Monthly Archives: March 2010

City Beaten Again

Cardiff City 2:1 Leicester City

City suffered their third consecutive defeat at Cardiff on Tuesday night, despite a battling second half performance.

Nigel Pearson made five changes to his side for this wintry midweek trip to South Wales with Brown, Powell, Kermorgant, Dyer and Oakley out and Neilson, Solano, Spearing, Gallagher and N’Guessan in.
This re-jigged line-up went a goal down after just nine minutes however. Whitingham fed th eball to Atuthu who made room for himself to fire in a shot. Weale could only parry it into the path of McCormack who fired it home.
This was not a good start for a side on a poor run and for a while Cardiff threatened to run riot.
Burke went close with a shot and then King cleared a McCormack effort on the line.
Substitue Matthews then went on a long run beating five black shirt before firing over.
Just when it looked as though City had limited Cardiff’s first half lead to a single goal, there was late drama.
McCormack had a shot saved by Weale, Rae latched on to the rebound and squared for Whittingham to make it 2-0.
Seconds later Waghorn appeared to have got the ball at least a yard over the goal line directly from a corner, but the linesman didn’t give it and Cardiff charged down the other end, Burke crossing for Etuhu who wasted a golden opportunity with a poor header.
City started the second half in determined fashion, with Howard on for N’Guessan, and it took him only seven minutes to score. Waghorn swung another good corner over, Bluebirds’ keeper Marshall flapped at it and it fell for Howard to pull a goal back with a low drive from close in.
City looked a different team in this half and piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.
It looked as though the breakthrough had come in the 70th minute when Vaughan (just on for Waghorn) was sent clean through by Solano, but Gyepes dragged him down with a crude challenge just outside the area, sacrficing himself to save the points. Gyepes did indeed see red and Gallagher made nothing of the free-kick.
The last 20 minutes were all Leicester, but they couldn’t find a way through against a dogged Cardiff rearguard action, with one man off and another injured.
Wellens, Spearing and Vaughan all went close but the Bluebirds held out through 5 minutes time added on to make it three defeats in a row for Nigel Pearson’s side. The City boss refused to be downhearted however: “There are a lot of positives from tonight’s performance. We have worked very hard to get ourselves in this position and I am not feeling downbeat about it. I have seen enough encouraging signs from the second-half performance to suggest that we can finish the season very strongly.”

Cardiff: Marshall, Quinn, Gyepes, Kennedy (Capaldi 60), Burke, Whittingham, Rae, Blake (Matthews 35),  McPhail, McCormack, Etuhu (Feeney 65). Subs Not Used: Chopra, Enckelman, Taiwo, Wildig.
Leicester: Weale, Hobbs, Neilson (Adams 83), Morrison, King, Solano, Wellens, Spearing, Gallagher, N’Guessan (Howard 46), Waghorn (Vaughan 69). Subs Not Used: Powell, Logan, Oakley, Kermorgant.

Referee: F Graham (Essex). Attendance: 20,438.

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The Weales Come Off

Derby County 1:0 Leicester City

The difference between Derby and Leicester in Saturday’s East Midlands derby was a split second lack of concentration from City goalkeeper Chris Weale, whose error settled the game in favour of the Rams…

Nigel Pearson made three changes to his side with Powell, Brown and Kermorgant in for Solano, McGivern and Gallagher. 
There was a tight opening to a game that was short on entertainment, but Derby were handed a gift-wrapped opener in the 19th minute. King intercepted a Derby move and passed a straightforward ball back to Weale.
The City keeper took his eye off the ball at the vital moment and it rolled straight past him and into the net, to the delight of the home crowd.
City almost responded straight away when Dyer’s quickly taken free-kick set up King, but Bywater saved and the linesman’s flag was up.  
City’s best chance came just before the break when a crossfield run from Wellens ended with a well struck 25 yarder being tipped round the left hand post by Bywater.
Derby had the first chance of the second half when Leacock’s cross from the right was palmed out by Weale to Savage, who could not react swiftly enough to do any damage.
Porter then fired a shot on the turn but the ball went straight into Weale’s chest.
Another driving run from Leacock set Porter up but he fired narrowly over from the edge of the penalty area.
Pearson swapped his strike partnership on the hour with Howard and Gallagher on for Waghorn and Kermorgant.
Wellens then missed a long range effort on goal with Bywater out of his ground and Oakley’s driven cross through a crowded goalmouth saw King clear the bar.
N’Guessan then came on for Oakley and raised City’s game. The Frenchman’s run down the left saw him beat his marker with ease before delivering a cross that was nodded out for a corner. From Gallagher’s flag kick the ball fell for Morrison 6 yards out but his goalward stab went straight at Bywater.
Hulse almost doubled the Rams’ lead heading over from a good position, but the home side had done enough to ease their relegation fears.
City’s play off prospects were not looking quite so comfortable after a terrible week, however.

