Since our formation the Foxes Trust has had a policy of refusing any sponsorship or paid for advertising on our website from companies who offer any sort of gambling/betting services.
We were saddened to hear of the case of Luke Ashton, a massive Leicester City fan who took his life earlier this year as a result of his gambling disorder. Since Luke’s death, his wife Annie has tirelessly campaigned to end so-called ‘Free Bets’, which were clearly a contributing factor in Luke’s addiction. Annie has launched a petition, called Luke’s Law #Lukeslaw https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/587806
Annie has organised an event this weekend as she explains:
We have decided to organise a 5K walk ‘Light Up for Luke’s Law’ *route to be confirmed* to help gain signatures on #Luke’sLaw petition as well as also give us an opportunity to raise money for the ‘Gambling with Lives’ charity who have been an absolute life line for me and my family at this very difficult time.
The event will involve a 5K walk wearing the brightest colours (t- shirts can be purchased closer to the day, if preferred) and Glow sticks/lights/neon face paint/glitter/anything bright that will draw attention to us on our mission to raise awareness and of course gain important signatures for our petition.
The event will be held on 2nd October, which is Luke Ashton’s birthday, and will therefore be a very special day for us. We will be finishing the event with a get together at Newfoundpool Working Men’s Club to mark the occasion with a Light Up for Luke’s Law drink event. We will be requesting a small ticket donation of £10 (children are free) for the event where you will also receive a #Luke’sLaw TShirt.
Anyone can join in with the fundraising, can walk the 5K or donate money to a gofund page which will be set up to send any money raised directly to the charity, ‘Gambling with Lives’ on our behalf.
**The 5k walk will start Leicester Town Hall at 4pm and will involve walking passed the King Power stadium and eventually end at the venue.
Gambling with Lives is a charity that was set up by loved ones of people who took their life as a direct result of gambling
A specific campaign The Big Step has been launched to end gambling advertising and sponsorship in football and work with clubs to reduce harms
Matches against Burnley are never games to look forward to. The ball is in the air too often and the City players are usually bullied by Burnley. However, this time Burnley came to the King Power with no wins so far. Surely City could fashion a win, even taking account of their own indifferent start to the season?
It was a surprise to see that Rodgers had left Evans on the bench after he had played 90 minutes against Millwall. That resulted in a back line of Vestergaard, Soyuncu, Ricardo and Bertrand. Soumare came into midfield and Lookman and Barnes were there to provide the support for Vardy.
City started well with Barnes prominent on the left. However City’s intricate play usually broke down when faced with Burnley’s well drilled defence. Burnley broke forward more quickly and after only five minutes Vestergaard was booked for the first of many clumsy attempts to win the ball from either Vydra or Wood.
This set the pattern of play for a while. City had the majority of possession but created few clear chances but Burnley looked dangerous each time they came forward. Our defence, and particularly Vestergaard, looked fragile. City should have scored soon afterwards though when Vardy headed into the ground and over the bar from a pin-point cross from Tielemans. Disaster soon followed when, from one of many in-swinging dangerous corners from Burnley, the ball glanced off Vardy’s head for an own goal.
After a good block from Lowton to a Vardy shot it was a relief when Vardy scored in the correct net when put through by Tielemans. It was a typical Vardy goal and he was not shy in responding to the Burnley fans!
However, just as we thought normal service had resumed, Vestergaard did not deal with Vydra yet again and his cross was skilfully volleyed in by Cornet with Ricardo at fault for not closing him down.
Castagne was brought on for Ricardo at the start of the second half. To be honest any of the defenders could have been replaced, such was their woeful collective performance. City upped their game in the second half but still the accuracy of passing was poor and Burnley continued to look dangerous and could carve through our defence too easily. City won a succession of corners but they were all too predictable and created nothing. What do they practise on the training pitch?
Lookman, who had been a rare shining light throughout and was always pressing forward, was replaced by Maddison with time drifting away, presumably because he was running out of steam but it was not obvious. This would be the first time that a Rodgers decision would have been greeted with boos from the frustrated fans, especially because Lookman was replaced by Maddison who made little impression on the game.
