Date:Thursday March 25 2010
Leicester City`s three match unbeaten run came to an end after a stoppage time penalty took all three points for Reading.
Martyn Waghorn had cancelled out Jimi Kébé's early opener in the first half, but it was to be another late goal to sink City as Gylfi Sigurdsson converted a stoppage time penalty.
In an unchanged line up from Sunday`s draw with Coventry, Leicester went into the game against a team unbeaten in six league matches, still harbouring faint play-off hopes of their own.
Reading started the brighter of the two sidse, showing the confidence which they had taken from their recent wins with quick build-up play and intelligence on the ball. Leicester nearly took the lead after 10 minutes, but Paul Gallagher`s shot sailed wide of the post.
On the quarter-hour Reading got their noses in front. A ball pumped down the field was missed by Jack Hobbs, which gave pacey stiker Jimmy Kébé the chance to race past Ryan McGivern into the area. His touch took him away from goal, but some dreadfully static defending gave the Malian the freedom of the penalty area to slot the ball home from a narrow angle.
Soon afterwards the lead could have been extended. A free-kick fell to Matt Mills, whose shot was blocked on the line. The ball rebounded to McGivern, who could do nothing to get his shins out of the way and was fortunate to see the ball go just past the post for a corner.
But just six minutes later Leicester found themselves level. Lloyd Dyer`s superb form continued in this game, pushing the ball past his marker and finding space for a cross which found the head of Waghorn, who guided his header into the far corner to bring the home side on level terms.
Leicester suddenly looked like the team that were occupying 4th place in the table, and should have extended their lead before the break. A pull-back across goal after another fantastic run by Dyer gave the ball to Andy King, but his snap shot was somehow saved by Reading keeper Adam Federici.
The second half began with Reading on the front foot with a blistering run by Kébé, who was a handful for McGivern all night. But the resulting shot was blocked by King and cleared away to safety.
Five minutes later the game flared up with the booking of both Dyer and Royals right-back Andy Griffin after squaring off against each other.
Dyer again came close with 20 minutes to go, chasing down a ball on the right and running into the box, but his shot found only the side-netting. The crowd showed their appreciation at a brilliant effort to chase down a seemingly lost ball.
New signing Jay Spearing made his debut when he came on for skipper Matt Oakley. His contribution was limited however, with touches of the ball hard to come by, though the moments he had were promising.
Ryan Bertrand came close inside the last 10 minutes, but his long-range effort was well tipped over by Weale.
The game was wide open going into injury time, and in the end it was Reading who would get the decisive goal. Simon Church was halted illegally by Nolberto Solano after a break into the box, and Gylfi Sigurdsson slotted the penalty into the right corner of the net to claim all three points for the away side.
It was the second late goal against City in consecutive matches, a flaw which has been refreshingly rare so far this season. Manager Nigel Pearson will no doubt be calling upon his players for more concentration in the final stages of the remaining matches in order to cement a place in this year's play-offs.
Leicester`s next opponents are Derby in a local East Midlands clash, a match which Leicester will want to win to end what has been a disappointing week, claiming just one of six available points after two consecutive home games.
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Date:Thursday March 25 2010
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|14. Leicester City||37||10||8||19||-13||38|
|16. Aston Villa||37||10||8||19||-25||38|
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