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FA Carling Premiership, 30/8/99
Leicester City
Lucky to get zero
By Tim Tweddell

My first away game for at least twelve years started badly with a tedious rail journey from Hull via Sheffield - City, United and Wednesday had one point each at the time, and I'd have settled for one point against The Foxes. Then a walk to the ground which was further than I thought, was rewarded by my stumbling into the excellent "Leicester City" chippy, offering a decent-sized piece of fish and an unhealthy portion of chips, for about the same price as the pies on offer in the ground.

The game itself was forgettable. We never seemed to be in it. I can't remember that we had a decent shot on goal in the whole game. The back four were under pressure for most of the time, but did a creditable job in containing the home attack, with Lyttle being given a torrid time by Guppy.

Day's performance was marred only by his mishandling of several away-swinging crosses, which he was attempting to gather in a crowded six-yard box, and it was one these errors which cost the goal. To his credit, he was in a good position with the two Heskey efforts that hit the woodwork and had they been on target could well have got a hand to them.

Palmer and Hyde spent much of the time attempting to contain Izzet and Lennon, the latter having an outstanding game; this left them little opportunity to get forward. Kennedy and Savage cancelled each other out, and Easton seemed to be chasing about to no avail (as he had done against Bradford).

Our only successful avenue of attack revolved around long balls into the right hand corner, which allowed Ngonge to pass Taggart as if he were standing still. But these surges only resulted in lame crosses into a penalty area occupied by several Leicester defenders and Tommy Mooney who, despite his hustle and bustle, achieved precisely nothing.

After seventy minutes, Gudmundsson came on for Easton and flattered to deceive, and Bakalli replaced Ngonge and hardly got a kick of the ball. We had switched to 3-5-2 now, with Lyttle pushing forward which only allowed the impressive Guppy to serve up a series of delightful curling crosses, and we were fortunate not to concede at least one more goal.

All in all, this was a disappointing performance; the defence was under pressure all night because we could not threaten their goal, not even on the counter. We got what we deserved on the night, and were fortunate not to get a hiding.

However, it was a pleasure to sit among such a vociferous crowd of supporters, who rarely stopped singing, encouraging, and goading the Leicester players and supporters, who gave as good as they got. I learned that Robbie Savage is a "big tart", that Emile Heskey will "never play for England" ("or Watford" according to their fans), and that a number of our contingent are certifiable.

You can't fault any of the players for effort; these ratings, out of five, are for effectiveness:

Day 3
Lyttle 3
Page 4
Williams 4
Robinson 4
Hyde 3
*Palmer 4*
Easton 2
Kennedy 3
Ngonge 3
Mooney 2

Gudmundsson 2
Bakalli 0