Monthly Archives: February 2013

Leicester Head Back up the Table

Leicester City 3:0 Blackburn Rovers

1213 blackburn home
Three headed goals and a wonder save from Kasper Schmeichel restored City to winning ways at the KPS on Tuesday night…

Nigel Pearson made one change from the Blackpool game with Nugent’s neck injury ruling him out in favour of Knockaert; while the home crowd got a first look at Kane.
City got off to their usual decent start, with Kane’s low shot being tipped round the right hand post by Kean, Then King went very close with a header, before Knockaert had a fierce shot saved by Kean and Drinkwater fired a long-ranger inches over.
For all City’s dominance they were lucky not to go behind in the 25th minute when a Pedersen shot was deflected only for Schmeichel to produce a world class save to deny Rovers.
Soon after this a Marshall corner was nodded on by Keane to Wood. His athletic effort was blocked to Keane who missed the target.
However, any thoughts that it might be ‘one of those nights’ were dismissed on the half hour when Wood headed home from a Marshall cross for his ninth City goal, preserving his goal a game ratio.
Three minutes before the break City doubled their lead when Kane battled his way through the defence to get a close range header to a Marshall corner, and it already felt like the game was won with  DJ Campbell & Co getting no change from Wes Morgan and his defence.

The second half turned into something of a procession. Appleton shuffled his pack to little effect bringing on three subs, and City were restricted to fewer chances, Marshall and Kane sending in off target efforts.
The 75th minute introduction of Dyer for Knockaert pepped things up a bit but when his speed took him clear of the defence he fired his shot straight at the advancing Kean.
City finally added to their goals tally in injury time when a Waghorn corner from the right was nodded home by King to wrap up a decent display and very welcome three points.

Nigel Pearson was happy: “We defended well as a team, moved the ball really well, scored three headed goals and did our goal difference the world of good.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Keane, Morgan, Konchesky, Marshall, Drinkwater, King, Knockaert (Dyer 75), Kane (Vardy 83), Wood (Waghorn 87). Subs Not Used: Logan, Whitbread, Gallagher, Wellens.  
Blackburn: Kean, Orr, Dann, Rekik (Henley 46), Hanley, Lowe, Pedersen (Olsson 46), Murphy, Bentley, Campbell, Rhodes (Nuno Gomes 72). Subs Not Used: Sandomierski, Givet, Morris, Goodwillie

Referee: Geoff Eltringham. Attendance: 19,561. 

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Stalemate by the Sea

Blackpool 0:0 Leicester City

1213 blackpool away

This was a dour contest between two out-of-form sides on a pitch that resembled a cabbage patch and whilst City may feel they did enough to win, the truth is that neither side deserved all 3 points.

Nigel Pearson gave a debut to new loan signing, Harry Kane (who bears a striking resemblance to Chris Wood from a distance by the way) and played three up front with Knoackaert making way for Kane. The only other change was Andy King back for the injured Matty James. City started well and were playing a lot of football in Blackpool’s half but with no real end product and it was becoming clear early on that the pitch was going to be a problem. It cut up very badly and there seemed to be more sand on the pitch than the nearby beach. The afternoon was punctuated with sliced passes, poor control and simple balls going astray; the beautiful game it wasn’t!

Kasper Schmeichel saved early on from Taylor-Fletcher who seemed certain to score from close in before Harry Kane brightened up the half with a stunning first-time shot out of nowhere that Gilks did well to keep out. Soon after Ben Marshall has Gilks scrambling across his goal with a run and an effort that hit the side netting. It was Blackpool who finished the half stronger when a superb double save from Schmeichel kept out a lob from Tom Ince and the follow up from Eardley.

The second half opened with City on the front foot and a gift penalty gave them the opportunity to open the scoring. Kane was chasing a loose ball out of the area when Eardley inexplicably bundled him over for a stonewall penalty. Up stepped Chris Wood who opted to drive the penalty kick straight down the middle but sadly on to the bar and in to the crowd. If that wasn’t bad enough Wood’s afternoon worsened after he missed a simple chance to make amends a few minutes later. Lloyd Dyer (on for Marshall) cut the ball back across goal for the big Kiwi who scuffed his effort wide from 6 yards with the goal yawning at him. Wood’s hat-trick of near misses was completed with 10 minutes remaining when his header from a long ball was tipped over by Gilks. At the other end the City defence was on top and the hosts were restricted to long-range efforts and set-pieces which were dealt with comfortably by Schmeichel who was in commanding form.