Derby: Bywater, Leacock, McEveley, Anderson, Barker, Tonge, Savage, Green, Pearson, Porter, Davies (Hulse 64 ). Subs Not Used: Deeney, Hunt, Moxey, Cywka, Martin, Sunu.
Leicester: Weale, Brown, Powell, Hobbs, Morrison, Andy King, Dyer, Oakley ( N’Guessan 75), Wellens, Kermorgant (Gallagher 62), Waghorn ( Howard 63). Subs Not Used: Logan, Solano, Adams, Spearing.

Referee: C Webster (Tyne & Wear). Attendance: 30,259.

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The Great Leicester City Mystery

Before you read the text below, may I make it clear that I have no idea what the answer is, so on your own head be it. I found this on a A4 sheet of paper that was sent in to The FOX years ago but that’s all there was…

Update: This is a genuine question and we now have the answer… which I’m not going to tell you.

Rodney Fern did it. 

So did Malcolm Manley.

And David Nish.

Jon Sammels did it twice and Brian Alderson did it twice, but Frank Worthington and Keith Weller never did it.

Alan Young did it.

Gary Lineker did it twice and Bobby Smith did it twice.

Wayne Clarke did it and so did his brother.

Ali Mauchlen did it, So did David Kelly and Tommy Wright.

Steve Walsh and Tony James both managed it.

Iwan Roberts never managed it but Marshall, Heskey and Joachim did  and Cottee did it twice.

Ade Akinbiyi never did it.

What was it?


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City Pay the Penalty

Leicester City 1:2 Reading

City recovered from a poor start to play their part in an excellent contest, but robbed of a point when Reading were awarded an injury time penalty.

Nigel Pearson sent out an unchanged line-up against the division’s form team but after a decent opening spell City fell behind in the 16th minute.
McGivern was disposessed by Kebe 30 yards out and then compounded his error by not closing the Reading striker down as he approached the goal, leaving him an easy task of beating Weale from close in. 
Reading threatened to add to the scoreline but Long sent a header over and Mills had an effort blocked on the line by Morrison, the loose ball almost going off McGivern and into the net.
City eventually fought their way back into the game towards half time. Some strong running from Dyer, who had an excellent night,  created a chance for King which went narrowly wide.
In the 40th minute another great ball from Dyer found Waghorn whose beautifully directed header beat Federici in the Royals goal.
City almost went in at half time with the lead when another darting run and cross from Dyer found King close in, but Federici produced a fine save to send the ball over the bar.
The second half was great entertainment with constant end to end stuff. Kebe squared for Sigurdsson, who would have scored but for a great intervention by King and then Kebe tested Weale with a shot.
The football was then put on hold for five minutes, but the entertainment continued… on the hour Griffin’s frustration at trying to deal with Dyer surfaced and he appeared to raise a hand to the City winger’s face. They got into a grappling match which most of the other players joined in and Griffin was lucky to see only a yellow card, while Dyer scarcely deserved his. The drama wasn’t over as the ref restarted with a drop ball and Wellens injured Tabb, resulting in the Reading player being stretchered off after lengthy treatment. Howard was so incensed by Wellens’ challenge that he spent the rest of his time on the field trying to kick lumps out of the City midfielder whether he was near the ball or not. Fortunately for both players the Reading bench swiftly gave Howard the hook, in favour of the more peacefully named Church. 
The football resumed, with a bit of added edge and Weale did well to keep out a Sigurdsson shot.
Liverpool loanee Jay Spearing then made his debut replacing Oakley in the 70th minute.
More great work from the tireless Dyer then saw him chase down Betrand, rob him, and scuttle off towards goal. Half the stadium leapt out of their seats but sadly his near post shot found the sidenetting. 
Weale produced a great save from Bertrand, but then almost made a hash of a cross from Kebe, Morrison tidying up after him.
At the other end Dyer was denied the goal he deserved when Federici tipped away his shot at full stretch.
Just when it looked as though both teams would have to settle for a point, City conceded an injury time penalty.
Church raced into the box and, although it looked as though Solano had put in a ball winning challenge, the ref pointed to the spot. Sigurdsson coolly placed it to Weale’s left and the small band of Reading fans were celebrating yet another win.
It was harsh on City, who had contributed to an excellent spectacle, but Nigel Pearson was not complaining:
“I have seen it again and I have spoken to Nobby about it, and he thought he got the ball, but I am not going to complain about it. I have seen them given and I have seen them not given, but tonight it was given.”

City: Weale, Solano, Morrison, Hobbs, McGivern, Oakley (Spearing 71), Wellens, King, Dyer, Waghorn, Gallagher (N’Guessan 74). Subs Not Used: Logan, Brown, Howard, Adams, Kermorgant.
Reading: Federici, Griffin, Mills, Khizanishvili, Bertrand, Kebe, Tabb (Gunnarsson 61), Howard (Church 64), Sigurdsson, McAnuff, Long (Rasiak 75). Subs Not Used: Hamer, Robson-Kanu, Karacan, Pearce.

