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Blackpool 0-0 Leicester City
Bloomfield Road, Saturday February 23rd, 2013
A somewhat poor game on a truly horrendous surface saw Leicester pass up the chance to close the gap on in-form Hull City and Watford with a goalless draw against Blackpool. Chris Wood, so often the hero in recent games, was the villain on this occasion, missing a penalty and an open goal in a frustrating match.
The pitch was a major hindrance to both sides, more sand than grass, so there was little skill on show but City created the best chances and would’ve taken all three points but for Wood’s lack of precision in front of goal.
Nigel Pearson made two changes from the side that lost at home to Charlton in midweek, Tottenham loanee Harry Kane making his debut in place of Anthony Knockaert while Andy King replaced the injured Matty James in central midfield. Paul Ince, making his home debut as Blackpool Manager, also made two changes, Welsh International full-back Neal Eardley and defensive midfielder Chris Basham coming in for Ludovic Sylvestre and Isiah Osbourne, the dropped pair both almost signing for Leicester under Ian Holloway.
Paul Ince received a rousing reception before kick-off but City were lass magnanimous, taking the game to the hosts early on, although Kasper Schmeichel had to make a brilliant point-blank save from Gary Taylor-Fletcher to keep the scores level.
A largely uneventful opening half was briefly brightened by debutante Kane who tested Scottish International keeper Matt Gilks with a stunning volley before Ben Marshall found the side netting with a low drive, the home side then starting to get on top, the ever-dangerous Tom Ince denied by Schmeichel after racing through before the Dane pushed Eardley’s low effort round the post.
Sons of Manchester United team-mates, Schmeichel and Ince resumed their battle after the break, Tom forcing Kasper into another save with a low drive before the major incident of the game, Kane bundled over by Eardley and Alex Baptiste running away from goal for a soft penalty. In-form striker Chris Wood stepped up but blasted his spot-kick off the cross bar and away from danger, a massive let-off for Blackpool with goals looking hard to come by.
David Nugent was forced off after an horrendous challenge from former Manchester United trainee Craig Cathcart where the Belfast-born defender was fortunate only to see a yellow card, Lloyd Dyer the surprising introduction on the hour, and his pace down the left almost resulted in a winner for Leicester, but again Wood mis-timed his left foot effort from six yards as 'pool failed to clear, the ball trickling well wide when a goal looked odds-on.
Ince drew a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the Leicester penalty area but Stephen Crainey curled wide as the game moved into its last quarter, a flurry of substitutions failing to change the game although Wood’s header needed the intervention of Gilks to help it over the bar.
Substitute Anthony Knockaert fired a late effort wide, as did Man Of The Match Ince, but 0-0 it ended. A fair result but one which does little to help either side.
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
"We do need a few players in just to freshen things up. The players have been fantastic since I got here but it's been a difficult couple of months for them. I thought we thoroughly deserved a point, it was our first clean sheet for ages. It is a start. I think results can be deceiving. Even though we didn't get the win, we enjoyed the game."
- Blackpool Manager Paul Ince
"I was very pleased with how we went about it. I thought we were very solid at the back. At the moment we're just not able to convert enough of our chances. But I think as long as we apply ourselves in the right way we'll come through that because I've got a lot of faith in my players."
- Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson
Possession: BFC 44% - 56% LCFC
Shots (On Target): BFC 12 (6) - 7 (2) LCFC
Corners: BFC 2 - 6 LCFC
Fouls: BFC 10 - 16 LCFC
Bookings: BFC 2 (Cathcart, Phillips) - 1 LCFC (King)
01 Gilks (7)
03 Crainey (7)
05 Eardley (7)
15 Baptiste (7)
17 Basham (6)
20 Cathcart (7)
42 Broadfoot (6)
07 M Phillips (6) (Derbyshire 80)
16 Ferguson (7)
11 Ince (8) STAR MAN
12 Taylor-Fletcher (6) (Delfouneso 72)
38 Derbyshire (5)
40 Delfouneso (6)
Leicester City (7)
01 Schmeichel (8)
02 De Laet (7)
03 Konchesky (7)
05 Morgan (7)
15 M Keane (7)
04 Drinkwater (7)
07 Marshall (7) (Knockaert 73)
10 King (7)
35 Nugent (6) (Dyer 61)
37 Kane (7) (Vardy 79)
39 Wood (6)
11 Dyer (7)
24 Knockaert (7)
09 Vardy (6)
Referee: Simon Hooper (3)
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING (Useless Information No. 0052)
Like Chris Wood, Harry Kane caught the eye of Leicester City during a successful loan spell at Millwall where the forward scored ten goals in twenty-eight games, winning last season’s Young Player Of The Year.
© Bentleys Roof 2013