Iheanacho came on and, with five minutes to go, threaded the ball through for Vardy to round the goalkeeper and score with great skill. 2-2 and the fans prompted the team to try and get all three points and rescue the game. However, it nearly went all wrong when in the final minutes and from yet another defensive mess, Wood scored to apparently snatch all three points. Thankfully VAR intervened in City’s favour for once and the match ended 2-2 which was a fair result.
This match feels like a watershed moment in City’s stuttering start to the season. When Fofana suffered a broken leg and Evans injury problems continued it felt like our season was blighted before it had started and so it has transpired. Vestergaard for one so tall, is weak in the air and easily manoeuvred off the ball. His passing is not good either. Bertrand does not look good enough and not an improvement on Luke Thomas. James Justin’s return cannot come soon enough. Neither Vestergaard or Bertrand appear to be good enough if we aspire to get into the top four.
Soyuncu needs a calm player alongside him and Vestergaard does not provide that assurance. Ricardo, whilst looking dangerous up front, was caught out many times in defence. Behind this jittery defence Schmeichel had one of those games when his distribution was quite dreadful and often handed the initiative straight to Burnley.
In midfield Soumare played in fits and starts and it always seemed to be left to Tielemans to play the killer ball. Barnes faded after Burnley marked him with two players and he seemed to lose confidence in beating his man. Iheanacho made a difference when he came on and looks to be a man playing with confidence, yet somehow we cannot seem to find a place for him in the side from the beginning.
On this showing this season is not looking at all encouraging, compared to the last two seasons, and the fans’ frustration was fairly vocal. Expectations are higher than they have ever been. Rodgers has a big job in front of him to improve performances whilst injured players come back. Away wins at Warsaw and Palace would be a good start!
I quote from a Brighton fan while in the interminable queue for a train after the match.
Unlike some reports, I thought City started brightly and they apparently had two-thirds of possession – but, as we know, that is a pretty meaningless statistic. The majority of the play in the first half was at the end farthest from the Leicester supporters, so it was difficult to see exactly how the game panned out.
The first controversial decision came against the run of play, when Vestergaard was adjudged to have handled the ball in the 34th minute. The referee signalled for a corner but the linesman obviously alerted him that he should award a penalty. This was bizarre, as the referee was much closer to the action, and subsequent television coverage showed that Maupay was hanging onto his left arm, stopping him from jumping.
I thought referees had been instructed to stop all the argy-bargy in the box but there is precious little evidence of it. The correct decision would have been a free kick to Leicester but Maupay sent Schmeichel the wrong way and we were chasing the game.
A second Brighton goal came soon after the restart when Welbeck scored a good goal with his head. This seemed to galvanise Leicester, and the rest of the play was practically one-way traffic.
Lookman had replaced the ineffective Maddison for the second half and made an immediate impact; some fans gave him the man of the match for his half a game. In the 61st minute, a slick passing move saw Vardy score his 150th goal for the club but sadly that was as good as it got.
To misquote Oscar Wilde, to have one goal disallowed is a misfortune, to have two disallowed is beyond belief. From our position behind the goal, it was difficult to see why either was chalked off, but I agree with Rodgers that Barnes might have unsighted the keeper for the first one, but certainly not for the second. Lookman thought he had scored in the 66th minute and Ndidi in the 85th. The latter was booked again, along with two Brighton players, one of whom was Sanchez for persistent time wasting.
So, it was some very unhappy Leicester fans who faced a long journey home and, for those of us on the train, more frustration when there was a problem with the line. But Brighton hadn’t beaten us since 2014 and I will give them that one in exchange for knocking them out of the FA Cup last season!
Nobody had a particularly bad game, apart from Maddison whose form seems to have completely deserted him, and two of the new boys – Soumare and Lookman – made a good case for starting other games.
The general view was that the Europa League draw had placed Leicester in the strongest Group and that Napoli would be their toughest challenge. On the basis of tonight’s match, the second statement looks to be true – Napoli looked a good side and City were probably fortunate to come away with a point despite losing a two goal lead.
Approaching the match felt a little strange. Whilst City were in the same tournament last season, the absence of fans meant it far harder to build any emotional connection with the Europa League. The ubiquity of the Champions League means that its rituals are well-known, those of its junior partner far less so. Walking to the match we were discussing, for example, “can you remember what the Europa League theme music sounds like?” (Answer: a sort of low-key spaghetti western background tune). “Would we recognise the match officials?” (Answer: no … see more below).
