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Set-pieces end Leicester's run

Set-pieces end Leicester's run

Two set-piece corners fashioned Leicester City's first Championship defeat in six matches for new manager Rob Kelly by 2-0 at Ipswich today.

The weakness - City have struggled against set-pieces all season - was exposed by dead ball specialist Darren Currie whose near-post deliveries created goals for teenager Owen Garvan after 51 minutes and debutant loanee Ricardo Fuller six minutes from time.

City mustered little more than a handful of significant chances all match yet could so easily have taken the lead after only five minutes when Danny Tiatto bent a glorious pass through to Iain Hume who shot quickly wide when in a glorious position with time and space to take the ball closer.

Nils Eric Johansson also had an excellent opportunity when he headed wide from a Gudjonsson corner.

These efforts proved virtually the extent of Leicester's attacking ambition during a first half when they nullified Ipswich comfortably, apart from one Fuller penalty claim and a Henderson mispunch, but offered little in attack.

Ipswich manager Joe Royle, once a quality centre-forward, used half-time to demand a far more positive approach from his team early in the second half.

Within minutes of the restart Leicester goalkeeper Paul Henderson had to make an excellent save from Ian Westlake and another from Darren Currie before the latter swing a near post corner onto the head of DeVos who touched it on to 18-year-old FA Youth Cup winner Owen Garvan, who struck a crisp left-footed goal.

Leicester had showed their hand by failing even to include the presumably injured Arsenal loanee winger Ryan Smith on the bench and their lack of genuine width and of support for the front two made for a thoroughly unenterprising approach.

Ipswich sealed the match after 85 minutes when another pinpoint corner by Currie found Ricardo Fuller, who evaded his marker to head a debut goal from six yards after signing on loan from Southampton.

Iain Hume had created one chance of a Leicester equaliser after an hour with a clever back-heel from which Matty Fryatt missed passing the ball into the net by inches.

And, late on, Johannson had a volley tipped wide by Ipswich goalkeeper Sean Supple, substitute Elvis Hammond smashed a shot onto the chest of De Vos but Leicester otherwise lacked enterprise and their performance was a miserable sight for the travelling fans.

Leicester extended their run of League defeats at Portman Road to 11 games over the last 18 years and looked as poor and unexciting as they did so often under Levein.

Paul Henderson made one outstanding save but an awful attempted punch from a Currie free-kick early in the first half might easily have conceded a goal. He also seemed hesitant and his kicking remained as suspect as ever.

Alan Maybury was the pick of a disappointing midfield four who never dominated possession and very rarely offered support for Hume and Fryatt in attack.

Kelly became more enterprising in the last 20 minutes when he brought on Elvis Hammond, Gareth Williams and Chris O'Grady for Tiatto, Hughes and Hume respectively but while the moves led to a small flurry of half chances it was all too late.

Ipswich manager Joe Royle, had spotted or been told of a Leicester weakness and made sure we paid for it.

For Leicester the only good thing about the trip was that they remained eight points clear of relegation afterwards because of other results, although they slipped below Derby in the table.

Because of this, few people seemed desperately concerned about the result - Ipswich's fourth win in five games - believing, philosophically, that the good run under Kelly had to end sometime.

But the manner of defeat was Leveinist, a dismal throw-back to the sort days everyone hoped had gone for ever.

It emphasised we are still in a serious battle for survival.

City: Henderson, Stearman, Kisnorbo, Gerrbrand, Johansson, Maybury, Gudjonsson, Hughes (Hammond), Tiatto (Williams), Hume (O'Grady), Fryatt. Subs not used: Logan, Sylla.

Ipswich: Supple, Wilnis, De Vos, Naylor, Richards, Durrie, Garvan, Westlake, Barron, Haynes (McDonald), Fuller. Not used: Price, Magilton, Sito, Proudlock.

Bookings: Johansson (City), Fuller (Ipswich)

Referee: P. Taylor.

Attendance: 24,861.

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Date:Saturday February 25 2006
Time: 7:13PM

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