show a bit more ambition.

There was one lovely period of passing between Main and Haunstrup, however, with the latter’s ball into the box being met by the onrushing Oxlade-Chamberlain, who steered narrowly wide.

And despite the Foxes enjoying plenty of possession, they were not giving Alex Bass much to worry about between the sticks.

Bramley was beaten at the other end, only to see the crossbar come to his rescue when Chaplin hit a free-kick that appeared to be heading for the net.

The hosts finally came to life in the final 20 minutes, though, and the Blues keeper was forced into action by Admiral Muskwe.

"The lads were fantastic – their attitude and application throughout the game was first class."

Robbie Blake

A quick break then saw Chaplin flick the ball through to Main, although he was unable to find the target from an acute angle.

But it was Leicester who could have snatched a winner at the death, only for Muskwe to drag his shot wide after receiving a cut-back from Josh Felix-Eppiah.

Pompey coach Robbie Blake said: “The lads were fantastic – their attitude and application throughout the game was first class.

“They did everything we asked of them and I felt we were the better team overall. We were unfortunate not to take all three points.

“We were particularly impressive in the first half and on another day would have gone in two or three goals ahead at the break.

“Because of the effort that we put in, it was unsurprising that the boys started to tire a bit towards the end, but we still created chances and it’s just a shame one of them didn’t go in.”

Leicester (4-1-2-1-2): Bramley; Kaba Sherif, Knight (Watts 51), Hughes (c), Wood; Leshabela; Gordon (Shade 85), Deswbury-Hall; Uche Rubio (Ughelumba 46); Felix-Eppiah, Muskwe
Subs not used: Yates, McLeod

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Henley, Talbot, Casey, Haunstrup; Widdrington (Smith 75), May; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chaplin (c), Bedford (Lethbridge 75); Main
Subs not used: Collins, Dandy, Hancott

Referee: Peter Gibbons

Attendance: 260

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