The final whistle brought a merciful end to a poor match but special mention for Tom Ince. Amid the players struggling to cope with the awful pitch was a lad with real class who rose above it and showed why there is so much interest in him right now. He even took the inevitable chants from City fans in his stride (‘Daddy’s boy’ and ‘He’s not your real dad’) and got on with a classy performance.

A not so special mention for Blackpool F.C. stewards who ruined the afternoon for countless travelling fans today. It was a classic case of fools in high vis jackets on a power trip. They were able to create trouble where there was none and a procession of fans were ejected for no good reason as these idiots continually created conflict and tension amongst a good-natured, trouble-free travelling support.

Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Cathcart, Broadfoot, Crainey, Eardley, Ferguson, Basham, Ince, Taylor-Fletcher (Delfouneso 72), Phillips (Derbyshire 80). Subs Not Used: Halstead, Wabara, Grandin, Sylvestre, Martinez.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Keane, Morgan, Konchesky, Marshall (Knockaert 73), King, Drinkwater, Kane (Vardy 79), Nugent (Dyer 61), Wood. Subs Not Used: Logan, Whitbread, Gallagher, Wellens.

Referee: Simon Hooper. Attendance: 14,509. 

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Leicester Dazzled by Charlton

Leicester City 1:2 Charlton Athletic

1213 charlton home

Charlton completed the double over City with a 2-1 win at the KPS on Tuesday night…

Drinkwater, Marshall and Wood returned to the side after an FA Cup rest and City enjoyed a bright opening spell to the game. Unfortunately it wasn’t as bright as the new electronic advertising hoardings which half blinded us for most of the first half and I can’t really report on anything that happened. Every time City neared the visitors’ goal we were dazzled by vivid Pukka Pie orange or neon Swift Fox Cabs yellow so much so that it is still imprinted on my retina. I really fancy a pie right now…

Apparently Knockaert forced a good save from Hamer, but by the time our eyes had adjusted to the glare Charlton had been gifted a 19th minute lead. After a defensive clanger on the left Pritchard took full advantage, squaring the ball for, inevitably, former City villain Kermorgant to sidefoot home.
City didn’t really respond to this set-back with chances limited to off-target efforts from Nugent, Knockaert and Konchesky.
Chris Powell’s side had more energy than City and were chasing them down all over the park, occasionally being too enthusiastic in the challenge.
City’s best chance of the half came courtesy of a fantastic run down the left and cross from De Laet, but Knockaert spooned his effort well over and Charlton took their lead down the tunnel at half time.

The second half saw Charlton maintaining their high work rate and Pritchard missed the target from long-range while Morrison’s volley produced a fine reaction save from Schmeichel.
Wood then found the net for City but was denied by the linesman’s flag, and then Nigel Pearson brought on Gallagher and Dyer for Marshall and Knockaert.
City finally managed an equaliser with twenty minutes remaining when good work from De Laet set up Wood for a smart finish from inside the area – his 8th goal in 7 games.
However, City found themselves behind again just eight minutes later when Haynes, who had been on the pitch for a minute looped an impressive volley over Schmeichel and into the net for the goal of his life.
City looked to have neither the ideas or the energy to recover from this further set-back. The best chance came when Drinkwater’s low drive from 30 yards found its way through but was tipped round the right hand post by Hamer.

With the rest of the front-runners all winning their games suddenly the future isn’t looking so bright…

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Keane, Morgan, Konchesky, Knockaert (Gallagher 64), Drinkwater, James (King 80), Marshall (Dyer 64), Nugent, Wood. Subs Not Used: Logan, Vardy, St. Ledger, Waghorn.
Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Wiggins, Cort, Morrison, Stephens (Wilson 90), Pritchard, Dervite (Haynes 77), Jackson, Wagstaff (Taylor 90), Kermorgant. Subs Not Used: Button, Evina, Kerkar, Fuller.

Referee: Michael Naylor. Attendance: 19,920 

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FOX 184 – in the shops now! Stan Collymore Interview…

Issue No 184 of The FOX – is in all good newsagents now and on sale at tonight’s game against Charlton…

cover copy low res

FOX 184, with Chris Wood on the cover, features: an interview with Stan Collymore looking at his short but eventful City career;  Something Old, Something New; Fully Programmed from 1974-75; Fox Diary – which starts badly and then gets much better; the latest from the Foxes Trust; Tales From the Riverbank; Rewind – the last time we got promoted to the top flight; the Chris Lymn Column; John Hutchinson looks through the 1930s box in the Leicester City archives; Fox-Photos; Farming Foxes – You Must Have Come on a Tractor; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots – our favourite photos from the last month; and Fanatical Frank beats the blizzard….

all for £2…

 

Stan Collymore Interview Extract…

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FOX: What were your first impressions of Leicester when you first turned up for training?

