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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 21 Nov 09 at 14:17 PM

LEICESTER 1 ARGYLE 0

Leicester 1
King 90

Argyle 0

A CRUEL injury time strike from Andy King robbed Argyle of a hard fought point at the Walkers Stadium.

In what was, in truth, a poor game in poor conditions, chances were few and far between, as, in fact was anything to shout about, and a draw looked on the cards for the battling Pilgrims.

But, deep into injury time, King broke Green hearts with a tap-in after a goalmouth scramble from a Paul Gallagher corner. It could not have been more demoralising.

Paul Sturrock had made just two changes from the side that beat Doncaster Rovers a fortnight again - recalling captain Carl Fletcher into the centre of midfield and Jim Paterson on the right-side of midfield. Karl Duguid moved to right-back at the expense of injured Scotsman David Gray and Kiwi hero Rory Fallon started on the bench after a long flight home from his World Cup exploits at the weekend.

Réda Johnson was deemed fit enough for a place on the bench following his reserves outing in the week, as were Craig Noone and Chris Clark. Second-year apprentice Ryan Leonard travelled as cover for right-back but was not selected amongst the substitutes.

Leicester had made two changes from their last outing - a 2-1home defeat to West Brom. Matt Oakley, and Dany N'Guessan were both dropped for the more attacking threat of Yann Kermogant and former Pilgrim Paul Gallagher.

After a jittery start it was the home side who had the first real chance to take the lead when Martyn Waghorn's through ball found Matt Fryatt one on one with Larrieu. Le Keeper stood firm though and, with the help of defender Shane Lowry, did enough to ensure last year's League One Player of the Year blasted high and wide.

It had been a flat opening 20 minutes until Wayne Brown was booked for a late tackle on Jamie Mackie. The resulting free-kick was deflected for a corner and Argyle began to show glimpses of the attacking form so evident in victories over Middlesbrough and Doncaster in recent weeks.

Sawyer was booked for a professional foul just a few moments later and sniffing blood, the Foxes rallied and their fans followed suit. Larrieu was called into action again from the free-kick following Sawyer's indiscretion but the Frenchman did well to save Wellens' shot.

With the crowd behind them, the Foxes came forward and could have gone ahead when Kari Árnason headed onto his own bar under pressure from Kermorgant.

But it was former Doncaster man Wellens that was asking all the questions of the Argyle defence and he showed why Leicester paid £1.2 million for his services when his fierce drive shaved the crossbar.

Argyle were playing well in patches but could never find that so clichéd 'killer ball' into the box. On a few occasions they played some attractive football in the middle of the park but were always forced to either go home or go long in order to create something.

As the half drew to a close, City applied more pressure and had the ball in the net only for the referee to deem the ball had gone out of play in the build up.

The second half began much like the first - a lot of possession but no end product from either side. Deflections, blocks and clearances were happening at both ends with neither side testing either 'keeper.

On the hour mark, Jim Paterson picked up a knock and was replaced by compatriot Chris Clark but it was another Scotsman who had the next chance, former Home Park favourite Paul Gallagher seeing his shot tipped wide by Larrieu.

Leicester were again inspired by their near miss and Fryatt weaved one way and the next before taking a shot that was blocked by Duguid with Larrieu beaten.

The game was decending into a hit and hope affair and neither side really made any threat on goal. Alan Gow skied a free-kick, Mackie was booked for what looked like simulation before Rory Fallon entered the fray with ten minutes to go.

Duguid had made important tackles all afternoon but none quite so important as his diving glancing header to divert a cross away from the approaching Steve Howard. That decisive header was sadly Doogie's last contribution before limping off to be replaced by the returning Réda Johnson.

Jamie Mackie almost clinched it at the death for the Pilgrims with a snap shot but Chris Weale did well to parry and then gobble up his effort.

But then, deep into injury time, just when it looked like Argyle might scrap out a decent point at a tough venue, a goal-mouth scramble ended the game in the cruellest of manners. With the ball bouncing around and bodies flying everywhere, midfielder King found space to lash home a winner from very close range.

Heartbreak for all involved, not least the 700 strong Green Army who sang to the painful death.

Leicester (4-4-2): 1 Chris Weale; 2 Robbie Neilson, 25 Jack Hobbs, 6 Wayne Brown (capt), 15 Bruno Berner; 22 Yann Kermogant (17 Dany N'Guessan 73), 10 Andy King, 19 Richie Wellens, 24 Paul Gallagher; 12 Matt Fryatt (16 Nicky Adams 85), 18 Martyn Waghorn (9 Steve Howard 77). Substitutes (not used): 3 Ryan McGivern, 4 Michael Morrison, 13 Conrad Logan, 23 Dudley Campbell.

Booked: Brown 20

Argyle (4-4-2): 1 Romain Larrieu; 2 Karl Duguid (22 Réda Johnson 89), 11 Kári Árnason, 37 Shane Lowry, 18 Gary Sawyer; 3 Jim Paterson (6 Chris Clark 61), 4 Carl Fletcher (capt), 31 Yoann Folly, 25 Alan Judge; 26 Alan Gow (14 Rory Fallon 81), 8 Jamie Mackie. Substitutes (not used):17 Craig Noone, 21 Cillian Sheridan, 23 Kyle Letheren (gk), 24 Ashley Barnes.

Booked: Sawyer 25, Mackie 81

Referee: Danny McDermid (Hampshire)

Attendance: 27,174 (724 away)

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