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Match Report: Peterborough United 1-0 Leicester City (Posh Fan's Perspective)

Saturday 31st March 2012
Posh all but put pay to Leicester City's Play-Off hopes with a nervy 1-0 win at home through a stunning Paul Taylor strike.

Not even a saved Grant McCann penalty could dent Posh's concentration and determination, seeing out a massive win to help Darren Ferguson's boys' edge closer to confirming safety; Posh sit 10 points clear of Bristol City in 22nd.

Leicester came in unchanged from their draw against Nottingham Forest midweek while there was the irregular sight of a Posh team-sheet without Gabriel Zakuani, who failed a fitness test after being pulled off against West Ham midweek with back spasms. The Foxes started brightly in the opening minutes, a spell that saw Ben Marshall clip the top of the Peterborough crossbar from a free-kick just outside of the box.

A few minutes later, Grant McCann lined up a free-kick of his own, around the same mark that he scored against Cardiff City earlier on in the season; a decent effort from the captain was tipped over the bar by Kasper Schmeichel. Just before 10 minutes into the match, Tyrone Barnett had a chance of his own to open the scoring early on as the ball from Boyd came into his path following a nice bit of build-up play, only to see his off-balance shot blocked by the Leicester defence.

Following a few other chances for both sides, mainly from distance, Posh almost played Lee Frecklington through on goal in the 20th minute. A looping ball bouncing in front of Frecklington over The Foxes defence, only for the wind, which Posh were attacking in to during the first-half, to push the ball back and allow big Wes Morgan to clear the ball out of danger.

Lee Tomlin was facing his hometown team for only the second time since leaving as an academy player, the first time being the fixture between the two earlier this season where Tomlin scored. This time, however, Tomlin was quiet and his most notable contribution to an even first-half was a hopeful strike from distance which rolled wide midway through the half.

As if the absence of Gabriel Zakuani through injury wasn't too much of a blow, striker Tyrone Barnett was pulled off with a muscle injury and replaced by Emile Sinclair on the 28th minute. The sight of the million-pound man going off did very little to convince the home supporters that this was going to be a good day.

Just before half-time, Leicester had an array of chances in and around the Posh area as the wind played havoc, a wonder as to how the ball didn't find its way past Paul Jones to give The Foxes a 1-0 lead. Paul Taylor, who it was announced yesterday won't be signing a new deal with the club that saved his career just a year ago, was found with a great chance to break as the ball was finally cleared by Posh, only for the flamboyant striker to waste it.

Peterborough United's key men in the first-half were Tommy Rowe, Shaun Brisley and Lee Frecklington, all three were exceptional in the opening 45 minutes, especially Rowe as he continued to impress at left-back. Ben Marshall looked to be the most likely outlet for Leicester City, putting in a few good crosses and coming close with a free-kick early on.

Just after the second-half began, Emile Sinclair played George Boyd in with a chance that you would have put your house on him to put away, one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel on his left-foot; Boyd pulled his shot wide past the far post.

Lloyd Dyer then saw a shot saved by Paul Jones before Lee Tomlin played quite possibly the pass of the season on the turn to fire the ball across the pitch into the path of Sinclair, who ran past the opposing defender and got his shot away, going out for a corner.

From the resulting corner on 59 minutes, Craig Alcock had his effort cleared off the Leicester line by Sol Bamba. Just as Leicester may have thought they cleared the danger, the ball found itself at the feet of Paul Taylor 25-yards from goal. Out of nowhere, with absolutely no warning what-so-ever, Taylor produced a stunning shot that rifled its way past Schmeichel, only for the net to save some fan in the London Road End a broken nose and a trip to A&E. 1-0 Posh.

Two minutes later, Posh had the chance to double the lead after Tommy Rowe was brought down in the box by Kasper Schmeichel, prompting the referee, Michael Oliver, to point to the spot for a penalty. Captain Grant McCann stepped up in front of the London Road End, but saw his penalty saved by Schmeichel. After the match, McCann blamed his miss on changing his mind on which side to go.

After the penalty, Leicester started to turn the screw in an attempt to make Posh rue the missed opportunity. With Posh being forced back and limited to hoofing the ball out of defence, there was an argument that it was more when, rather than if, Leicester would get an equaliser.

The Foxes had two free-kicks in decent positions to put ‘keeper Paul Jones under pressure; the first coming in the 70th minute as Jones parried a shot from Ben Marshall out for a corner. Three minutes later, Paul Konchesky looped his effort over the bar.

In the 77th minute, there was a confrontation between David Nugent and Craig Alcock which saw Nugent get into the face of Alcock. The referee booked both men and gave a free-kick in favour of the host's.

For the remainder of the match, Posh were heavily on the back-foot as Leicester kept pressing looking for an equaliser. Two minutes before normal time, Leicester thought they scored; Beckford finished from close-range, only for play to be brought back for a push on Paul Jones from Wes Morgan, much to the dismay of the travelling support.

In three minutes of added time, it was all hands on deck for Posh as they fought to hold onto a massive win over Leicester. Emile Sinclair, who was brilliant after coming on for Tyrone Barnett, had a chance to score a much deserved goal to finish it, only for Schmeichel to deny him and keep the match alive in the dying minutes.

With mere seconds left on the clock, Michael Oliver blew for a Leicester free-kick right on the edge of the box – London Road could have been mistaken for a church with the amount of praying from both sets of supporters. With baited break from all sections of the stadium, including the technical area, Danny Drinkwater stepped up and saw his shot sail over the goal. With only enough time for the goal-kick to be taken, the final whistle blew and Posh claimed another win over a top-half team in March, adding Leicester to the list which includes Blackpool and Reading.

A day that back-four; Mark Little, Craig Alcock, Shaun Brisley and Tommy Rowe deserve a lot of the credit for keeping their composure and turning in the defensive performance of the season. Posh now have a free midweek and travel to Coventry, who are right in the thick of a relegation dog-fight, next Saturday.

Final Score:  Posh 1-0 Leicester City

Posh:  Jones, Little, Alcock, Rowe, Brisley, Tomlin, McCann, Frecklington, Boyd (sub Kearns 86min), Taylor, Barnett (sub Sinclair 28min). Unused subs: Lewis, Ball, Nthle.

Leicester:  Schmeichel, Peltier, Konchesky, Bamba, Dyer (sub Schlupp 69min), St. Ledger (sub Wellens 65min), Drinkwater, Beckford, Marshall, Morgan, Nugent. Subs: Howard, King, Kennedy.

Attendance:  10,714 (3,378 Leicester fans)
Aaron Gratton

Total articles: 16

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