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Leicester City 1-2 Huddersfield Town
FA Cup Fourth Round Replay
King Power Stadium, Tuesday February 12th, 2013
Capping a terrible week for the Club, Leicester City were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup by lowly Huddersfield Town last night, Sean Scannell’s late winner the difference in a desperately poor game of football. In complete contrast, Huddersfield had a great night, earning a potentially lucrative fifth round home tie against Premier League Wigan Athletic and announcing that they had been given permission to talk to Coventry City’s Mark Robins about their vacant Manager’s position, the former Foxes striker expected to join The Terriers today.
A bitterly cold King Power Stadium saw City go behind through Adam Clayton’s early free-kick but almost immediately restore parity with Michael Keane’s prod after a corner. The rest of the game was a defence against attack affair with Leicester unable to break down a deep and dogged Huddersfield defence, their counter-attacking plan working perfectly as an isolated Scannell somehow managed to bamboozle Ritchie De Laet and Paul Konchesky before poking past Kasper Schmeichel with fifteen minutes to play, The Foxes never looking like sending the game into extra-time.
Nigel Pearson made four changes for the game, Ben Marshall’s absence enforced through a foot injury but Marko Futacs given a rare start alongside David Nugent up front, Paul Gallagher and Richie Wellens coming into midfield. Huddersfield made six changes, the main one involving Town’s scorer in the first game Lee Novak who was forced out with a toe injury, replaced with Irishman Alan Lee.
A league double proved irrelevant after a weakened City side struggled to gain a replay in the first Cup game between the sides and, without talismanic striker Chris Wood, the game was hard to predict. Having won only two of the last fifteen in all competitions Huddersfield should have faced an uphill battle against a side so strong at home, but one of those two Terriers wins was away at Charlton in the previous round as they dreamt of a sixth Cup Final appearance.
The game couldn’t have started much worse for the hosts, Wes Morgan adjudged to have fouled Alan Lee on the edge of the area by yet another terrible referee James Adcock, former Leeds midfielder scoring with a pin-point free-kick over the wall and into the top right corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.
It looked as though this was a short-term blip for City though, as Manchester United loanee Michael Keane scored his first career goal after Town failed to clear Anthony Knockaert’s corner, the tall defender poking past veteran keeper Ian Bennett from three yards in the seventh minute.
The war of attrition then began in earnest, Huddersfield keeping ten men behind the ball and reducing Leicester to speculative efforts like Paul Gallagher’s twentieth minute half-volley which flew a couple of feet over, the same player dragging a thirty-yard effort wide as City huffed and puffed.
Town enjoyed the best of the closing stages of the half with Wallace testing Schmeichel before Morgan blocked an effort from the impressive Sean Scannell.
The home side, now attacking the Family Stand, improved in the early parts of the second period, Wellens firing wide before Alan Lee blocked Futacs effort on the goal-line after Knockaert’s corner had been headed back across the face of goal, the Hungarian needing to have done much better though.
An otherwise quiet David Nugent headed straight at Bennett before Clayton brought the best save of the game from Schmeichel and the game changed with a flurry of substitutions, ex Leicester loanee James Vaughan coming on for Lee while Jamie Vardy and Martyn Waghorn replaced Nugent and Futacs.
The otherwise excellent Keane seemed to struggle to deal with the introduction of Vaughan while City lost what little attacking impetus had existed before the changes, although the goal which proved to be the winner came out of absolutely nothing.
City won a free-kick after the latest assault on Knockaert finally resulted in a booking for Anthony Gerrard but Leicester lost the ball and a long punt up to Scannell on the left wing brought no sign of danger, De Laet and Konchesky with plenty of time to clear the danger, but the former Crystal Palace man showed the greater desire and, despite the limited space close to the touchline, somehow managed to pinch the ball and wriggle past the pair of full-backs before beating Schmeichel from an acute angle with a toe-poke.
The kudos would have to go to Huddersfield’s best player Scannell for the willingness, but this was sloppy from one-time England International Konchesky in particular, the malaise demonstrated by him and De Laet equally evident throughout the rest of the Leicester side as the game meandered towards it’s now inevitable conclusion, Vardy heading a gilt-edged chance wide at the death to sum up City’s display on another disappointing night for the near fifteen thousand who made the effort so sadly lacking from their representatives on the pitch.
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
"We were not good enough in both boxes. That is what cost us. We should have avoided giving away the free-kick for the first goal and were then caught on the counter-attack to concede the second. We were not clinical enough in their penalty area when we had our chances. We are disappointed to be out of the FA Cup but I have got a lot of faith in this group of players. The league has always been our priority but I would still have preferred to go through tonight."
- Leicester Manager Nigel Pearson
"This was a fantastic evening for the club. The big thing was to get the lads into the dressing room at half-time and make sure they continued to believe in themselves. That was the big word - belief. It is great to be in the fifth round of the FA Cup and at home, and it will be great to pass it on to the new man if he is here. We have had a lot of adversity since I came into the job three weeks ago and we had a young side out there tonight, but they did us proud."
- Huddersfield's Caretaker Manager Mark Lillis
Possession: LCFC 46% - 54% HTFC
Shots (On Target): LCFC 10 (3) - 6 (4) HTFC
Corners: LCFC 5 - 4 HTFC
Fouls: LCFC 13 - 8 HTFC
Bookings: LCFC 2 (Gallagher, Knockaert) - 1 HTFC (Gerrard)
Leicester City (5)
01 Schmeichel (6)
02 De Laet (5)
03 Konchesky (5)
05 Morgan (6)
15 M Keane (6)
16 James (7)
17 Gallagher (6)
19 Wellens (6) (Dyer 81)
24 Knockaert (6)
29 Futacs (5) (Waghorn 74)
35 Nugent (5) (Vardy 74)
11 Dyer (5)
09 Vardy (6)
14 Waghorn (5)
Huddersfield Town (6)
13 Bennett (6)
02 Woods (6)
03 Dixon (6)
06 Gerrard (6)
15 Wallace (6)
08 Clayton (7)
16 Arfield (6)
31 Atkinson (6) (Gobern 83)
39 Sinnott (6) (Norwood 65)
07 Scannell (8) STAR MAN
19 Lee (6) (Vaughan 70)
12 T Clarke
04 Norwood (6)
10 Gobern N/S
18 Vaughan (7)
Referee: Adcock (4)
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDRING… (Useless information no. 0050)
Former Manchester City trainee Adam Clayton scored a memorable long-range goal for Leeds United as they won 1-0 at The King Power Stadium last season, the strike earning the midfielder the Leeds United Goal Of The Season award.
© Bentleys Roof 2013