Referee: David Foster (Tyne & Wear). Attendance: 20,108.

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Anfield Connection Brings Spearing to Leicester

Liverpool’s 21 year old midfielder Jay Spearing has moved to Leicester on loan until the end of the current season.
Spearing, who signed a three year contract with the Reds last summer, will be reunited with former Youth Team teammate Jack Hobbs who followed up his Anfield to Walkers Stadium loan deal with a permanent move.

Spearing has made three appearances for the club he has been involved with since the age of eight: one as sub in the Premier League, another as sub in the Champions League; and a starting place in the League Cup.

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A Tale of Four Cities

Leicester City 2:2 Coventry City

The M69 Derby ended all square at Filbert Way on Sunday, with Leicester and Coventry both claiming one half, one point and a dodgy goal apiece.

Nigel Pearson was forced into a change just before kick-off when Berner injured himself in the pre-match warm up, McGivern stepping up from the bench.
It didn’t seem to do City any harm, with them taking a third minute lead. A killer ball from Wellens fed Dyer down the left and he beat his marker and delivered a cross. McPake miscued his clearance, sending the ball straight to King who kept his composure and found the bottom right hand corner with a measured shot.
Two minute later City almost went further ahead when Waghorn swung a free-kick goalwards but Westwood tipped it round the right hand post. 
Coventry’s first chance came in the 14th minute but Baker’s shot on the turn went stright into the grasp of Weale.
At the other end Westwood came to Coventry’s rescue again, getting down to Dyer’s low shot after the City winger had been sent through by Waghorn.
Much to the home crowd’s delight it was soon 2-0, however. 
In the 19th minute another good probing ball from Wellens found Gallagher who chipped a cross over for King to head against the underside of the bar and down over the line. Whether the whole of the ball was over was difficult to tell even from multiple slowmotion camera angles, but the linesman signalled a goal and the Walkers Stadium was celebrating again.
City were rampant now and Waghorn was two inches shy of putting the finishing touch to a Wellens cross, while a Gallagher chip was headed off the line. 
Then Waghorn outpaced the Coventry centre-halves but hurried his shot over the bar.
Although Coventry enjoyed a late spell of pressure just before the break, they didn’t create any clear chances and the half had undoubtedly belonged to Leicester.
Sadly that was not the case in the second half, which saw a complete turn around in more ways than one.
Chris Coleman, who had cut a furious figure on the sidelines, had clearly given his team an almighty bollocking – wheras City seemed unsure how best to proceed with their two goal lead, opting to try and defend it.
Eight minutes into the half the Sky Blues pulled a goal back in spectacular fashion when a loose ball 8 yards out fell nicely for McPake to acrobatically volley a shot that was too hard for Weale to fully block. 
Gunnarsson was then introduced into the game for Coventry and immediately made his mark with a ridiculous challenge on McGivern that saw lengthy treatment for the Manchester City player after a clash of heads.
City had a chance to wrap up the game when Wellens sent a low ball across the face of goal but there were no takers.    
Instead, City found themselves conceding more and more ground to the visitors who had seized midfield dominance.
Kermorgant came on for Gallagher, but Coventry upped the pressure. Morrsion saw a shot from close in blocked by Weale’s legs and Wood’s follow up was blocked on the line by Solano.
Shortly after this Solano was replaced by Brown in an attempt to strenghten the defence, but Coventry found a way through in the 86th minute. 
A shot was blocked but the ball fell in the path of Morrison who squared for Deegan to net from close in. At the time of the original shot it appeared that Sears was clearly in an offside position, but there was no linesman’s flag.
City almost found a late winner when Oakley went clear on goal, but he couldn’t beat Westwood at his near post.
The Coventy keeper also did well to block Dyer in the last action of the game and both sides had to be content with a point.
City moved up to fourth, and other results went well, so nothing was dented by that squandering of a 2-0 lead, except local pride.
Leicester: Weale, Hobbs, Morrison, McGivern, King, Dyer, Solano (Brown 83), Oakley, Wellens, Gallagher (Kermorgant 77), Waghorn (Howard 88). Subs Not Used: Logan, N’Guessan, Adams, Neilson.
Coventry: Westwood, Cranie, McPake, Wood, Wright, Bell (Gunnarsson 57), Clingan, Baker (Sears 76), Deegan, Stead (Eastwood 66), Morrison. Subs Not Used: Barnett, Hall, Konstantopoulos, Hussey.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire). Attendance: 23,093.

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Ajax Watch City Keeper

A 1979 scoop from Bill Anderson that came to nought. “I think I would go.” says Mark, bless him! 

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