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Foxes triumph in testing friendly

2 September 2014

An experienced Leicester City side provided a tough test for the Dons in a friendly at stadiummk on Tuesday evening.

The match was arranged for the Dons to hand important match minutes to those first-team players who had not featured regularly at the start of the season and despite matching their Premier League opponents for the majority of the game, they were beaten 4-0 courtesy of goals from Danny Drinkwater, Tom Hopper, Esteban Cambiasso and Marc Albrighton.

Recent signing Jordan Spence captained the side, which also featured goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin, midfielders Mark Randall and Samir Carruthers and striker Tom Hitchcock.

After a quiet start to proceedings, Carruthers had the game’s first shot 11 minutes in after the Dons won a foul on the edge of the Leicester box. The former Aston Villa man, who looked sharp early on, curled his right-footed effort over the crossbar.

Leicester then threatened with their first chances of the evening, first through Danny Simpson, whose header from Anthony Knockaert’s corner was tipped over by McLoughlin, and then courtesy of Kieran Kennedy, who saw his header cleared off the line by Will Summerfield after a deflection.

In the 26th minute Hitchcock, who made his first competitive start for the Dons on the weekend, found himself with room to shoot on the edge of the Leicester box but he fired a left-footed effort wide of the mark.

The lively Knockaert then forced Flanagan into an important block moments later, with a fierce shot from 20 yards out after cutting in from the right wing.

Knockaert’s chance was followed by an even better one, on the half-hour mark, for his team-mate Gary Taylor-Fletcher, who, despite being allowed space inside the Dons box, failed to make the home team pay with his close-range attempt.

Eventually the visitors opened the scoring with nine minutes to go until half-time, when Danny Drinkwater’s 25-yard shot took a wicked deflection of Harry Hickford and bounced past a wrong-footed McLoughlin in the Dons goal.

The Dons, though, almost responded instantly through Kabongo Tshimanga, but the second-year scholar was adjudged to be in offside position when he slotted a shot past Ben Hamer at the near post from Giorgio Rasulo’s pass.

At the start of the second half, Drinkwater produced a smart save out of McLoughlin with a low drive aimed towards his near post. At the other end, Tshimanga skipped past the challenge of a Leicester defender but was thwarted by substitute keeper Adam Smith just as he looked to pull the trigger.

Taylor-Fletcher had a great opportunity to double the visitor’s advantage soon after the hour mark but his flicked effort from Drinkwater’s low cross hit the outside of the left post and ran away to safety.

His strike partner Jamie Vardy then went even closer with a first-time shot from Albrighton’s which hit the inside of the upright and, fortunately for the Dons, rebounded straight into the arms of McLoughlin.
 
In the 67th minute, Head Apprentice Gedeon Okito replaced his former under-18 team-mate Summerfield. The change saw the impressive Ben Tilney move over to the right-wing with Okito slotting in at left-back.

Moments later, one of Leicester’s substitutes, Tom Hopper, produced an excellent save out of McLoughlin when one-on-one with the Irish keeper. McLoughlin then denied Drinkwater from the resulting corner.

On 70 minutes, Hitchcock managed to latch onto a long ball forward and force Smith into a save with a half-volley. Considering the angle it was a good effort from the former QPR man, who worked tirelessly up front all evening.

Then, just as the Dons looked as though they were edging closer to an equaliser, Hopper was able to double the visitors' advantage with a close-range shot after having his initial effort blocked by Tilney.

As Dons legs began to tire, the experienced Cambiasso added a third for Leicester with a neat finish from eight yards before Albrighton made it four from Knockaert’s cross.

The scoreline flattered the visiting Foxes somewhat but the most important aspect of the night for boss Karl Robinson and the Dons was that several of his first-team players gained some valuable game time ahead of the international break.

Burns (GK), Weston, Daffern.Unused subs:

McLoughlin; Spence (c), Hickford, Flanagan, Tilney (Wiltshire 77); Randall (Vaughan 90), Carruthers; Summerfield (Okito 67), Rasulo, Tshimanga; Hitchcock. MK Dons (4-2-3-1):

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