SC: Well that’s interesting because the first person I bumped in to when I walked in to the canteen was Ian Marshall and he was reading a paper and he barely looked up and just grunted when I said hello and I thought aye, aye my reputation is preceding me here and this is going to be difficult. I imagine a lot of the players had thought what’s he gonna be like, we’ve heard a lot about him, is he gonna be a bit ‘big time’ and I knew there was a bit of scepticism around at the time. But I knew Robbie Savage from his Crewe days so I didn’t feel like a complete stranger. My first training session was on a Friday morning and Steve Walford came out with a bag of balls and said “Right, f**king hurry up lads, you can have a five-a-side and then I want to get down the pub!” and I had just come from Liverpool and Aston Villa where training was very regimented but this was unbelievable, everybody was laughing and it really was fun. I started looking forward to training but don’t get me wrong, it was organised and sometimes hard work but you could see that Leicester players at the time were enjoying it and genuinely looking forward to coming in every day.

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Leicester dumped out of cup by Terriers

Leicester City 1:2 Huddersfield Town

1213 hudd cup homeThe gulf in priorities between club and fans widened at the KPS on Tuesday night as a below strength City missed out on a home 5th round tie, beaten 2-1 by Huddersfield.However, not all the blame could be heaped on the ‘stand-ins’, as the usual highly reliable Schmeichel and Morgan had proved by the fifth minute. Morgan bundled Lee over with a clumsy challenge 20 yards out and then allowed Clayton’s curling effort past his section of the wall before it beat a slightly mis-positioned Schmeichel to find the net.
City replied instantly when Knockaert’s corner from the right was met by De Laet’s head, and blocked to Keane whose side-footed found a route through the crowd and past Bennett for his first senior goal.
After this early flurry of activity the game settled into a stalemate for the remainder of the first half and City’s threat was reduced to a couple off-target efforts from Gallagher.
It was the visitors who were creating the chances towards the break with a Wallace 25 yarder being well saved by  Schmeichel and Morgan blocking a shot from the lively Scannell.

The second half was an increasingly frustrating experience for a sparse and shivering crowd, with City unable to get any sort of passing game going. Waghorn and Vardy replaced an impotent forward line of Nugent and Futacs, but fared no better.
Then the Terriers took a 75 minute lead when Scannell’s run in from the left took him past Koncheksy and Keane near the touchline, before he beat the advancing Schmeichel from an acute angle.
City had just one decent chance to force extra time in the remaining quarter of an hour as Vardy directed his header from a Gallagher cross inches wide of the left hand upright.

So City were dumped out of the competition, having been handed a tie they surely could have won at the first attempt using the first team.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Keane, Morgan, Konchesky, James, Gallagher, Wellens (Dyer 81), Knockaert, Futacs (Waghorn 74), Nugent (Vardy 74). Subs Not Used: Logan, Drinkwater, King, Moore.
Huddersfield: Bennett, Dixon, Wallace, Gerrard, Woods, Sinnott (Norwood 65), Arfield, Atkinson (Gobern 83), Clayton, Scannell, Lee (Vaughan 70). Subs Not Used: Colgan, Clarke, Hunt, Crooks.

Referee: James Adcock (Nottingham). Attendance: 14,517. 

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Leicester outfought by Posh

Peterborough United 2:1 Leicester City

1213 pboro away

A large travelling support headed down the A47 hoping to see City extend their run of five games in a row, but it didn’t turn out like that with Peterborough snatching three points late on…

City, who had Vardy in for the talismanic Wood, started well and controlled the early stages of the game.
After a good run and cut back from De Laet, Nugent hestitated long enough to allow Petrucci to crowd him out.
Marshall then tested Posh ‘keeper Olejnik with a dent free kick.
At the other end McCann forced a similar save out of Schmeichel with another free-kick, but there were few chances in a cagey first half hour.
The game opened up after that:  though City couldn’t find the net despite players queuing up to have a strike during one incident. Nugent fired an effort in but it was blocked into the path of King, who also struck a defender, before Drinkwater had similar luck and Konchesky missed the target from distance.
This illustrated relegation-threatened Posh’s determination, further underlined  when Nugent was denied by a fine Olijnik save from inside the area.
However, the home side’s resistance only last seven minutes into the second half. A quick throw from Nugent sent Drinkwater in on the right and his squared ball was dummied by Vardy, setting up Marshall for a composed finish that found the top right hand corner right in front of the City fans packed onto the terraces.
All was going to plan at this point and City looked to add to their lead. Marshall saw his  effort from a Nugent cross blocked by Zakuani; Vardy slid in at the far post to miss Nugent’s cross by a stud; and was further denied by another fantastic Olejnik save; and Knockaert curled a fine effort narrowly wide.
At the other end there were penalty appeals when Petrucci’s shot struck Morgan on the arm, who made a further fantastic block to clear the follow-up.
But soon after Vardy made way for Waghorn in the 70th minute Posh found an equaliser. The ball sat up beautifully for Petrucci, and he arrowed a fine shot past Schmeichel.
If this was a setback for City things got worse with a couple of minutes left on the clock when Boyd set up McCann to beat Schmeichel from close in with City’s defence chasing shadows.
Waghorn then wasted an opportunity for an injury time equaliser, blazing the ball over the bar from Dyer’s precise cut-back, before Schmeichel blocked a Tomlin effort that then skidded up and hit the bar.

