Southend 0-2 Leicester
18/04/09 - 3 p.m.
Leicester cliched the League One title and subsequent promotion straight back to the Championship with a 2-0 win over Southend at Roots Hall.
Two goals from top-goalscorer Matty Fryatt in the second half secured Nigel Pearson's team's route back to English football's second tier after suffering relegation on the last day last season.
Pearson was forced to make one change to the team which beat Leeds, replacing goal-scorer Steve Howard with Paul Dickov up front.
The game started brightly under the sunshine, with Lloyd Dyer being denied early on by Peter Clarke after finding his way into the penalty area.
Opportunities were thin on the ground for both sides in the first half, with great credit due for each team's backline. Southend in particular were the guiltier of the two sides after forcing much of the first half play, but a final ball was distinctly lacking.
Despite a couple of long range efforts, most notably from Jean-Francois Christophe, the home side were struggling to break down Leicester's defensive duo of Jack Hobbs and Wayne Brown.
However, it was Southend who forced the first menacing opportunity on goal when Theo Robinson fired a long range volley which David Stockdale was equal to, pushing the ball around the post for a corner.
As the Shrimpers pushed for the opener with half-time looming, Clarke was handed a golden opportunity from a corner but was unable to direct his header on target, much to the relief of Leicester's travelling support.
HALF-TIME: SOUTHEND 0-0 LEICESTER
It was Southend who came straight out of the traps in the second half, piling early pressure on the Leicester defence. Ross McCormack's drifted cross was met by nobody as it bounced to safety.
The possible turning point in the match arrived when Robinson struck the crossbar early in the second half, the ball bouncing on the line before being cleared to safety.
From then on Leicester began to finally take a foothold in the game and subsequently hit the woodwork themselves. Matty Fryatt skipped his way past two challenges before rounding the goalkeeper and finally poking his shot onto the post from an acute angle.
Southend suffered a double injury in the following 5 minutes, first Jean-Francois Christophe replaced by Anthony Grant, with Grant himself only lasting four minutes after a clash of heads with Matt Oakley.
Then, in the 59th minute, the decisive moment in the match. Simon Francis was cruelly ajudged to have handled inside the area when the ball bounced up and hit his arm, and the penalty was given. Fryatt stepped up to casually send the ball home for his 30th goal of the season.
GOAL: SOUTHEND 0-1 LEICESTER (FRYATT, 60)
Lee Barnard headed straight at Stockdale from a corner straight afterwards, before Leicester were celebrating again in the 70th minute.
Lloyd Dyer's free-kick from the edge of the area came back off the crossbar straight into the path of Fryatt who finished off into an empty net to seal Southend's fate.
GOAL: SOUTHEND 0-2 LEICESTER (FRYATT, 70)
The goal all but killed the match, along with Southend's hopes of a playoff place. The home side came close when Clarke's powerful drive was fumbled by Stockdale before being cleared to safety once again.
Andy King and Dyer could have grabbed a third for the Foxes late on, but it mattered not as Leicester were crowned champions of League One, securing promotiom back to the Championship at the first attempt with two games to spare.
The trophy will be presented at Leicester's final home match of the season when Scunthorpe travel to the Walkers Stadium this coming Friday.
Leicester: Stockdale, Mattock (Berner 84), Hobbs, Brown, Morrison, Dyer, Oakley (c), A King, Gradel (Ajdarevic 90), Fryatt, Dickov (Hayles 76)
Subs not used: Kisnorbo, Warner.
ellow: Fryatt, Oakley
Southend: Mildenhall, Francis, Dervite, Clarke, Barrett (c),McCormack, Barnard, Moussa, Robinson, Christophe (Grant 52 (Freedman 56)), Betsy (Laurent 78)
Subs not used: Sankofa, Joyce.
Referee: Clive Penton (Sussex)
Att: 10,089 (away 2,141)