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Match Report


Posted Mon 09 Apr 12 at 14:19 PM


Town were beaten 2-1 by Leicester at Portman Road, despite leading through Jason Scotland's first-half goal.

Blues were pegged back by a Ben Marshall free-kick on the stroke of half-time, before David Nugent headed home the winner just before the hour mark.

Paul Jewell made four changes to the side that drew with Derby at Pride Park last time out, with Ryan Stevenson, Josh Carson, Lee Bowyer and Scotland all starting. That meant Michael Chopra, Lee Martin and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas were all on the bench, whilst Andy Drury missed out completely.

Town were quicker out of the blocks and the returning Scotland and Carson linked up as early as the third minute to create a chance, with Kasper Schmeichel keeping out the latter's shot from the edge of the area.

The former Leeds stopper was called into action again three minutes later, holding on well to Scotland's snapshot from range. A well worked free-kick between Aaron Cresswell, Bowyer and Grant Leadbitter saw the latter fire in a shot from range that Schmeichel was again equal to, tipping around the post for a corner after 16 minutes.

The visitors did have a good chance of their own to break the deadlock two minutes later though, as a routine ball forward from Paul Konchesky released Jermaine Beckford, but the striker failed to keep his lob down and the ball sailed over Arran Lee-Barrett's crossbar.

Scotland was causing the Leicester defence problems with his direct running and was unlucky to see his drive from distance flash over the crossbar after 19 minutes.

Beckford was the main danger for the Foxes in the final third and he should have done better when slipped in on goal by Nugent, but the striker dragged his shot wide after 27 minutes.

Town immediately counter-attacked and Carson and Scotland again linked up, with the young winger playing in the striker who was denied by a superb last ditch block from Konchesky.

Midfielder Stevenson was looking to catch the eye for Blues on his first start for the Club but he could only fire over the bar just before the half-hour mark after Scotland had laid the ball into his path.

The Scottish midfielder was then denied by a fine stop from Schmeichel, who pushed his drive behind for a corner seven minutes before the break.

But Town's dominance was soon to be rewarded, as Scotland opened the scoring three minutes before half-time with a fine solo goal.The striker weaved his way past Sol Bamba into the box before sliding the ball under the body of Schmeichel and into the bottom corner.

However the lead lasted just a couple of minutes as Marshall levelled things up with a free-kick in injury time. The former Sheffield Wednesday loanee hammered in a shot that went through the wall and although Lee-Barrett got a hand to the shot he couldn't stop the ball nestling into the top corner.

After Town restarted the game by kicking-off, the referee blew for half-time and the sides went in level pegging.

The second-half started at a frantic pace and the visitors almost took the lead three minutes after the restart. Substitute Paul Gallagher sent over a teasing centre looking for the run of Beckford which Carlos Edwards met but fortunately Lee-Barrett made a fine reaction save to stop the skipper from scoring an own goal.

Four minutes later and Scotland went close to adding to his tally, but his left-footed shot was blocked by the head of Wes Morgan and the ball flew just over the crossbar.

The visitors were beginning to play and thought they had won a penalty after Andy King was sent sprawling in the box by Lee-Barrett, but referee Tony Bates deemed the midfielder to have dived and instead issued a yellow card and a free-kick to Town after 53 minutes.

Nigel Pearson's side were then denied a second goal by a fine save from Lee-Barrett, keeping out Lee Peltier's header following a Ben Marshall corner.

But the Foxes did take the lead soon after, with David Nugent heading the visitors in front after 58 minutes. Town failed to clear their lines and Gallagher crossed for Nugent who made no mistake from six yards, glancing a header into the top corner.

Blues' next goalscoring chance didn't arrive until 13 minutes from time, with Leadbitter flashing a shot wide from distance which never really troubled Schmeichel in the Leicester goal.

Two minutes later and some good pressure from Scotland forced Bamba to rush his clearance and the ball fell to Delaney on the edge of the box, but the defender miscued his volley and the ball sailed well wide of the target.

Town were thankful to 'keeper Lee-Barrett with six minutes remaining after he saved from Beckford, who had broke clear of the defence following a long punt up field.

Blues did press for an equaliser but failed to test Schmeichel as the Foxes held on for all three points.

The defeat leaves Town 15th in the Championship table with a trip to Crystal Palace next on the agenda for Paul Jewell's men.

Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Carson (Emmanuel-Thomas 57), Leadbitter, Stevenson (Martin 66), Bowyer, Murphy (Chopra 73), Scotland. Subs not used: Wright, Sonko.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Dyer (Gallagher 46), Drinkwater (King 46), Wellens, Marshall (Howard 79), Nugent, Beckford. Subs not used: St Ledger, Schlupp.

Booked: King

Att: 18, 282 (839 visiting fans)

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