Leicester 2-2 Carlisle
04/04/09 - 3 p.m.
So when's it all going to be over? Football's a cruel game. The lead at the top has been cut yet again, this time to just two points. Those pesky boys at Peterborough can't stop winning while we've chosen a wonderful time to jump right on our season slump.
With five games to go now, it really is squeaky bum time. Surely we can't screw this up now? Our boys clearly like to make things hard for themselves though that's for sure.
Anyway, to the game. If you look at it from a stats perspective you could say that we should have buried Carlisle long before we finally scored the second in the 88th minute. We probably would have done if it wasn't for the fine performance of Cumbrians' goalkeeper Ben Williams, who pulled off at least four top quality saves in the duration of the match.
Being fair though, Carlisle could have won the game themselves. The statistics tell the story; three shots on target from thirteen attempts. Quite clearly a questionable display of shooting.
Hopes were high for Pearson's men on this one. Andy King returned from Welsh Under-21 international duty along with striker Steve Howard who had completed his two match suspension.
Leicester crafted the game's first sights on goal through Howard, but it was Carlisle's Michael Bridges who almost stunned the home fans with a dipping volley which narrowly flashed over Warner's goal before landing harmlessly on top of the net.
Carlise had their goalkeeper Ben Williams to thank in the 22nd minute when his double save from Andy King and Max Gradel denied the Foxes from taking the lead. Williams was at it again soon after when he dived to tip Matty Fryatt's header around the post.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead after 32 minutes through Michael Bridges. Some slack defending from Jack Hobbs allowed Graham Kavanagh's pass to reach the striker who made no mistake in delightfully looping the ball over Warner to send Carlisle's visiting support wild.
GOAL: LEICESTER 0-1 CARLISLE (BRIDGES, 32)
The Foxes didn't let their heads drop following the goal and were inches away from equalising through Matt Oakley's powerful drive, but Williams pulled off an inspired save, the best of the match, to keep Carlisle's lead intact.
Williams was becoming somewhat of a pain for Nigel Pearson's men, and it was no surprise to see Fryatt denied from the resulting corner at point blank range by the legs of the goalkeeper.
HALF TIME: LEICESTER 0-1 CARLISLE
The injured Kerrea Gilbert was replaced by Wayne Brown at the break, as Hobbs moved to right back.
Finally, the breakthrough arrived after 52 minutes. Tidy work down the left hand side from Lloyd Dyer found Oakley, who made no mistake of powering home his volley to finally beat Williams.
GOAL: LEICESTER 1-1 CARLISLE (OAKLEY, 52)
A scrappy fifteen minutes followed, with neither side able to come close to the target. Carlisle winger Joe Ayinsah was guilty of some suspect shooting, firing over more than once.
Recent Liverpool loan signing Astrit Ajdarevic made his debut in the 70th minute replacing Max Gradel in Pearson's second change of the match.
Leicester began to pile the pressure on the visitors with a succession of corners, but there was little to for them as Carlisle stood firm. Graham Kavanagh came close with a powerful drive from range, but Warner was equal to it.
Williams was on hand once again in the 83rd minute, this time to deny Andy King, the goalkeeper diving brilliantly to his left to avert the danger for another corner.
Finally, Carlisle's resistance was broken in the 88th minute. Substitute Ajdarevic found Andy King, who in turn fed the ball out to the left for Lloyd Dyer to cross in for Matty Fryatt's 29th goal of the season.
GOAL: LEICESTER 2-1 CARLISLE (FRYATT, 88)
Celebrations were short-lived as a final Carlisle attack in the second minute of injury time ended with Scott Dobie heading home to snatch a vital point for the visitors. Handball suggestions were raised, with the referee even appearing to put his whistle to his mouth, but Leicester's protests were to no avail.
GOAL: LEICESTER 2-2 CARLISLE (DOBIE, 90+2)
There was more drama as Leicester pushed for a third goal, but they simply couldn't find an opening to grab those three precious points.
FULL TIME: LEICESTER 1-1 CARLISLE
The draw was a bitter blow to Leicester's title hopes as Craig Mackail-Smith's 86th minute winner handed Peterborough all three points to cut the lead to just two points. Five games left, one goal. Victory at struggling Hereford next week is vital with Leeds two days later, and could potentially go a long way to finally gaining that elusive promotion.
Leicester: Warner, Gilbert (45 Brown), Kisnorbo, Hobbs, Mattock, Gradel (70 Ajddarevic), Oakley (c), King, Dyer, Fryatt, Howard
Substitutes Not Used: Pentney, Berner, Dickov,
Carlisle: Williams, Raven, Horwood (72 Liddle), Murphy, Graham (c), Anyinsah (73 Dobie), Taylor, Bridges (79 Lumsdon), Keogh, Kavanagh, Morris
Substitutes Not Used: Rothery, Kane
Yellow Cards: City: None; Carlisle United: None
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Att: 20,159 (991 Away)