Date:Wednesday February 15 2006
Fans' talk after City's 2-2 draw with Derby last night was of the blossoming lightweight strike partnership between Matty Fryatt and Iain Hume.
With four goals equally shared between them since Kelly took the managerial reins they do appear to compliment each other.
Last night the sleathy duo threatened to rip the big, cumbersome Derby defenders to shreds with their fast, skillful and tenaciously determined raiding.
Hopes were always high for recently arrived Fryatt, having been top scorer at Walsall these last two seasons.
But Hume has been a revelation. He played little more than a bit part during Levein's regime and the pair are reputed to have clashed heatedly.
But Kelly has shown faith in the Fryatt/Hume combination and last night they looked as if they'd be an uncomfortable test for any defenders.
The evening also presented a rare first team opportunity for goalkeeper Paul Henderson after the injured Rab Douglas was substituted at half-time.
Douglas looked shaky anyway, as he had against Brighton, and some fans had felt that Henderson was long overdue an opportunity.
Sadly it was not a chance he took with any distinction and one wit next to me said that 'Mike Stowell might be the best option in future.'
Henderson looked distinctly vulnerable from a couple of high crosses against big Derby opponents but might get a further opportunity against Leeds on Saturday if Douglas fails to recover.
Leicester clearly missed broken-leg victim James Wesolowski as the game progressed because the gap between defence and attack got wider and the passing less certain.
But the main focus of discontent around me was the decision to play Momo Sylla on the left wing. Even as a right winger Sylla has failed to score all season and has not created many goals either.
As a left winger, although making one or two important defensive interceptions, his attacking threat was virtually nil.
He was constantly caught in possession and seemed unable or unwilling to attack the ball with any of the pace people know he possesses.
It was known that Ryan Smith was still weakened by the after-effects of a bug that has swept throug the club but the general consensus was that he would still have been a better bet than Sylla in what is his natural position.
Indeed when Smith did replace him in the last 25 minutes he looked a constant threat, beating defenders with ease and just failing to provide a final killer pass.
Another big plus for Leicester was the reinvigorated Alan Maybury.
Playing again in right midfield, Maybury scored his first goal of the season after the move of the match between Hume and Gudjonson and he threaded two superb passes through to Hume from which the striker scored once and missed once with only the keeper to beat.
Indeed Maybury, normally a full back, was far more dangerous on the right than Sylla on the left, showing a commitment to the cause which made him such a favourite last season.
Altogether then it was a point gained on our relegation rivals but two points lost...
And the thought perhaps that we paid that price for leaving Smith on the bench for an hour instead of unleashing him from the start against just the sort of opposition he would have relished.
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|Leicester City||1||-||1||Man Utd|
|Leicester City||1||-||0||Crystal Palace|
|1. Man City||14||9||2||3||+16||29|
|2. Leicester City||14||8||5||1||+8||29|
|3. Man Utd||14||8||4||2||+10||28|
|7. Crystal Palace||14||7||1||6||+5||22|
|Leicester City 1 Manchester United 1
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