Foxes fail to unlock Derby in derby
It was attritional at times but Leicester played some good football in spells. However, Stephen Bywater in the Rams goal was not forced to make a save of note in this East Midlands derby. It looked like City might be made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when Kris Commons broke clear in injury time but a last-ditch tackle by Jack Hobbs saved the day. Typical of derby clashes, the game started at a frenetic pace. Both sides lacked little in the way of urgency and enthusiasm early on, but often at the expense of application - illustrated when former Ram Steve Howard headed tamely over the crossbar inside the first minute and when Lloyd Dyer mis-hit his shot from the edge of the area soon afterwards. But after Commons had worked Chris Weale with a long-range effort at the other end, Leicester began to show signs that they were getting their act together. They should have taken the lead in the 10th minute when Matty Fryatt raced clear. But with two Derby defenders in tow, City's top scorer cut back on to his favoured left foot and, now under pressure, hit his shot straight at Bywater who parried the ball safe. Leicester were moving the ball around nicely and some good play down the left created another chance for Fryatt but his glancing header from Dyer's cross went over. Wayne Brown then headed wide at the near post from Matt Oakley's corner midway through the first half before Richie Wellens volleyed into the side-netting. City continued to look the most likely to score and Andy King's shot from 25 yards whistled past the top corner after Derby failed to properly clear their lines 10 minutes before the break. The tale of the second half was much the same as the previous 45 minutes as Leicester dominated without managing to make a breakthrough. Dyer had a good chance to put Leicester in front when Michael Morrison's right-wing cross reached him at the far post but Fredrik Stoor recovered to deflect his shot wide. Derby produced their best piece of football on the hour mark. Rob Hulse created time and space for himself with a deft flick in the middle of the pitch and set Commons free down the right side. The Scotland international attacked the Leicester penalty area and curled a shot that clipped the top of the crossbar. The Rams felt they should have been awarded a penalty two minutes later when Hobbs appeared to clip Hulse's heels as the striker ran away from goal to retrieve possession, but referee Mike Dean waved away the appeals. At the other end, Dyer managed to stay on his feet under a challenge from a Derby defender but sent his shot into the side-netting. Howard then headed wide at the far post. Derby had a second penalty claim turned down after 70 minutes. Hulse was again involved as this time Morrison appeared to interfere with the striker as the two players jostled for position inside the box. Leicester finally had the ball in the net three minutes from time after Howard's header back across goal was volleyed home by substitute Martyn Waghorn, but the referee's assistant had his flag up for offside. Hobbs denied Commons in the dying stages and the anxiety was not over for Foxes fans as former player Robbie Savage curled a free-kick into the wall from the edge of the area.
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