LEICESTER CITY 1- SOUTHEND 0
City fans came to the match reasonably optimistic after improved performances since the Burnley horror show at The Walkers. O’Grady came in the side from the start with Hume on the bench. Tiatto was selected instead of Porter- a decision not universally acclaimed.
We kicked off 4 minutes late as the Southend players were late taking the field. If Daryll Hair had been the referee we would have been awarded the match and we could all have gone off to the pub! As it was, City started in a low tempo uninspired fashion against a well drilled Southend side.
Southend missed a sitter in the 27th minute after a Tiatto mistake and good play by Southend’s little winger who gave Johannson a difficult time all afternoon. O’ Grady had a half hit shot but generally our midfield again lack creativity and we continued to hit long balls down the line from the back, bypassing midfield. Fryatt and O’Grady had to resort to working for scraps of possession instead of receiving balls to feet.
Towards the end of the half City’s passing improved. During this period of pressure we won a corner. Tiatto whipped in a good dead ball and Kisnorbo stormed in late to send a good header high into the net. The corner proved to be Tiatto’s last (and only?) meaningful contribution to the game and he did not appear for the send half…..
Picture courtesy of Raymonds/lcfc.com
Kisnorbo celebrates netting his goal…..
Tiatto’s injury gave Levi Porter a chance to make an impression and he lifted the crowd in the second half with his close control, direct running and neat interpassing. Southend continued to press in the send half, with City playing on the break, but usually crosses from the wing being of poor quality. Josh Low tried hard but his crossing lacked consistency.
Porter had a good short on the turn in the 74th minute. Shortly after that Hume was brought on for Matty Fryatt, who looked strangely out of sorts and off the pace all afternoon. Was he unfit or ill? We all hope that he returns to form quickly because, at his best, he is a high quality and clever player- our biggest asset.
The pattern of the match continued. Southend having better possession and City playing on the break. Hume should have scored in the 33rd minute from a good cut back from Low but hit the bar. Hughes shot wide from the rebound. They both will “be disappointed with that” but they were bad misses and should have sown up the match. A series of good corners from Porter then threatened the Southend goal.
Picture courtesy of Raymonds/lcfc.com
Levi Porter lifted the crowd in the 2nd half
Spencer Prior came on as sub for Southend to applause from the City fans in their last desperate attempt to gain an equaliser- he headed wide from two yards with his first touch from a corner, much to everyone’s huge relief.
Stearman came on late for Low and was posted on the right wing. The match ended with City pressing forward in the four minutes awarded for extra time. This seemed strange- we normally defend grimly and try to hold out (usually unsuccessfully). It was a less stressful way to end the match and we duly collected three hard earned points.
I think we just about shaded a fairly dour match and Kisnorbo was superb throughout, marshalling the defence well and giving Eastwood few chances. Porter looks one for the future and I hope that Rob Kelly gives him a few more full matches to show how he can bring the forwards into play more.
Midfield still seems to be our biggest problem. Until that is solved we will not get the most out of our forward line and Fryatt will get more and more frustrated. Hughes appears a more consistent bet than Williams but is often tackled out of the game. Johnson is a strong tackler but passing is clearly not his strength. Tiatto, when he plays, contributes dead ball kicks but lacks control and thought in possession.
The main problem is that they do not make themselves available in space for short passes from defence and then to move the ball to feet to the forwards. If only we could get this right I think we would create more chances for our strikers and climb the table. Perhaps there’s a new player Rob has his eye on…… I hear Hargreaves want to leave Bayern Munich!!
Leicester: Henderson, Kenton, McCarthy, Kisnorbo, Johansson, Low (Stearman 88), Hughes, Johnson, Tiatto (Porter 45), Fryatt (Hume 68), O'Grady.
Subs Not Used: Logan, Williams. Booked: McCarthy, Low. Goal: Kisnorbo 40.
Southend: Flahavan, Francis, Barrett, Clarke, Hammell, Gower (Cole 36), Maher, Guttridge, Campbell-Ryce (Lawson 84), Eastwood, Paynter (Prior 84).
Subs Not Used: Collis, Hunt. Booked: Barrett. Att: 19,427.
The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation