Monthly Archives: December 2011

City Bid farewell to 2011 With a Point

Leicester City 1:1 Portsmouth

City once again fell below expectations at the KP Stadium with a performance that was not enough to wrestle all three points from a hard working and strong Pompey side.

Nigel Pearson shuffled his pack again as he seeks the elusive win over the holiday period and Beckford and Dyer made way for Schlupp and King with the former clearly relishing his first league start with a lively display. Both sides started cautiously and neither keeper was troubled early on with Schlupp coming closest after a good run and low shot just wide but it was Pompey who got their noses in front on twenty minutes following a deep cross to the far post from Norris who found Futacs. The Hungarian had time to chest the ball down and lash the ball past Schmeichel from close in. It was a soft goal to concede but City hit back with three minutes when Nugent rose to meet a Gallagher free kick and planted a perfect header past Henderson.

After this tit-for-tat exchange of goals it was Pompey who looked more threatening and City were struggling to cope with the constant aerial threat that they posed and after Schmeichel failed to collect a Ward cross, Greg Halford headed against the post of the unguarded net. City almost imploded again a few minutes later when Sol Bamba rescued Schmeichel after Liam Lawrence beat the blond ‘keeper to a loose ball but was unable to finish. It was Keystone Kops stuff at the back and City were struggling to put anything together at the other end with the end product simply not good enough whenever they ventured forward. They did, however, come closest to taking the lead just before half time when Wellens set up Abe who had a thumping shot beaten away as far as Schlupp who was unable to convert the rebound as his shot was smothered.

The second half was a mediocre affair with both sides enjoying spells of possession but City were never able to assert themselves and build a decent head of steam and create genuine pressure. Only in the later stages of the game did City look likely to snatch a winner when substitute Jermaine Beckford forced a good save from Henderson and then had a good shout for a penalty turned down when Beckford appeared to be tripped by Joe Mattock when clean through on the angle. The crowd’s frustration was clear at the final whistle and yet another home match has gone by without three points and 6 wins from 13 home fixtures is not play-off form and neither is the 3 points out of 15 that City have picked up in December. Nigel Pearson has voiced his own frustration at the recent performances and has promised changes in the January transfer window that will improve results. As it stands at the end of 2011 City are seven points off of the last play-off spot and a season that promised so much is in danger of being over too soon unless there is a change of fortunes soon. Only Nigel Pearson and his under-performing players can deliver that. Happy New Year!

City: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills (c), Bamba, Konchesky, King, Abe, Wellens (Danns 72), Schlupp (Dyer 86), Nugent (Beckford 72), Gallagher.Unused subs: Howard, Weale.

Portsmouth: Henderson,  Mokoena, Halford, Pearce, Mattock, Ward, Norris, Mullins, Lawrence (c), Kitson, Futacs.Unused subs: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Huseklepp, Williams, Benjani.

Attendance: 25,356 (568 away) Referee: Colin Webster (Tyne & Wear)

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City Fail to Pull a Cracker

Leicester City 1:1 Ipswich Town

A large Boxing Day crowd went home disappointed from the King Power Stadium after another disjointed performance and a 1-1 draw against Ipswich…

Nigel Pearson brought Mills, Abe and Beckford in for St Ledger, King and Howard but this failed to get City out of their December rut which has brought just 2 points out of 12.
City looked to be in trouble right from the kick-off when Martin was brought down in the area by Konchesky for an obvious penalty after just thirty seconds. City were reprieved however when Schmeichel dived low to tip Chopra’s spot-kick round the right hand post for a fine save.
It was only a temporary let-off however, as Ipswich took a 4th minute lead through Bowyer with too many defenders ball-watching.
Ipswich sat back after this but City still looked out of sorts and could not find a way through. Sonko was given a yellow card after tripping Beckford who may have felt he was clean through, and Gallagher and Bamba forced fairly comfortable saves from Lee-Barrett, but failed to create many decent attacking moves, being booed off by some sections of the crowd at half-time. 
City improved slightly in the second half, which saw King on for Dyer, and Nugent should have put City ahead when he got on the end of a low Konchesky cross from the left but placed his effort to close to the Ipswich keeper.
Gallagher then swung a free-kick narrowly wide of the left hand post from the edge of the area.
But City were labouring to find a way through the towering Ipswich defence, but they got a break in the 69th minute when Scotland handled a Gallagher flag-kick in the area.
Gallagher made no mistake with his usual back-to-goal run up, crashing the ball past Lee-Barrett.
City then went in search of a winner, with Schlupp and Howard on, but still had no tried and trusted method of creating chances. Gallagher saw a free-kick deflected wide when a Konchesky blaster might have been a better option, and Mills should have directed a header on target, but we still seem to have no-one with any hint of aerial prowess. 
A 1-1 draw it was, and Nigel Pearson may now be realising the importance of the January transfer window.
This team, in any combination, will not get promoted.
 

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills, Bamba, Konchesky, Gallagher, Abe, Wellens (Schlupp 87), Dyer (King 46), Beckford (Howard 84), Nugent. Unused Subs: Weale, Danns.
Ipswich: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Sonko, Delaney, Cresswell, Martin, Andrews (Bullard 43), Bowyer, Murphy; Scotland (Ellington 83), Chopra (Emmanuel-Thomas 72). Unused Subs: Wright, Wabara.
Referee: D Drysdale (Lincolnshire). Attendance: 27,091.

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FOX 178 – OUT NOW!

FOX 178 – the Leicester City fanzine is in the shops now and will be on sale before the Boxing Day game against Ipswich…

This Christmassy issue features: an exclusive interview with City boss Nigel Pearson; What Was the Year? Quiz; Odd One Out; Fully Programmed; Fox Diary; the latest from the Foxes Trust; Tales From the Riverbank; Rewind – the Boys of 93-94; Dave Harris’s memories of Vienna; the Chris Lymn Column; an extract from our new book ‘GOT, NOT GOT’; John Hutchinson’s From the Archives; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots; and Fanatical Frank’s Christmas…

Probably the most fun you can have for two quid.

Extract from the Nigel Pearson interview:

FOX: In the play-off we were within an ace of getting to Wembley… if you’d have known what Yann Kermorgant was going to take the penalty he did, would you have stopped him?!

NP: Have you seen him playing for Charlton recently, he’s doing alright isn’t he?
Nobody saw that coming, no. We’d done a penalty shoot-out the day before in training and he smashed every one in the top corner. There’s no accounting for how pressure affects some people. Unfortunately we will always be ruing the missed opportunity of that day. I think we fancied ourselves to go all the way if we’d got through, because we’d hit our stride. We’d come off the back of four defeats and then ended the season with five straight wins. We were on good form and the players felt great about themselves.
There are always things you look back on and think you might have done slightly differently but for the most part I think that season went pretty well. Unfortunately you can’t account for what happened in Cardiff.

————————————————————

Subscribe to The Fox fanzine for the 2011-12 season and you will recieve The FOX Summer Special 2011, a free set of four Leicester City postcards, issue 176 with the Andy Lochhead interview, issue 177 with the Andy King interview and issue 178 with the Nigel Pearson interview by return of post.…

Either pay via paypal using the blue button on the right, or send a cheque for £14.50 to:
The FOX, PO Box No 2, Cosby, Leicester, LE9 1zz.

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City Fall to Symphony in B Sharp

Doncaster Rovers 2:1 Leicester City

City surrendered their lead and all three points as Doncaster stage a second half comeback

City turned in another below-par performance at the Keepmoat Stadium and came away empty-handed as Billy Sharp turned the game on its head with two goals in three second half minutes.

Nigel Pearson resisted the urge to make wholesale changes and the only change from the Peterborough starting line-up was the inclusion of Steve Howard for Jermaine Beckford. The first half was tense and tight and the play was condensed in to the middle of the park with City relying on the long ball out of defence to Howard and Nugent. The only effort on target before City took the lead was a Howard header that Woods tipped over comfortably. Doncaster, for their part, were equally ineffective and so it was a surprise to us all when City fashioned a goal in the 38th minute when Howard fed Nugent on the left and Nugent outpaced full back, Sam Hird, before firing a dipping shot over Woods and in off the far post. This was the score at half-time when most City fans seemed surprised with the lead and concerned about the display.

Their concern was justified as the second half unfolded and the City defence looked uncomfortable against Fortune and Sharp and Schmeichel was finally forced in to a save when he tipped over an awkward shot from Gillett. It wasn’t long before Rovers were level when a cross from Fortune, just after the hour mark, was met by Billy Sharp who nipped between the static Konchesky and Bamba to plant a downward header through Scmeichel’s legs. If that wasn’t bad enough then two minutes later Rovers were in front after a deep cross from Stock found its way to Sharp in acres of space and he executed a superb scissors kick in to the far corner with Schmeichel helpless to stop it. It was a rare glimpse of class in a poor match and it turned out to be the winner.

City raised their game as they went in search of an equaliser but the end product in front of goal was poor. First Wellens wasted two identical chances in front of goal as the ball ran loose from ten yards out and he failed to hit the target with either. Gallagher saw a shot deflected wide and, right at the death, a St Ledger header drifted just the wrong side of the post.

Whilst City might consider themselves unfortunate not to claim a point but there is no getting away from the fact that this was a sub-standard performance and a frustrating afternoon for the two thousand or so travelling fans who grew increasingly frustrated and vocal as the match wore on. City seemed disjointed and lacked fluency and were unable to keep the ball or cause enough problems for Rovers’ defence. Rovers themselves were not great but three inspired minutes from Billy Sharp was enough to separate the sides in the end.

Doncaster: Woods, O’Connor, Hird, Beye, Ilunga, Coppinger, Barnes, Stock (c), Gillett, Fortune (Hayter 83), Sharp.Unused subs: Maxted, Bennett, Friend, Dumbuya.

City : Schmeichel, Peltier, St. Ledger, Bamba, Konchesky, Gallagher, King, Wellens (c), Dyer (Beckford 77), Nugent, Howard.Unused subs: Weale, Abe, Fernandes, Tunchev.

