Report by Trust Member – Graham Tracey
I don't normally do friendlies, but as I work in Manchester and with it being a pleasant evening I thought this one was worth a shout. Credit to those who had traveled up from Leicester, there must have been about 200 in our end. For the first time in 3 years we haven't brought in a whole new squad this summer, which makes me feel a lot better about the coming season. Stability at last I hope.
The players trained right in front of us before the game and Andy Johnson has clearly taken on the 'joker in the pack' role, his constant banter being part of what did genuinely seem to be a strong team spirit after the week's training camp.
Things didn't start well for us though and a few cross words were being exchanged between numerous players before too long. We were up to our old tricks of not defending set pieces and crosses, and were lucky not to go one down when a taller player would have buried a header. However, last-day survivors Stockport were soon one-up after a disastrous back header by McAuley led to striker, keeper and ball in the back of the net after an entertaining race to the line……
Leicester's first touch and passing was pretty bad and it was out of the blue when the persistent O'Grady put in a cross shot that fell for Elvis to stab home. Lightning nearly struck twice when Elvis, who I doubt will feature much this season, hit the bar with a clever header. Tiatto looked lively down the left but Josh Low on the right lived up to his billing in the programme as 'mercurial' – ie moody and likely to have three anonymous games for every good one, as an Oldham fan had predicted to me.
Stockport came out strongly in the second half and Henderson had a very good half – surely he is now recognised as the first-choice keeper at the club. County's enthusiasm for the game was underlined when their lanky sub Dickinson suffered the embarrassment of appearing to be 'subbed off' rather than sent off after lashing out at Kisnorbo when the latter denied him a certain goal. Just going off on a tangent, but Stockport had just come back from Ibiza where a local player stamped on a linesman's throat leading to an on-pitch tracheotomy in their friendly game – jeepers creepers!
In the end our own subs changed the game, things looked completely different when Fryatt and Hume came on, whilst a special mention must also be given to the tiny left winger Levi Porter who I hadn't seen before but who was terrific. The winner didn't come until 5 minutes before time, Gareth Williams putting a free kick over the wall with great ease and expertise. In the last minute, Matty Fryatt scored a 'men against boys' goal, running 15 yards to dispossess a dithering defender before stroking home the one on one.
All in all you can't read to much into this sort of thing – I think we can make the play offs if we get off to a good start – and with so many games in August and September we'll soon see.
City: Paul Henderson, Richard Stearman (Alan Maybury 72), Gareth McAuley, Patrick Kisnorbo (c), Nils-Eric Johansson (Alan Sheehan 72), Josh Low, Andy Johnson (Williams 60), Stephen Hughes, Danny Tiatto (Levi Porter 67), Chris O'Grady (Iain Hume 67), Elvis Hammond (Matty Fryatt 67).
The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation