Leicester 3-0 Leyton Orient
10/01/09 - 3 p.m.
Leicester stormed five points clear at the top of League One this evening with a convincing 3-0 win over strugglers Leyton Orient at the Walkers Stadium.
First half goals from Matt Oakley and Mark Davies, and a second half Paul Dickov penalty sent the Foxes on their way to a comfortable victory.
Manager Nigel Pearson made two changes to the team that drew with Crystal Palace last weekend, with captain Matt Oakley and top-scorer Matty Fryatt both returning to action at the expense of Max Gradel and Joe Mattock.
It was Leicester who started the brighter of the two sides, wasting no time at all to get forward. Oakley's dangerous cross inside 3 minutes was dealt with by Alton Thelwell in the Orient defence.
However, it wasn't long before Leicester did take the lead in the 9th minute. Fryatt burst through the Orient defence and swept the ball across to Oakley, who made no mistake of lashing the ball home to give the Foxes an early lead.
Kerrea Gilbert's untimely slip allowed Dean Morgan to strike, but his effort failed to trouble David Martin in the Leicester goal.
Mark Davies danced through several Orient challenges before unleashing a disappointing shot which was saved comfortably by Morris with 20 minutes played.
Leicester fans thought their side had grabbed a second goal through Andy King, but the midfielder's swerving free-kick was saved excellently by 'keeper Ian Morris. The resulting rebound found its way to Jack Hobbs, who was eventually ruled offside.
The home side were handed another chance with a free-kick, this time Oakley finding the roof of the Orient net with a speculative effort.
Leicester did eventually get the second goal they had battled for after 37 minutes. Steve Howard beat Morris in the aerial challenege from Matt Oakley's cross to set Davies up perfectly for an easy header home.
Orient faced a massive uphill struggle ahead as they went into the break two goals down. Leicester manager Nigel Pearson would have been hoping for much of the same from his side in the second period.
It was in fact Orient who had the half's first chance when Andrew Cave-Brown saw his glanced header flash narrowly wide.
Leicester midfielder Andy King saw a shot blocked soon after, before Davies fired over from just outside the area.
Orient had another chance, this time through striker Sam Parkin, but the big striker was unable to direct his header anywhere other than over the bar, much to the disappointment of the travelling support.
Joe Mattock and Max Gradel replaced Bruno Berner and Lloyd Dyer minutes later as Pearson looked to freshen things up for Leicester.
A fine challenge from Jack Hobbs denied Parkin once more in the 73rd minute, before Orient themselves made two substitutions, Baker and Jarvis replacing Melligan and Parkin.
The home side made their final change of the game when Dickov replaced Fryatt with 79 minutes played.
Dickov made an immediate impact for the Foxes, but his attempted burst through the Orient defence was halted by Tamika Mkandawire, who received a booking for his troubles.
It went from bad to worse for Mkandawire in the 82nd minute when he brought down Davies to hand Leicester the golden opportunity of a third from the penalty spot. After winning the debate over Max Gradel and Steve Howard, Dickov ran up to the spot to slot home to seal the victory.
Mark Davies almost grabbed a second goal for himself late on, but his long range effort flew past Morris' goal.
All in all a comfortable and professional performance from a Leicester side who look capable of achieving great things in League One this season. As for Orient, a relegation battle beckons.
City: Martin, Gilbert, Tunchev, Hobbs, Berner (66 Mattock), Oakley (c), King, Davies, Dyer (70 Gradel), Fryatt, (79 Dickov) Howard
Subtitutes Not Used: Morrison, Cisak
Leyton Orient: Morris, Purches (c), Thelwell, Mkandawire, Melligan (76 Baker), Morgan, Cave-Brown, Boyd, Demetriou, Daniels, Parkin (76 Jarvis)
Subtitutes Not Used: Saah, Jones, Terry
Yellow Cards: City: None; Orient: Mkandawire
Attendance: 18,240 (930 away)
Referee: K G Evans