Date:Monday April 17 2006
A spectacular overhead kick by the infamous Denis Wise crashed off the Foxes crossbar and so 10-man Leicester City were saved the ignominy of losing a confrontational M69 derby against Coventry at the Ricoh today.
In a fractious game which saw Patrick Kisnorbo sent off for an appalling tackle on Andrew Whing, Leicester failed to capitalise on an early lead for the second time this Easter.
Full-back Richard Stearman scored an excellent breakthrough goal for City after just nine minutes.
Gareth Wiliams fed Iain Hume whose low cross was allowed to run by Maybury for Stearman to score his fourth goal of the season from the edge of the box.
Leicester enjoyed the lead for only two minutes before an appalling mix-up allowed Stern John to pinch an equaliser with his fourth goal in five matches.
From Leicester's point of view it was a defensive calmity. A James Scowcroft through ball caused mayhem. Gudjonsson passed backwards, defenders hesitated and Henderson was left stranded as John nipped in to tap home.
John netted a second time on 26 minutes tapping in from close after a Wise free-kick but the effort was disallowed for offside.
Just before half-time it was returning Leicester club captain Dany Tiatto who almost snatched the lead back, bringing a brilliant tip-over save from Coventry goalkeeper Marton Fulop with a rasping bullet of a shot.
An always tetchy and heated game reached boiling point in the second after Coventry's Richard Duffy had been stretchered off with a neck injury to be replaced by Whing.
On 68 minutes, Leicester centre-back Patrick Kisnorbo launched himself into a high and badly mistimed two-footed tackle on Whing which earned instant dismissal.
Whing was not injured but there was no excuse for the assault although Coventry boss Mickey Adams continued to vent his anger long after Kisnorbo's departure despite Kisnorbo's immediate apology to the player and Coventry staff.
Then Denis Wise went down and after the inevitable jeers from Leicester fans he put his hand to his ears and then delivered a two-finger gesture to the crowd which hardly endeared him.
In an otherwise fairly even game, there was a period of desperate Leicester defence after they went down to 10-men.
Stearman, back in the side after injury made a vital goalline clearance in the 77th minute with Gareth Williams defending the rebound.
Coventry sensed blood and John stretched to put a good chance over the bar and Johannson made a timely block from Hutchison.
Finally in this spell, Wise almost provoked the Leicester fans beyond control when he smashed a loose ball onto the crossbar with a brilliant overhead kick.
But Leicester survived and in the closing minutes a final Gudjonsson effort for Leicester flashed just wide.
Leicester took 5,370 fans, their biggest support for years to an away match and their magnificent vocal support among the 26,672 crowd did much to create an old fashioned derby atmosphere of unyielding passion and commitment.
But it was rarely pretty and there was little in the way of flowing football.
Indeed such was the niggle that the second half was a succession of stoppages which resulted in a token five minutes added time which hardly did justice to all the injuries, fouls and a host of minor infringements which disrupted play.
Leicester were never at their best but they did fight almost beyond the call of duty in what was,in terms of the League, an all-but meaningless match.
They clearly missed McCarthy's leadership but Kisnorbo remained a rock at the heart of Leicester belleagured defence.
Stearman too relished his return to action after injury making vital contributions at both ends and Elvis Hammond got a rare 25 minute run out as a second half substitute.
In earning their draw Leicester avoided defeat by a Coventry team managed by their former boss Micky Adams and which included former Leicester players Wise and Scowcroft.
The point lifted Leicester to 17th in the Championship and was the first for Kelly since he signed his contract as long-term manager.
City: Henderson, Stearman, Kisnorbo, Gerrbrand, Johansson, Maybury, Williams G, Gudjonsson, Tiatto ï¿½ (Welsh 65), Hume (Hammond 70), Fryatt (Hughes 70). Subs not used: Douglas, Brevett.
Coventry: Fulop, Hall, Williams, A.Duffy (Whing 57), Doyle, Adebola (Hutchinson 71), McSheffrey (Thornton 71), Scowcroft, John, Shaw, Wise. Subs not used: Morrell, Heath.
City: Kisnorbo (45), Johansson (45), Fryatt (48)
Coventry: Wise (15)
City: Kisnorbo (68)
Referee: Paul Armstrong
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Report by Vitalfootball staff.
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|5. Leicester City||8||4||3||1||2||15|
|6. West Ham||8||4||2||2||6||14|
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