Coventry 1-1 Leicester
03/10/09/ 12.30 p.m.
Martyn Waghorn's superb equaliser with twenty minutes remaining salvaged a deserved point for Leicester City at the Ricoh Arena earlier this afternoon. The substitute cancelled out Sammy Clingan's brilliant first half free-kick after being introduced as part of a triple Foxes change on the hour mark.
Manager Nigel Pearson named an unchanged side from Tuesday night's victory at Middlesbrough, which meant French striker Yann Kermorgant kept his place up front for City. There was also a surprise inclusion of DJ Campbell on the substitutes bench, following a rich vein of scoring form for the club's reserves side.
The game itself began brightly for both sides, but it was the home side who took an early hold on possession. Leicester goalkeeper Chris Weale had to be alert to push the ball away brilliantly for a corner from Aaron Gunnarson's effort on goal.
Championship player of the month Leon Best was causing all sorts of problems for left back Bruno Berner, as the Swiss was beaten time and time again with the long ball over the top. Best's aerial presence was also becoming for an issue for Leicester's centre back pairing, as he showed just why he already has six league goals to his name this season.
Lloyd Dyer hit back for City with a chance soon after, but his powerful effort was skied over the bar. Paul Gallagher curled a great effort onto the woodwork, before Kermorgant then followed up with a weak shot on target. Then the home side delivered a crushing blow to Pearson's side.
Gallagher was rightfully adjudged to have handled on the edge of the penalty area, allowing midfielder Sammy Clingan to brilliantly find the top corner with the resulting free-kick.
In a close game it was a blow to Leicester, who struggled to find a reply for the remainder of the first period. The half-time break was certainly required for Pearson, as his side emerged slightly better after the restart.
Leicester came out of the blocks early, and forced some action from Kieren Westwood in the Sky Blues goal. It was then the turn of the home side to press, as Weale was forced into another impressive save to keep the scoreline intact.
It was soon becoming clear that changes needed to be made for the Foxes, and sure enough they came on the hour mark in an ambitious triple substitution. Off came Kermorgant, Gallagher and Fryatt, replaced by Howard, Waghorn and DJ Campbell.
It was a switch which proved masterful for Pearson's side, as they immediately began to cause the Coventry backline problems. Whilst Leicester's increasingly direct style of play was not pretty, it was certainly effective, and soon paid dividends ten minutes later.
Chris Weale's punt upfield was flicked on by Howard for Waghorn to hit a brilliant first time volley, sending Leicester's large travelling support into raptures.
The momentum was well and truly in Leicester's favour now, and they perhaps could have taken the lead soon after. Great work from Lloyd Dyer on the left wing almost allowed DJ Campbell in on goal, but the striker simply could not get the ball under control.
Coventry on the other hand were not laying down without a fight, and could easily have won the game themselves. As both sides went at it hammer and tongs, Clinton Morrison fired over and then wasted a brilliant opportunity moments later.
The entertainment was ended minutes later as the match was brought to an end, completing an animated derby match. It was no doubt a fair result, as both sides came away believing they could have stolen all three points for themselves on the day.
Leicester: Weale, Morrison, Hobbs, Brown, Berner, Gallagher (Waghorn, 60), Oakley, King, Dyer, Kermorgant (Howard, 60), Fryatt (Campbell, 60)