Bristol Rovers 0-1 Leicester
21/02/09 - 3 p.m.
Leicester battled with 10 men to beat Bristol at the Memorial Stadium earlier today, Matty Fryatt's first half goal sealing all three points for the Foxes.
Jack Hobbs had seen red midway through the second half following his challenge inside the penalty area, which saw the home side awarded a penalty, saved by the on-loan Mark Bunn.
The win also means that Leicester have now gone a record 20 league games unbeaten, beating the previous one set in 1971.
Manager Nigel Pearson brought back Kerrea Gilbert to the first team following Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Hartlepool, replacing Michael Morrison at right back.
In truth it was a game where the two teams cancelled each other out for the most part, and very few chances were crafted in the opening stages.
Leicester created the first chance of the game after 18 minutes when Kerrea Gilbert fired harmlessly over the bar following Matt Oakley's ball across.
However, it was the visitors who did take the lead two minutes later. Oakley's free-kick found Steve Howard, who in turn knocked the ball down for Fryatt to hook the ball over Steve Phillips in the Rovers goal.
Oakley was forced off the pitch through injury after just 24 minutes of the match, Pearson replacing him with Tom Cleverley.
Fryatt was involved again 6 minutes later, but his curled effort sailed over Phillips' upright for a goal-kick.
Foxes winger Lloyd Dyer burst into action with 5 minutes left of the half, cutting inside two Bristol players before unleashing a powerful effort which only narrowly flashed past the post.
Bristol Rovers manager Paul Trollope made a a double substitution at half-time, Craig Disley and top-goalscorer Rickie Lambert replacing David Pipe and Jeff Hughes.
The substitution appeared to have paid off when Rovers were awarded a penalty in the 55th minute. Jack Hobbs appeared to miss the ball and clatter into Daryl Murphy, and referee Graham Horwood not only gave the penalty to the home side but sent off Hobbs in the process.
The task of the spot-kick was given to 21 goal Rickie Lambert, who duly stepped up and delivered a weak penalty to Mark Bunn's right side, the goalkeeper guessing the right way to keep Leicester's lead intact.
With Bristol's one man advantage they began to take more of a control of the game, and Bunn had to be on guard again soon after to push Craig Disley's effort round the post for a corner.
Leicester to their credit allowed the home side very little opportunity to take full advantage of the red card, Bunn rarely being tested.
On-loan Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley should have doubled the Foxes' lead after 60 minutes when he found the goal well in range, but his weak effort was smothered by Phillips.
The visitors continued to hold out despite the efforts of the Bristol attack, and continued creating chances as the game wore on. Matty Fryatt found himself one-on-one with the 'keeper, but hit it straight at him instead of squaring the ball to the open Howard.
The final five minutes were nervy for Leicester as Rovers peppered the goal area, but to no avail. Both Morrison and Wayne Brown were solid for the Foxes in the closing stages of the match, resilient in keeping the ball away from harm.
It was certainly a difficult and hard-fought win for City, but ultimately it was a grafting performance which brought home the three points, much to the delight of Leicester's 2,000 strong travelling support. The win leaves Leicester 12 points clear at the top of League One, with a vital clash at MK Dons next Saturday awaiting.
Leicester: Bunn, Gilbert, Brown, Hobbs, Mattock, Oakley © (Cleverley 25), King, Berner, Dyer (Morrison 58), Howard, Fryatt.
Subs not used: Pentney, Hayles, Dickov.
Bristol Rovers: Phillips, Green, Hinton (Jaconson 77), Elliott, Lescott, Pipe (Lambert 46), Lines, Campbell ©, Hughes (Disley 46), Kuffour, Duffy.
Subs not used: St-Louis-Hamilton, Anthony.
Attendance 9,138 (away 1,980)
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