Still, it was a proper European night at the King Power Stadium … no … thanks to UEFA branding rules, make that the ‘Leicester City Stadium’ … with a near full-house and a few hundred fans from Napoli, too. There were shiny flags to wave when the teams entered the pitch. There were flame-throwing machines performing for ten-minutes before kick-off. There was a new European training kit to be worn.
There was also, 10-minutes before kick-off, a UEFA’s cartoon-styled explanatory video about how VAR is used. Whilst it said nothing new, it was at least an attempt at communication and transparency. I think the Premier League should do the same.
Last season, City’s squad seemed not to be strong enough to sustain a serious challenge in three competitions. Rodgers was clearly keen to show the strength of his squad for this year, and gave starts to Soumaré and Daka, together with Iheanacho and Perez. He also picked Evans and Vestergaard in central defence. It was a line-up with an attacking feel.
The game started with both teams taking the knee. The loudness of the clap-banners drowned any of the unfortunate boos which have been heard from a tiny minority of City fans at this season’s games, home and away.
The match was lively from the kick-off. Schmeichel made a save as early as the third minute, but City were making chances too. In the sixth minute, half of the stadium (including me) thought Barnes had scored when he steered the ball just wide from close range. A few minutes later, City did score. Smart interplay gave Barnes a crossing opportunity, his cross looked long and loopy, but proved to be perfect for Perez to reach at the far post and volley home firmly – a really well-taken goal.
The rest of the first half showed Napoli having a good attacking threat, but some poor finishing. Osimhen looked a particular handful, very fast and direct. When the visitors did manage a shot on target, Schmeichel was in good form and there were a couple of times, notably towards the end of the half, when there were last-ditch blocks and goal-line scrambles by City defenders. City were able to hold possession in midfield but created few real opportunities and the half finished at one-nil.
The referee – Tiago Martins – was clearly trying to follow the new ‘let it flow’ UEFA directive, but somehow this resulted in some curious incidents ‘flowing’ whilst others were penalised – often with yellow cards – which might have been forgiven by another referee. One of these was a booking for Ndidi in the 20th minute for what was, at worst, a marginally late challenge. My own observation was that the ref was not showing either team any bias – although in true live football-style the home fans were chanting otherwise – it was more that after watching the Euro 2020 tournament and early Premier League fixtures, it has been a pleasant surprise to see how consistent refereeing has generally been handled. Tonight’s ref was just rather inconsistent.
Rodgers made two changes at half-time. Söyüncü came on for Evans – at the time it was unclear whether that was to add a bit more pace to counter Osimhen who had easily outsprinted all of City’s back-line, but after the match it was clear that this was, in fact, due to an Evans injury. Tielemans came on to replace Perez. Perez is the City regular who has yet to win fans over, but in his 45-minutes in this match he was one of the better players. He challenged well and took his goal with great skill.
Napoli had clearly had a good half-time discussion: they were sharper and faster in the second half, pressing more and winning most things in midfield. City did not really up their game, and slowly began to lapse more and more into this season’s habit of conceding pressure too easily – be it through passes mis-hit just a little, or clearances from Schmeichel that just missed their mark. To use the cliché, there are fine margins at this standard of football and too often City’s play in possession was not fine enough.
Soumaré does, however, look like a class act. He was calm passing forward or back and had a few tricks, too. One of these, just before the hour mark, led to some intricate passing into the Napoli box and Daka slamming home a great finish. The stadium erupted, the teams lined up for the kick-off and … VAR! Daka had been marginally offside when he received the ball, so no goal. As in the first half, however, the disappointment lasted only a few minutes before City did score a valid goal.
On two or three occasions, Iheanacho had driven forwards with the ball, but was slow to decide whether to pass or go for goal and wasted the opportunity. This time he was decisive, releasing a pass for Barnes to run on to. Barnes squared up to his defender, who clearly expected him to cut inside to shoot, instead the Leicester winger cut outside and fired a shot across the goal and inside the far post. Two-nil to Leicester! The goal was against the run of play, but none of the home fans cared about that.
Going two behind galvanised Napoli, and City never really got to grips with them. Within five minutes, Osimhen had flicked the ball over the City defence and finished well to make it two-one.