Thankfully for City results elsewhere went in their favour but a large travelling support went home disappointed from this fixture yet again.

Nigel Pearson: “We certainly created enough good chances to do that but I felt we didn’t work hard enough to keep a clean sheet at the other end. That is not something you will hear me say about my players too often but I felt Peterborough had more drive than us, especially after they had got themselves level.”

Peterborough: Olejnik, Little, Zakuani, Bostwick, Rowe, Mendez-Laing (Pritchard (Ferdinand 90) 75), Petrucci, McCann, Boyd, Tomlin, Gayle. Subs Not Used: Day, Brisley, Newell, Knight-Percival, Payne.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Keane, Morgan, Konchesky, King, Knockaert, Drinkwater, Marshall (Dyer 78), Vardy (Waghorn 70), Nugent. Subs Not Used: Logan, James, Gallagher, Wellens, Futacs.

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxford). Attendance: 11,070. 

 

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Leicester keep Wolves from the door and retain second place

Leicester City 2:1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

1213 wolves home

City eventually overcame stubborn opposition and some frustrating refereeing to beat Wolves 2-1 at the KPS on Thursday night…

Despite fears that he wouldn’t be fit Knockaert made the starting line-up and was a constant thorn in Wolves’ side., often trying to weave his way through the gold shirted defence.
Wood then controlled a long ball on his chest  before sending a dipping 25 yard volley inches over the bar.  Marshall was the next to have a crack, testing Ikeme with a long-range effort that the former City keeper gathered at the second attempt.
City took a well deserved lead in the 24 minute when Schmeichel picked out Knockaert on the right and he worked his way through the defence towards goal before firing home from close in, making it look all so easy.
There were a few gaps in City’s defence however and during one sequence Sigurdarson and Ebanks-Blake both had attempts on goal.
But City should have gone in 2-0 up at the break when a Nugent dummy set Marshall up with a clear sight of goal but he fired over.

This miss looked more damaging 6 minutes into the second half when Doumbia set Sako up for a sweetly struck 20 yarder that arrowed past Scmeichel.
City almost conjured up an instant response when De Laet delivered a low cross from the right but Wood didn’t get a clean contact from 12 yards out and the ball went agonisingly wide of the far post.
Wolves enjoyed their best spell of the game after this and looked the more likely winners for a while, until City regained the lead in the 73rd minute thanks to a bit of Nugent magic. There appeared to be little danger to Wolves when Nugent collected the ball on the left, but he continued on a run across the field until the goal came within his sights and he produced a superb finish to curl the ball round Ikeme and find the net.
Wolves had one chance to equalise in the closing stages but Ebanks-Blake could only find the outside of the post with a good chance and City had a precious three points in the bank ahead of the weekend’s action.

There is, inevitably, growing talk of promotion among City fans but Nigel Pearson urged caution: “I think going into this crucial part of the season, it’s not easy, and we’ve managed to start the New Year well, but there’s a long way to go and it still remains very, very tight. I don’t think it’s prudent to make assumptions that we’ve cracked it because there’s a long way to go.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Keane, Konchesky, Knockaert (Vardy 76), King, Drinkwater, Marshall (Dyer 69), Wood, Nugent (Waghorn 90) Subs Not Used: Logan, Gallagher, Wellens, Futacs.
Wolves: Ikeme, Foley, Batth, Berra, Ward, Doumbia (Davis 82), Henry (Edwards 81), O’Hara, Sako, Sigurdarson (Peszko 77), Ebanks-Blake. Subs not used: De Vries, Doyle, Margreitter, Cassidy.

Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire). Attendance: 21,677. 

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