MATCH REPORT: David Nugent sinks Ipswich Town again to keep Foxes’ play-off dream alive
DAVID Nugent was once again the Portman Road villain as his 57th minute goal gave Leciester City a 2-1 win over Ipswich Town.
The Foxes striker scored his ninth goal against Town in 10 games and continued his incredible record in scoring every time he has played at Portman Road – including for England Under-21s.
It was a disappointing second half for the hosts after they largely controlled the opening 45 minutes, taking the lead just before the break when Jason Scotland rounded off a lovely patient move to open the scoring.
But in the one and only minute of injury time, Ben Marshall fired in a free kick from all of 30 yards in a moment that both Arran Lee-Barrett and the Ipswich wall will not look too kindly on.
Scotland looked lively from the start of the first half but failed to hit the target with some early sighters before Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel denied Ipswich a 16th minute opener when he tipped around Grant Leadbitter’s low free kick.
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At the other end, Leicester were finding chances hard to come by with Jermaine Beckford firing over when well placed just inside the area.
Some last-ditch defending from the away side kept the scores goalless when Paul Konchesky and then Sol Bamba denied Scotland and Josh Carson respectively in the 28th minute.
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The Foxes best chance came six minutes later when David Nugent, booed throughout from the home fans, turned Konchesky’s cross goalwards but Lee-Barrett was able to palm the ball in the air.
Schmeichel turned round Ryan Stevenson’s long-range shot before Town took the lead in the 43rd minute.
It was a fine patient passing build-up, from left to right with Grant Leadbitter heavily involved, which created the chance, Scotland turning Sol Bamba before moving into the area and side-footing the ball under Schmeichel.
But Leicester drew level in injury-time when Carson clipped the heels of Richie Wellens and Marshall’s free kick appeared to fly through the wall and catch Lee-Barrett unsighted – the keeper getting a touch but deflecting the ball into the roof of the net.
With the bit between their teeth, Leicester came out firing after the interval and almost took the lead through bizarre circumstances three minutes after the restart.
Paul Gallagher’s teasing low cross was met by Carlos Edwards but his deflection hit the relieved Lee-Barrett’s chest.
And there was another apparent let-off in the 54th minute when Lee-Barrett’s poor kick was seized on by Nugent who fed the ball through to Andy King.
Lee-Barrett came rushing out and King went down in the area, but the Leciester midfielder was shown a yellow card for diving.
Three minutes later, the pressure paid off for the away side. Lee-Barrett had already done brilliantly to deny Lee Peltier and Nugent before the latter rose to head home Gallagher’s centre and continue his remarkable record over the Blues.
Visibly deflated, and despite the introduction of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Michael Chopra and Lee Martin, Town were unable to raise their game.
They were reduced to long range shots and possession without a real cutting edge, Grant Leadbitter firing a rare chance wide from little over 20 yards.
It was Leicester who looked the more likely to score again with Beckford racing clear but being well denied by the onrushing Lee-Barrett.
Ipswich - Lee-Barrett; Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell; Bowyer, Leadbitter; Carson (Emmanuel-Thomas 57), Stevenson (Martin 66), Murphy (Chopra 73); Scotland. Subs: Wright, Sonko.
Leicester – Schmeichel; Peltier, Bamba, Morgan, Konchesky; Marshall (Howard 79), Wellens, Drinkwater (King 46), Dyer (Gallagher 46); Beckford, Nugent. Subs: St Ledger, Schlupp.