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Match Report


Posted Tue 19 Feb 13 at 21:40 PM

Report: City 1 Charlton 2

Leicester City suffered their first home league defeat of 2013 on Tuesday as they were beaten 2-1 by Charlton Athletic on a frustrating evening in the npower Championship.

Ex-City forward Yann Kermorgant had given the visitors a 19th minute lead against the run of play when Bradley Pritchard’s cut back allowed him to finish first time into the corner.

City’s hard work paid off when Wood levelled with a typically instinctive finish from 15 yards out after some good attacking play from Ritchie De Laet saw the ball fall into his path.

But with the Foxes pushing for a second, Charlton substitute Danny Haynes stunned the home crowd with an unstoppable volley from 25 yards to give the visitors a valuable three points.

Nigel Pearson made three changes to the side that were beaten by Huddersfield last time out with Danny Drinkwater returning alongside midfielder Ben Marshall and Wood, who resumed his strike partnership with David Nugent.

Republic of Ireland international Sean St. Ledger was also included on the bench after four months out through injury, along with Jamie Vardy, Andy King, and Paul Gallagher as City looked for their first league win over Charlton since December 2000.

Former City man Chris Powell opted for a 4-5-1 formation at King Power Stadium, with another former Fox Kermorgant, starting as the lone striker in a side captained by goal scoring midfielder Johnnie Jackson.

It took just three minutes for the Foxes to click into gear, with Nugent playing an inviting pass to Knockaert on the edge of the area, who managed to get it out of his feet only for Ben Hamer to turn his left footed effort around the post.

With Wood and Nugent looking lively in the middle the Foxes worked hard to put some quality deliveries into the box, but when De Laet’s ninth minute cross came in from deep on the right, it was skipper Wes Morgan who was on hand to power a header just slightly over the Charlton crossbar.

However it was the visitors who drew first blood, capitalising on a defensive mix-up to take a 19th minute lead.

Pritchard found himself with the ball on the left touchline before cutting it back for Kermorgant to stroke first time into the bottom left corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.

It was a frustrating start for the Foxes who boast the best defensive record in the league, but against a Charlton side who haven’t kept a clean sheet in 13 matches, Pearson’s men were likely to have chances.

But when those chances did arrive, they weren’t taken – as Nugent, Knockaert, and Konchesky all fired wide while Jackson picked up a 30th minute booking for a nasty-looking tackle on Matty James.

City were still bright going forward, and Knockaert showed great determination to rob Rhoys Wiggins on the ball on the right in the 36th minute, resulting in a powerful Marshall drive that Hamer saved at the second attempt.

The right flank was almost the source of more joy for City just two minutes later when De Laet’s pace and energy took him past three players and into a position to cut the ball back for Knockaert, who had checked his run, but the Frenchman scooped his effort well over.

A couple of City corners from either side that came to nothing to put a frustrating end to a frustrating half in which the visitors had scored with their only noteworthy chance to lead 1-0.

With both sides unchanged after the break, City looked to start positively, but it was Charlton who wasted a golden chance to double their lead as Pritchard made a mess of an audacious lob from 30 yards after being played clean through by Kermorgant on 49 minutes.

Moments later Schmeichel was the man City had to thank for keeping the deficit at one goal with a acrobatic stop to claw a Michael Morrison volley off the line after a scramble in the box.

With the crowd behind them City began to pile the pressure on Powell’s Addicks, and almost levelled on 59 minutes when Wood finished confidently past Hamer from a Morgan ball, only to see the assistant’s flag go up for offside.

Then with slightly over 25 minutes left on the clock Pearson made a double change – Paul Gallagher and Lloyd Dyer entered the fray at the expense of Marshall and Knockaert.

Happy to sit back and counter, the Addicks were almost caught napping by Wood, who after some good work from Konchesky, cut inside and fired a powerful effort goal-wards that struck Leon Cort, although calls for handball on the Charlton man were quickly waved away.

In the end the pressure on Charlton finally told as City's man-in-form Wood notched his eighth goal in just seven City games.

De Laet broke into the box from the right wing and the Foxes finally got the piece of good fortune they had been missing when the ball broke into the path of Wood to finish in instinctive fashion from 15 yards and make it 1-1.

In the 76th minute Powell introduced Haynes for Dorian Dervite in Charlton’s first change, and it proved to be significant, as with almost his first touch, the substitute let rip with an unstoppable half-volley on his left foot that flew like a missile into the top corner.

Despite being stunned by the equaliser, the Foxes battled on with Gallagher trying his luck from 20 yards but his effort was straight at Addicks ‘keeper Hamer.

With the minutes ticking away Drinkwater put Hamer to the test again with a rasping drive from fully 30 yards, which the ‘keeper only just managed to tip around the post.

But as Powell replaced Dale Stephens with Lawrie Wilson and Scott Wagstaff for Matt Taylor in the last minute, the visitors were able to cling on for a valuable three points at King Power Stadium on a disappointing evening for Pearson’s men.

City (4-4-2): Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Morgan (c), Keane, King, Marshall (Gallagher 64), James (King 79), Knockaert (Dyer 64), Nugent, Wood

Unused subs: Vardy, St. Ledger, Logan, Waghorn

Goals: Wood 69

Charlton Athletic (4-5-1): Hamer, Jackson (c), Morrison, Stephens (Wilson 90), Wagstaff (Taylor 90), Pritchard, Wiggins, Kermorgant, Solly, Cort, Devite (Haynes 77)

Unused subs: Evina, Kerkar, Fuller, Button

Goals: Kermorgant 19, Haynes 78

Referee: Michael Naylor (South Yorkshire)

Attendance: 19,920

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