Date:Sunday March 14 2010
Martyn Waghorn's first-half goal proved decisive as Leicester helped themselves to a vital win against fellow promotion hopefuls Cardiff at the Walkers Stadium.
The victory sees City open up a seven point cushion over Blackpool in 7th place, whilst moving five clear ahead of the Bluebirds, who currently occupy the final play-off position.
There was a huge amount to play for prior to the game, with both promotion-hunting clubs reeling after defeats in their previous matches. Leicester suffered at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, while Cardiff went down to Ipswich at Portman Road midweek.
Manager Nigel Pearson handed Ipswich-loanee Alex Bruce a first start, the centre back entering the fold in place of Wayne Brown. There was also a place on the bench for striker James Vaughan, fresh from signing on loan from Everton just days ago.
The first half an hour produced very little from a game which promised so much, but it was the home side who took the lead to break the deadlock.
Bruno Berner's cross from the left hand side was headed down by Andy King for Waghorn to fire home his eighth goal of the season. The Sunderland-loanee has been a fine performer since injury to top-goalscorer Matty Fryatt, grasping the role of prize striker to fine effect thus far.
Alex Bruce's debut was disappointingly cut short after just 35 minutes through injury, Nolberto Solano coming on at right back with Michael Morrison moving to his natural central role.
Ross McCormack came close for Cardiff soon afterwards, but the Peruvian Solano was equal to his effort to put in a fine block.
Cardiff probed the Leicester goal after half-time but were made to attack in vain as the mercurial Jack Hobbs swept up attack after attack to keep the visitors well at bay.
Darcy Blake came close with his close-range header just after the break, before Leicester's Paul Gallagher saw his superb 30-yard effort narrowly miss Andy Marshall's goal.
Chris Weale pulled off a tody save to deny Jay Boothroyd in the dying minutes, but Leicester held firm to record a deserved victory that could well prove vital in the weeks to come.
Avoding defeat was key here, but gaining victory with both Blackpool, Nottingham Forest and Swansea all dropping points was superb for Pearson's men.
Leicester travel to Selhurst Park on Tuesday evening to face a troubled Crystal Palace side languishing just outside the Championship relegation zone after their financial ten point deduction.
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Date:Sunday March 14 2010
|1. Leicester City||33||23||5||5||+30||74|
|3. Derby County||34||18||7||9||+17||61|
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