Nottingham Forest 2 Leicester 2: Local derby ends in exciting stalemate

League leaders Leicester City managed to fight back to earn a 2-2 draw against promotion chasing Nottingham Forest at The City Ground in an end to end encounter on Wednesday night.
The Reds, who were looking to bounce back from Sunday’s FA Cup set back, looked ready to ruin the leader’s current unbeaten run and to preserve their own.
Early on, Forest’s in form midfielder, Jamie Paterson, received the ball on the left and wriggled his way through a couple of Foxes defenders, to get into the box before firing a shot towards goal, but Schmeichel did well to beat the ball away.
Leicester had their stopper to thank for keeping the game goalless after a great diving save to keep out Collins thunderous header from Reid’s corner.
But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock despite not threatening too much in the early stages. The Reds defence didn’t deal with a bouncing ball in their box, seemingly looking for Darlow to claim. The Reds stopper attempted to clear, but under pressure from Nugent he flapped at the ball, which dropped to Vardy who rolled it into an empty net.
However Forest revitalised themselves and found an equaliser ten minutes later. Andy Reid’s corner was half cleared to the edge of the box, but only as far at Paterson, who fired a header into the top right hand corner of the net, sparking scenes of jubilation.

Paul Konchesky's sending off gave Forest a chance to take all three points
Paul Konchesky’s sending off gave Forest a chance to take all three points

This was to be added to only moments later.
Jamie Mackie has always been known for his work rate, and that showed again for the second goal. The forward closed down Wes Morgan in the Foxes box and took the ball away from him before being tripped by the defender. Referee Anthony Taylor pointed towards the spot. Reid stepped up to take and sent the keeper the wrong way, side footing the ball into the bottom right hand corner to make it 2-1 just before half time.
The second half was again filled with end to end play, Forest striker Simon Cox was denied a chance by Wes Morgan who slid in to intercept a low Paterson cross, whilst at the other end Collins did well to tackle Vardy before he could get a shot away in the box.
An hour into the game Leicester saw their task made even harder after defender Konchesky received a straight red, for a late challenge on Jamie Mackie.
Instantly Forest had a chance to go further in front. A Reid in swinging free kick from the left was headed back across to Lascelles and the defender lined himself up for a volley but hit it wide from ten yards out.
In a similar position, Reid swung in another cross this time meeting Collins at the back post, only for his header to go straight at the Foxes stopper.
Despite the chances, it was the visitors who had the final say in the fixture. After a swift break Leicester found themselves with room to advance, pushing Forest back, finding their way into the box, before Paterson was adjudged to have caught Drinkwater sending him to the ground.
The referee didn’t seem moved straight away to the complaints, until his official flagged and the penalty was awarded. Veteran striker Kevin Phillips struck the penalty strongly towards the bottom left hand corner, but Darlow push it away with a strong hand, before it fell to Foxes substitute Mahrez who tapped in from close range to make it 2-2.
It was eventually a strong performance from Forest when they got going. They showed great character to come from behind and to take it down to the wire against the table toppers, but it was highly disappointing that Forest only claimed one point when it should really have been all three. However their unbeaten run in the league continues, and they are still in the promotion pack.
The result leaves Leicester eight points clear of second placed Burnley, whilst Forest are still in 5th sitting five points behind the automatic promotion places. The Reds next match is away at second place Burnley on Saturday.

Jamie Griffiths

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