Story by Robin Popley
Feature Game; Blackburn Rovers 2 – 1 Leicester City.
How Leicester City and in particular, Jamie Vardy, didn’t leave Ewood Park on Saturday with the ownership of 3 points is simply astonishing. From start to finish, the Foxes were the better side, outpassing their former Premiership counterparts in every aspect of play. David Nugent had the best of the early chances for Leicester with a bullet header that was only saved by the instinctive reflexes of another ex-England international, Paul Robinson. It was to be the former Three-Lions shotstopper who would ultimately be the barrier between the Foxes and their merited win. The breakthrough came through Gomes in the 33rd minute of play after driving the ball low past the helpless Kasper Schmeichel – although replays do suggest that Morten Gamst Pedersen was in an offside position – to give Blackburn the lead. That is how it was to stay entering the break where Nigel Pearson clearly vented his frustrations to the officials as the Fourth Official seem to distance himself from the former throughout the second half.
As so often is the case in football (or life itself) good things come to those who wait and deservedly, after a mix-up at the back between Givet and Robinson, Jamie Vardy slid the ball neatly past the latter to level the match at 1 a piece. Then, controversy, as Leicester’s new winger Anthony Knockaert superbly played the ball into Vardy who neatly headed the ball past Paul Robinson, only for the effort to be chalked out, for offside. Replays suggest that his strike partner, David Nugent, may have been fractionally offside but was not directly interfering with play as Pedersen had done beforehand. Nevertheless, the decision stood and play continued.
This seemed to unnerve the Foxes mentality as, following a cruel deflection of Neil Danns thigh from a Rochina ill-placed shot, fell to the ‘pensioner’ Morten Gamst Pedersen, who – as he so often has – whipped the ball into the bottom corner. Blackburn were in wonder land and Leicester were left to rue what might have been. Still, there is encouragement for all Foxes fans (myself included), that things are beginning to look up!
Elsewhere in the League…
Early leaders Blackpool dished out a thumping defeat to their Suffolk visitors, Ipswich Town. Leading 2-0 at half time, the Tangerines went onto win comprehensively, by a clear 6 goal margin. Thomas (son of Paul) Ince, with the main trickery throughout the afternoon, deservedly grabbing himself a second half brace. There were also heavy defeats for both Barnsley and Cardiff. The former were taken apart at the Amex, with Barnes and Mackail-Smith grabbing 2 a piece, with Wayne Bridge scoring the other for Brighton. The latter (Cardiff) were dispatched of in the West Country as Bristol City beat them 4-2, with new signing Sam Baldock from West Ham on a 3-year deal in midweek, completing the rout. Another noteable scoreline was Sheffield Wednesday’s second home in a week, defeating Milwall 3-2, Llera grabbing himself a second half brace. This takes Dave Jones unbeaten run as Wednesday manager to 17 games.
Charlton, fresh off the back of their midweek home victory against Leicester, played out a dull 0-0 draw against Hull City at the Valley. Steve Agnew, Hull City’s Assistant Manager, blamed the performance of both teams on the severe weather the south experienced this weekend. Yorkshire neighbours, Leeds and Huddersfield, both won their respective matches (Leeds 2 -1 victors at Peterborough, Huddersfield 2 – 0 win against Burnley at home), whilst Watford continue their good start by defeating Lee Clark’s Birmingham City 2 – 0 at Vicarge Road. Crystal Palace continue to struggle as they lost out to Middlesborough, whilst Theo Robinson’s last-ditch equaliser against Wolves, earnt them a well deserved away point.