Attendance: 9,461 (2,218 away) Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey)

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City Stumble at Home to Posh

Leicester City 1:1 Peterborough United

City failed to turn pressure into goals dropping two points at home to Peterborough on Saturday…

City, with Gallagher and St Ledger in for Danns and Mills, were the dominant side through what proved to be a frustrating first half.
An early period of pressure saw plenty of action in the Posh penalty area, though the ball never quite fell kindly to a blue shirt.
King had a shot cleared, while there were two penalty shouts for a Rowe handball and contact on Nugent as he attempted to round keeper Lewis. Beckford and Nugent both sent headers narrowly off-target before Lewis denied Nugent with a good block.
United had a rare chance when Bamba was caught napping at the back and Scmeichel spread himself well to snuff out a chipped effort from Taylor. 
City came closest to an opener when Wellens put Beckford through but his low shot came off the inside of the post with Lewis beaten.
For all City’s dominance the sides went in goalless at the break…
but the stalemate only lasted ten minutes into the second half. After a short corner involving Nugent and Gallagher a slice of fortune presented Gallagher with a bit of room eight yards out and he made no mistake firing City into the lead.
Unfortunately instead of pressing forward in the same manner they had all game City began to concede ground to the visitor, sitting further and further back.
With 20 minutes remaining Peterborough hit back with an unlikely equaliser following a slick move which ended with Sinclair crossing from the right and Leicester-born Tomlin ghosting in unmarked to apply the finishing touch with a diving header.
Howard and Schlupp replaced Beckford and Nugent up front but City couldn’t revive that earlier attacking play and United looked the more likely to add to the scoreline with a frantic goalmouth scramble in Schmeichel’s area finally being extinguished.
The final whistle heralded a hugely disappointing point in front of a big crowd…
Nigel Pearson sharing their frustration: “It is a frustrating result. We should have kicked on after we had got the goal, but we then made too many errors like not tracking players and allowed them back in to it. It is frustrating when we had so many positive situations.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, St Ledger, Bamba, Konchesky, Gallagher (Danns 71), King, Wellens, Dyer, Beckford (Schlupp 76), Nugent (Howard 76). Unused Subs: Weale, Fernandes.
Peterborough: Lewis, Alcock, Bennett, Zakuani, Rowe, Tomlin, Frecklington (Newell 68), McCann (Kearns 58), Boyd, Sinclair,Taylor (Tunnicliffe 46). Unused Subs: Thompson, Jones.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire). Attendance: 25,948.

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Tigers Earn Payback

Revenge was sweet for Hull City at the KC Stadium on Saturday as they finally managed wear down ten man Leicester’s resistance with a later winner…

Although Nigel Pearson dubbed it: “just another game.” the Hull City fans took the opportunity to give the man who had left them 18 days previously both barrells.
Pearson, presumably knowing the opposition better than anyone, made one change to his side with Danns in for Gallagher.
It was an industrial opening half hour with more heat than light created. City’s final pass often went astray with Wellens looking out of sorts, and Hull posed an increasing threat towards Schmeichel’s goal.
Nugent broke through once and sent a shot narrowly wide, before a Koren effort flashed across goal.
Then came a game-changing incident on the half hour. Mclean ran on to a loose ball in the area and had a shot blocked by Mills, but the City skipper then flicked a boot out tripping him as he lined up for a second attempt from close in. Mills was dismissed for the second time this season, and Fryatt converted the spot kick past Schmeichel. Although this caused outrage in the away end at the opposite end of the ground, it was the correct decision.
Pearson, with gleeful taunts ringing in his ears, immediately brought St Ledger on for Beckford.
Ten man City battled on and gained their reward five minutes before the break. Nugent broke clear of the defence but fired his shot straight at Tigers keeper Gulacsi. Konchesky was on hand to curl a superbly judged shot round the keeper and just inside the right hand post. 

City were always going to be up against it in the second half but seemed to be winning the battle of attrition with just two minutes on the clock.
Schmeichel had made a near post save from Stewart as Hull pushed forward using the flanks; and then produced a third world class save in as many games to tip a shot from Dawson round the post.
With Gallagher on his own up front City made little impression going forward, but looked to have held on to a point until two minutes from time. That was when Rosenior squared a ball which Koren met with a sweetly timed run and excellent strike, giving Scmeichel no chance and raising the roof of the KC Stadium.
Revenge was sweet for the delighted Hull fans as Nigel Pearson was left to contemplete the first defeat of his second tenure… “The application of players was very good in terms of dealing with adversity. I have seen some positives. The thing about today is that it is always tough to concede late goals. We came unstuck with what was a very good goal.”

Hull: Gulacsi, Rosenior,Chester,Hobbs, Dawson, Evans (Dudgeon 87), McKenna, Koren, Mclean, Stewart, Fryatt. Unused Subs: Basso, Cairney, McShane, Adebola.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills, Bamba, Konchesky, Danns (Gallagher 63), King, Wellens, Dyer, Beckford (St Ledger 30), Nugent (Fernandes 68). Unused Subs: Weale, Howard.
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire). Attendance: 20,148.

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