Rodgers replaced Daka with Lookman. Daka is clearly very quick – a couple of his sprints after long balls looked even faster than Vardy – and took the disallowed goal chance well, but he did not get too much opportunity to show his skills this evening.
A little later Rodgers replaced Soumaré with Maddison. On the basis of this seventy minutes, Soumaré is knocking on the door of regular selection and if that means that Maddison needs to up his game to get back to his previous levels, that would be no bad thing.
The final twenty minutes felt rather too much like a lot of City’s season so far: a goal up and looking like they were going to concede at any moment. That was the feeling against Wolves and Norwich. The difference this time was, again, fine margins. Wolves and Norwich wasted many opportunities with no result, Napoli wasted many opportunities, but found the goal when it mattered. With three minutes of regular time to go, Osimhen (yes, him again) leaped high in the box to head in a right-wing cross and equalize.
Immediately, Vardy replaced Iheanacho, but there was too little time for the City talisman to have any real effect. Indeed, a couple of minutes later, Napoli squandered another opportunity with a free header from a free kick.
Well into added time, Ndidi was sent off for a second yellow card. The two yellows were each on the harsh side, and thankfully it had no impact on the match result.
Both sides came close to creating that one last decisive chance, but it was not to be and the game ended a draw. City will feel disappointed that they let a two-goal lead slip, Napoli will feel they had more and better chances and should have won. Objectively, it was a cracking European cup tie!
Not to be dwelt on but to be noted, was the skirmishing between a minority of fans which took places after the final whistle (indeed largely after the teams had left the field) with objects being thrown and twelve arrests made. Let us hope that is a one-off and not a regular part of the Europa League experience.
My final observation: have Leicester ever won a game at home which began with pyrotechnics pre-kick-off? I’m happy to be proved wrong, but am struggling to think of one!
Directions By Road SAT NAV: BN1 9BL (or try BN1 9SD if you have problems)
The stadium is located at Falmer on the outskirts of Brighton, very close to the University of Sussex.
At the end of the M23, continue onto the A23, heading towards Brighton. At the roundabout which is the junction with the A27, take the A27 towards Lewes. After around four miles you will see the stadium on your right hand side. Leave at the A27 and take the slip road sign posted Falmer (B2123). At the top of the slip road turn right crossing back over the A27 and the entrance to the stadium is down on the right.
There is some parking at the stadium for away fans providing that they have been pre-booked with the Club, parking cost £15. There is a large no parking zone in force around the area of the stadium on matchdays.
Park & Ride The Club are encouraging fans to use the Park & Ride services located at three different locations; Mill Road, Brighton Racecourse and Mithras House at Brighton University.
Probably the easiest for away fans to locate is Mill Road, as it is just off the A23/A27 junction. However, this is by far the busiest of the three, so if you have time on your hands consider using one of the other alternatives. The capacity of Mill Road is 500 cars. The road is located next to a BP garage, which (if coming down from London) you will see over on your right at the top of the slip road off the A23.
The Park & Ride is open from 12 noon on Saturdays (with last departure at 2.30pm) and 5.30pm for evening kick offs. The last buses return from the stadium 90 minutes after the end of the game. Please note that vehicles must removed no later than two hours after the game has ended.
Approx 163 miles, 3 hour travelling
The nearest railway station is Falmer, which is situated right by the stadium. Brighton Central Railway Station is over four miles away from the stadium. So either get a train, taxi or bus up to the stadium. Brighton & Hove Bus No 25 operates a regular service (every 12 minutes) up to the stadium from Central Brighton, as do Bus Numbers 28 & 29. However be aware that trains back can be extremely crowded and you may need to wait a long while.
Train takes approx 3hours 30 mins . Super Off Peak return £93.50 but singles may be cheaper. There may be bus replacement service on part of the journey please check
There is little in the immediate vicinity around the stadium Outside Brighton Mainline Station there are a number of excellent pubs. The Evening Star, on Surrey Street is away fan friendly and only two a minute walk away from the station. If arriving at the Mill Road Park & Ride then a little further on down London Road (A23) on the left is the Black Lion pub which is a Harvester outlet.
Please check the cost and times of trains etc. All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors. With thanks to Brighton and Hove Albion FC and the Football Ground Guide