Leicester City 1:0 Nottingham Forest
City defeated neighbours Nottingham Forest on a wintry Monday night in front of the SKY cameras, with Andy King clinching the three points with a second half goal…
Sven Goran Eriksson made one change for this last game of the Milan Mandaric era, with new loan signing Roman Bednar in for Steve Howard up front.
Bednar immediately gave City some added presence up front, though both sides were struggling to create anything worthwhile in a scrappy opening phase of the game.
The first chance fell to Adebola but his effort was wayward.
At the other end Gallagher took a free-kick from a similar position to his spectacular goal in last season’s encounter, but this one disappointingly went straight into the wall.
In the 25th minute another free-kick frpom Cunningham led to a scramble in the penalty area, Bednar very unlucky not to open his account for City when a fierce half volley struck a defender’s leg when goalbound.
Forest were struggling to deal with Bednar at this stage, but yet another free-kick was mis-hit by Gallagher.
Earnshaw replaced Adebola on 36 minutes and was soon looking to add to his tally of goals against City, but Weale narrowed his angle well and blocked a shot from close in on the right.
City should have gone in at half time with the lead but Vassell saw his effort rescued on the goal line and Gallagher fired a shot from the left inches wide.
City’s dominance grew in the second half as City attacked the Kop end. The busy Abe fired a shot over; Wellens forced Camp into a save; and then there was uproar when Vassell was wrestled over in the area and the ref waved play on.
But City were not to be denied. In the 59th minute Bednar fed the ball to Vassell in the area and he emerged from a crowd of four red shirts with the ball which he fired across goal to find King, in the right place at the right time as ever, for a simple tap in at the far post.
It was no more than City deserved and they should have doubled that lead two minutes later when a great move involving Vassell ended with Gallagher sending a low shot just wide of the right hand post.
King then beat two players with a run which ended with him curling a shot just wide of the target, before Dyer replaced Vassell to warm applause.
Weale then saved from Tyson and Davies sent a long range effort over the bar as the snow began to fall.
Bednar was given a big ovation as he trooped off to be replaced by Howard with ten minutes remaining.
Wellens and King combined well to set up Howard but he was denied by an incredible save from Camp who tipped a close range shot over the bar.
Three minutes of time added on passed without drama, and in truth Forest’s most threatening second half moment had been a penalty shout when Earnshaw had gone full length but failed to impress the ref.
It was fantastic night for those who had ventured from their fireplaces and the victory saw City take a healthy leap up the table to 14th place.
Sven was pleased with the performance: “We were much better in the second half and were much more dangerous. We played more direct. We started the second half very well and scored one goal and should have had one more. I think we thoroughly deserved to win.”
Leicester: Weale, Davies, Hobbs, Naughton, King, Abe, Wellens, Cunningham, Gallagher (Waghorn 89), Vassell (Dyer 72), Bednar (Howard 80). Subs Not Used: Logan, Fryatt, Oakley, Morrison.
Forest: Camp, Morgan, Chambers, Gunter, Bertrand, Cohen (Ramsey 61), Anderson, McGugan (Tyson 68), Moussi, Adebola (Earnshaw 36), McCleary. Subs Not Used: Smith, Tudgay, Wilson, Majewski.
Referee: M Oliver (Northumberland). Attendance: 24,659.