Nottingham Forest 2:3 Leicester City
An injury time winner from Anthony Knockaert sealed a glorious 3-2 victory at Nottingham Forest and saw City scrape into the play-offs on goal difference….
Nigel Pearson made one change to his side with Nugent in for the injured Konchesky, with City needing win on a ground where they hadn’t succeeded in the league since 1972, while also relying on Blackpool preventing a Bolton win.
It didn’t look promising for City and their following of 2,000 as early as the 3rd minute however, when Cox was allowed two bites at the cherry with blue-shirted defenders slow to react, he prodded the ball past Schmeichel from close range to make our play-off hopes looking a little forlorn.
City responded well with Knockaert the driving force and his shot kissed the top of, the crossbar in the 15th minute.
Nugent then tested Darlow with a well struck shot.
Meanwhile, at the Reebok, Bolton went a goal down to Blackpool giving the East Midlands sides an extra incentive.
City struck back in the 23rd minute when a James shot took a big deflection past Darlow to put City right back in the mix.
Nugent then missed out on a chance to put City ahead when he missed the target after being set up by Dyer.
City were the better side leading up to the break, as news that Bolton were two goals down circulated round the stands, and they took the lead three minutes before half-time.
Knockaert delivered a lovely cross to the far post for King to head home from close in, and as things stood at half-time incredibly City were in a play-off place.
Bolton, however, had pulled back two goals to go in at 2-2.
Forest took charge for a while after the break and levelled the score when Ward rose highest to nod home a Reid free-kick.
Things got worse for City a minute later when De Laet had to go off, replaced by Moore.
Wood then volleyed wide and goalmouth scramble, ended with a referee’s whistle, as City desperately pressed for that precious goal.
Kane came on for Dyer and then hearts were in mouths as Cox went one-on-one with Schmeichel, but lost out to the City keeper.
Knockaert then had a shot blocked before Pearson’s last change saw Marshall for Keane.
Four minutes of injury time were announced and then came the season’s defining moment.
A Schlupp ball upfield saw Knockaert and Wood suddenly outnumbering Forest defenders. Knockaert passed to Wood, who squared back to Knockaert as the keeper closed in on him, leaving the Frenchman to find an unguarded net right in front of the wildly celebrating Leicester fans.
There was no further score at Bolton, so City had miraculously leap-frogged their way into the play-offs at not only the eleventh hour, but at 11:59.
Considering the dramatic slump in form in the last few months it was incredible that they made it, but make it they did and City fans were queuing up for Watford tickets first thing Sunday morning…
Nigel Pearson commented: “It was one of those situations where we had to find a win from somewhere and with it being a local derby as well put a different dimension to it, but I thought the players coped well with the pressure.”
Forest: Darlow, Harding, Collins, Guedioura (Sharp 74), Cohen, Henderson, Reid (McGugan 62), Halford (Majewski 33), Cox, Lansbury, Ward. Unused Subs: McGugan, Tudgay, Blackstock, Ayala, Alrashidi.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Moore 56), Morgan, King, Dyer (Kane 60), Keane (Marshall 85), James, Schlupp, Knockaert, Nugent, Wood. Unused Subs: Drinkwater, Vardy, Logan, Gallagher.
Referee: Mike Dean. Attendance: 28,646.
You can now subscribe to The FOX for the 2013-14 season online via Paypal – just press the blue button…