Tranmere Rovers v Leicester City u21s – Papa Johns Trophy
The match preview
Wednesday 13th January 2021
We’ve met before!
This upcoming Wednesday night, Leicester City’s academy make the trip up to Prenton Park for a Papa Johns Trophy cup tie. However, this isn’t the first time that the two clubs have come head to head.
In total, the Whites have played against the Foxes fifteen times. The first meeting was in mid-October 1963. Again at Prenton Park and another cup tie, City would win 2-1. However, this isn’t the most iconic encounter contested between the clubs.
Worthington cup final 2000.
It was only 20 years ago that the Whites played in a league cup final, it was called the Worthington cup then. Leicester City were Tranmere’s counterparts in what was the most iconic meeting between the two clubs. David Kelly scored in the 79th minute in a packed out Wembley stadium but Matthew Elliott would chalk this goal off netting only a few minutes later. He scored a brace that day leaving none other than Tranmere’s current squad member Joe Murphy helpless, in what was a fairly average season for the Whites.
This week, the hosts are planning on having the ‘rub of the green’ and progress their cup venture. This was their aim the last time the sides came head to head last January. The Whites are a stronger outfit nowadays though.
Fortunately for Rovers, City’s goal scorer last time has been sent out on loan to Wycombe Wanderers and a Leicester fan describes this as a ‘huge loss to the academy team’. Admiral Muskwe is his name and only a few days ago the 22-year-old forward made the move down south in the attempt of gaining valuable senior game time after showing his quality at an academic level.
Muskwe’s manager was Steve Beaglehole, the youngest person to obtain the ‘A licence’ badge at the tender age of 21. He has worked for home town Doncaster Rovers and Middlesbrough, yet the long-serving coach started at Leicester in the 1990s under the guidance of the successful Northern Irishman Martin O’Neill.
There are few absentees for the hosts. Full-back Liam Ridehalgh took a knock to the rib cage in the FA Cup tie at Barnsley and it looks like his availability is doubtful. Other than that, the squad that travelled to South Yorkshire are in perfect condition heading into this midweek fixture.
Marc Edwards will be the referee and he will be helped by his assistants Joe Simpson and Matthew Parry. Throughout this campaign, Edwards has officiated fifteen games so far and has awarded 54 yellow cards. These fixtures have ranged in numerous competitions: EFL Cup, Football League Trophy, the FA Cup as well as the bottom two leagues of the English football pyramid.
Thus it is a very experienced referee that will take charge of what should be a very entertaining cup tie between a strong senior and an exciting academy side.
David Kelly netting for Tranmere in the late stages of the 2000 Worthington Cup final, this goal is an iconic Rovers moment even if Leicester would manage to chalk it out with a goal for themselves shortly afterwards.
Thank you very much for reading,