With the Championship clash of the weekend involving two clubs from the East Midlands, it was inevitable at least one set of supporters would end up disappointed. Friday’s fixture saw Leicester sweep away fellow high flyers Derby at The King Power Stadium, meanwhile Nottingham Forest could only pick up a point against struggling Bolton at The City Ground. In League Two Burton Albion picked up another victory, this time against Cheltenham, further strengthening their promotion push.
Leicester City, for the third time this season, beat their East Midland rivals Derby County. In a largely one sided affair, Nigel Pearson’s men blew away County, who have now lost 3 times in a row, halting their scintillating early form under new boss Mclaren. From the outset it was clear that Leicester’s attacking prowess was too much for Derby, with Dyer a constant threat while both Nugent and Vardy caused problems all night long. After dominating the early periods, former Man United player De Laet opened the scoring with a wonderful solo effort, soon after the break Nugent doubled the lead with his 14th of the season. De Laet then put one in his own net to bring Derby back into the game. However, Nugent and Vardy’s late strikes meant Leicester picked up the result they so clearly deserved, with a score-line that by no means flattered The Foxes on a night of near total dominance for the league leaders.
Nottingham Forest, following on from there 5-0 demolition of West Ham in the FA Cup, were left disappointed after they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to lowly Bolton. Jamie Paterson, after his hat-trick heroics in the cup, again found the net, this one his first in the league, to open the scoring for the home side. However, with only 15 minutes to go, Matt Mills latched onto an Andre Moritz dead ball to claim a share of the spoils. Greg Halford, again ploughing a lone furrow up front, nearly won the game for Forest, only to see his late strike cannon back off the post. Although they extended their unbeaten run to 9 games it was a case of missed opportunities for Davies’ men, he made it quite clear where he felt his side’s problems lay. “Only thing we are lacking is that clinical finishing up front.” It would surprise very few should we see a striker through the door at The City Ground in the coming weeks.
Finally, we move to League Two where Burton Albion extended their unbeaten run to 11 games in the league following a 2-1 victory against Cheltenham at the Pirelli Stadium. In a one-sided first half, Cheltenham keeper Scott Brown kept the high flying Brewers at bay with a string of impressive stops. Then with less than half an hour to go, Byron Harrison put the visitors ahead. However, the game changed with two substitutions, Dominic Knowles came off the bench to claim the headlines with two late goals, whilst Zeli Ismail was the real star of the show. The on loan Wolves winger, capped off an impressive debut with two assists and ran Town ragged in the closing exchanges. Burton now find themselves only two points behind Scunthorpe as the promotion race heats up.
This week’s performance of the week was not difficult to select, to say the least, a high paced, intense attacking display blew away fellow promotion hopefuls Derby. Pearson’s men appear destined to be gracing the Premier League next season and if they can keep the form up they are currently showing, Leicester will once again host top flight football come August.