On a calm, warm May evening, Leicester welcomed Football Aid to the King Power Stadium. In a tense encounter, the Home side triumphed after late drama, with a last-minute penalty handing the Home side an exciting 5-4 comeback victory over their Away counterparts.
Date: Friday 11th May 2019
Venue: The King Power
Leicester (Home) vs Leicester (Away)
Kick Off: 19:00 pm
Legends: Jonathon Stevenson & Matt Piper
Match Officials: Dawid Farbicki, Jack Pritchard, Charlotte Sparling & Phil Law
The Home side sporting the traditional all-blue strip faced an Away side wearing the all-white change kit. There were familiar names on both sides with former Foxes hero, Jonathon Stevenson lining up for the Blue side while Matt Piper filled in at left back for the ‘visitors’.
It was the Away team who started the brightest with Austin Powell poking an early effort at goalkeeper Chun Yin Wong. Lawrence Louis then had an opportunity from a free kick after a foul by John Vint. However the away striker saw his effort comfortably saved.
The Away team continued their attacking start and broke the deadlock on 10 minutes. Gogs Gogna unleashed an effort from range, after winning the ball in the middle of the park, and his powerful shot flew past the goalkeeper to open the scoring. (0-1)
A response was needed from the Home side, but Byron Carey sent the first chance for the Blues wide. Forward Mark Preston then saw his attempt comfortably saved by Away goalkeeper Sam Morris. Morris was called into action soon afterward and he did well to smother an enticing through ball to calm the nerves of his defence.
After surviving a period of pressure, the Away side extended their lead by capitalising on a defensive error. James Gasson was quickest to react to a short back pass, and the midfielder took the ball around the advancing goalkeeper before unselfishly playing the ball across for Anand Bharkhda to tap home as the game passed the 17 minute mark. (0-2)
The floodgates had seemingly opened after that with the Home side finding a quickfire response. Number 9, Mark Preston had looked lively and he had his name in lights on 23 minutes. After a clever dummy from Brett Davids, Preston curled a stunning first-time effort into the back of the net. Game on! (1-2)
At the opposite end, the Home side looked to respond again but could only watch a headed effort go wide from a corner. It was the Away side who found the back of the net next however with 34 minutes on the clock. Mark Sweetlove found space in the box and glanced a header past the keeper Chun Yin Wong, who could only watch on as the ball found the net. (1-3)
The goals were coming thick and fast now and this time the Home side did find an instant response three minutes later and it was their red hot striker Mark Preston on target again, his powerful looping header diverting a pinpoint cross from Matthew Fellows into the net. (2-3)
Inspired by their Legend Jonathon Stevenson, the Home team went in search of the equaliser. The former professional footballer threaded a great ball towards Jake Melbourne but the number 10 couldn’t create a suitable angle for an effort. At the other end Away number 8, Byron Carey was looking lively and saw an effort fly over the crossbar, before a 2nd chance found the side netting.
As half time approached, it looked like the Away team would go in with the lead, but Jake Melbourne made sure that was not the case. The Home number 10 fired in the goal of the game, as his stunning long-range effort found the back of the net via the crossbar, levelling the scores with barely a minute of regulation time remaining. (3-3)
It would be differing team talks at the break as a comfortable looking Away performance turned into a three-a-piece level game at the interval. The hard work from the Home team was to be praised as they went in to work out how they could make the game their own.
Half-Time: Leicester (Home) 3 - 3 Leicester (Away)
The Away side started the second half the fastest with striker Bharkhda denied by the Home goalkeeper after a one-on-one opportunity. Gogs Gogna also looked lively and he was inches away from regaining the lead for his side before James Gasson could only fire over.
Half time substitute, Adrian Landers sporting number 14 was played through for the Away side, but Chun Yin Wong again came to the rescue for the Home side with a brave save.
There was a second half breakthrough on 72 minutes though when James Gasson swept in an effort past the despairing ‘keeper to give the Away side a deserving lead. (3-4)
The pressure continued to grow as captain Lawrence Louis fired over from range, before the Home team turned up the pressure as the game approached the final 10 minutes. With one of their first chances of the half, forward Mathew Mann poked home after a good save from Away GK, Sam Morris. Desperate defending from substitute Hemel Majithia was in vain with the No 15 failing to prevent the ball from crossing the line. (4-4)
It was the Away team who returned the attacking threat as Bharkhda again looked dangerous, but Chun Yin Wong, who sported the number 35 in the Home goal, was not to be beaten. Another brave save denied the striker before Gogna was again denied. Minutes later a carbon copy chance for Bharkhda went begging as the Home goalkeeper was living up to his reputation as Leicester’s first choice ‘keeper!
There was to be late drama however, as with 89 minutes on the clock, the referee pointed to the spot. Matthew Fellows had caused carnage down the right wing all game and after a powerful run the No 7 was tripped by Majithia for a penalty to the Home side. Complaints were a plenty from the Away defence, but the officials were having none of it and Fellows calmly stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and convert the spot kick for the winning goal. (5-4)
A spirited fixture that looked destined for a draw with two strong sides ended in dramatic circumstances. Matthew Fellows netted the winner as his Home side completed an impressive comeback to triumph 5-4 over an unfortunate Away side at the King Power Stadium as Football Aid’s time in Leicester came to an end for another year.
Full-Time: Leicester (Home) 5 - 4 Leicester (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Mark Preston
Man of the Match Away: James Gasson
Moment of the Match: Jake Melbourne
Home Team: Chun Yin Wong, Lance Tomlyn, Jonathon Stevenson, John Vint, Neal Dawson, Brett Davids, Matthew Fellows, Byron Carey, Mark Preston, Jake Melbourne, Mathew Mann, Gurbinder Sanghera, John Clark (C)
Home Mascot: Isla Preston
Away Team: Sam Morris, Austin Powell, Matt Piper, Robert Thorpe, Karl Allen, Paul Holmes, Mark Sweetlove, Gogs Gogna, Lawrence Louis (C), James Gasson, Anand Bharkhda, Adrian Landers, Hemel Majithia, Chris Doe
Away Mascot: Kye Gogna
Match Report written by Ben Waite.
Official photographs are available to order from Matt Nuttall’s website here >> www.footballaidphotos.com. You can also contact Matt on Tel: 07793 818021 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to order a DVD of the match please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on Tel: 07306 789002 or E-mail: email@example.com
AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
“A big thank you to all the Leicester City staff, Football Aid and both legends Matt (Piper) and Jon (Stevenson) for giving up their time to play in another good game of football at Leicester City. Although I was on the losing side 4-4 would have been a fair result but the referee decided to give a penalty that should not have been in the 89th minute giving the home side a late winner. Superb pitch to play on”.
“I can't tell you how amazing you guys are - you put on such an unbelievable experience. If there is any way I am fit enough to play next year I will be back. Regards”.
“Enjoyable evening with @FootballAid, great fun to play alongside and against two class acts @HDstevo and @_mattpiper. Special shout out to the photographer team who made me look better than I actually do 😂”.
Chun Yin Levin Wong
“I just wanted to say thanks again for the outstanding event. On the Football Aid side, you and your staff were amazing and I cannot thank you enough. I plan to attend more of these next year and also encourage some friends to attend as well”.