Substitute Chris Wood hit a late leveller at Huddersfield Town to keep City alive in the FA Cup with Budweiser.
The New Zealand international striker swept home Ritchie De Laet’s cross with eight minutes to play in a scrappy fourth round tie at the John Smith’s Stadium, setting up a replay at King Power Stadium to determine which of these sides will advance to the last 16.
Huddersfield looked to have edged a tight affair, the third between the Foxes and the Terriers this season, when Lee Novak slotted home from the penalty spot on 74 minutes following Lloyd Dyer’s trip on Jack Hunt.
But Wood’s clinical finish, his seventh since joining City from West Bromwich Albion, ensured Nigel Pearson’s men will be in the hat for Sunday’s fifth round draw, albeit with a replay to negotiate.
City boss Nigel Pearson opted to make changes for his side’s second meeting with the Terriers this month.
Richie Wellens’ was the stand-out name on the Foxes team-sheet, making his first start for Leicester since injuring his knee in April, while Andy King, Martyn Waghorn, Jamie Vardy and Dyer also entered the fray.
They came up against a Huddersfield side under the guidance of caretaker manager Mark Lillis following former boss Simon Grayson’s departure this week and, with the home fans rallying behind them, they made a start that did justice to the club’s nickname.
The Terriers were in City faces at every opportunity, hurrying black shirts into misplaced passes on a pitch that hardly leant itself to flowing football. City gave as good as they got, but it wasn’t the most cultured of affairs.
Town captain Peter Clarke wasted a great chance when he headed over from close range following Oliver Norwood’s corner, but the chances were extremely limited.
The Foxes struggled to piece together meaningful attacks at the other end. Their best effort came on 21 minutes when Waghorn, judging a high ball better than his marker Anthony Gerrard, managed to spin and hit a half-volley a foot wide of Alex Smithies’ right-hand post.
But, try as the 4,000 travelling fans behind that goal might, a decent spell of pressure was not mounted by the visitors during a first half most would forget in a hurry. A burst of speed from Dyer to prevent young Terriers debutant Jordan Sinnott going clear from Novak’s pass was the most notable attack at either end.
The start of the second half was similarly uninspiring, neither side taking the initiative, and Pearson waited until the hour-mark before introducing Wood and David Nugent to liven things up. The response from the travelling supporters was terrific.
The game instantly went up a gear – City committing bodies forward to support their galvanised attack and Huddersfield looking to hit them on the break. Nugent busied himself in the box, Wood lined up a 25-yard shot that Smithies scrambled round the post low to his left.
The tie was suddenly alive as both sides went for the jugular. Huddersfield began to wield more of a threat and were appealing for a penalty on 65 minutes when Norwood’s firm shot was blocked by the body of Keane.
Three later, Hunt escaped into space down the right and produced a cross that Novak headed straight as Kasper Schmeichel.
But the blue and white tide was rising and it eventually made a breakthrough on 74 minutes.
Hunt, typically adventurous in a raid forward from right-back, just shifted the ball quickly enough to entice a challenge from Dyer that send the Terriers man sprawling. Novak spotted the ball up and calmly rolled it into the corner.
The hosts now had the bit between their teeth and could have sealed victory with 10 minutes to go, but Vaughan’s header from Norwood’s corner was cleared off the line by substitute Danny Drinkwater.
And City levelled things up just moments later with by far their most fluent move of the match – De Laet advancing down the right, Dyer intelligently dummying his low cross and Wood sweeping home from 12 yards.
With the prospect of a replay that neither side particularly need given their respective objectives in the league, both went in search of the goal that would almost certainly win the tie.
But neither could fashion one, ensuring both sides would be in Sunday’s fifth round draw.
Huddersfield (4-4-2): Smithies; Hunt, Clarke (c), Gerrard, Woods; Sinnott (Scannell 66), Clayton, Norwood, Arfield; Novak (Lee 81), Vaughan.
Unused subs: Bennett, Wallace, Holmes, Dixon, Crooks.
Goals: Novak 74 pen
City (4-4-2): Schmeichel; De Laet, Morgan (c), Keane, Konchesky; Marshall, Wellens (Drinkwater 69), King, Dyer; Vardy (Nugent 60), Waghorn (Wood 60).
Unused subs: Logan, Gallagher, Moore, Futacs.
Goals: Wood 82
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)