The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­ By Ian Baker

LE­ICES­TER man­ager Nigel Pear­son ad­mits his side can­not af­ford to dice with death on a reg­u­lar ba­sis af­ter a thrilling come­back against Birm­ing­ham.

For­ma­tions has been the buzz word around the King Power Sta­dium and hav­ing al­ready played 3-5-2 this sea­son, the Foxes switched to 4-4-2 when trail­ing at half-time fol­low­ing a 4-3-1-2 sys­tem that did not work as Pear­son had wanted.

Le­ices­ter were 1-0 down to Matt Green’s first ever Football League goal in his 50th ap­pear­ance.

But just as it looked like Birm­ing­ham would hold out, Jamie Vardy struck in the 78th-minute and then Andy King scored what looked like be­ing the win­ner four min­utes later.

There was how­ever more drama in in­jury time. Dave Nu­gent fired home a penalty af­ter Kyle Bart­ley was con­tro­ver­sially ad­judged to have brought down Lloyd Dyer.

Birm­ing­ham were es­pe­cially ag­grieved when sub Chris Burke scored a fine goal with vir­tu­ally the last kick but Pear­son salued his side af­ter they re­mained un­beaten.

“It was a good three points,” he said.“We made heavy weather of it in the first half in that we wasted op­por­tu­ni­ties to score and con­ceded with the first mean­ing­ful at­tack.

“The im­por­tant thing is we were able to come from a los­ing po­si­tion to vic­tory.

“The play­ers re­sponded very well and in the sec­ond half the play­ers that went on played a big role in chang­ing the for­tunes.

“This league is no­to­ri­ous for sides be­ing un­able to find con­sis­tency to win enough games. You have to find an an­swer, we were one end of the spec­trum or the other.We did not win enough tight games. If you want to be a suc­cess you have to do that. We’ve not hit the heights yet but the re­sults are go­ing OK.

“You have to try and win games. It’s nice to have the abil­ity to change things. But it does not al­ways work.”

Green’s goal was no­table as he be­came the first Birm­ing­ham player to score in the league this sea­son as he scored his first Blues goal with a fine vol­ley on 12 min­utes from Shane Fer­gu­son’s cross.

Le­ices­ter had their mo­ments with Danny Drinkwa­ter and Chris Wood par­tic­u­larly waste­ful in front of goal with Dar­ren Ran­dolph also hav­ing a stormer for Birm­ing­ham.

Drinkwa­ter and Wood were hurled off at half-time to make way for An­thony Knock­aert and Dyer.

The pair helped turn the tide for Le­ices­ter who were clearly more com­fort­able with 4-4-2.

Vardy lev­elled from 18 yards from Dyer’s pass be­fore King, on his 250th Le­ices­ter ap­pear­ance, turned the game on its head with a goal from a sim­i­lar po­si­tion from Nu­gent’s pass.

Ref­eree Ed­die Ilder­ton came un­der fire in the last minute with Bart­ley ap­pear­ing to win the ball from Dyer, with a spot kick awarded which Nu­gent con­verted, and Burke’s late ef­fort from the edge of the area made the de­ci­sion more mean­ing­ful for the in­censed Lee Clark.

“We were lead­ing 1-0 but some­times it was like the Alamo,” he said. “We need to find a so­lu­tion quick to win football matches

“What’s the point in me com­ment­ing on of­fi­cials? There was a meet­ing with ref­er­ees be­fore the sea­son and some man­agers sit in the car for four hours.

“The ref­eree boss says how good the stats are and how good the refs are im­prov­ing. I must be miss­ing those games.

“Both man­agers agreed on ev­ery­thing but I’m not go­ing to come and slate the ref­eree as I don’t want to get fined.

“I find it strange be­cause I don’t want to get fined for telling the truth.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

COOL HEAD: David Nu­gent scores the third goal for Le­ices­ter from the penalty spot

IT’S A PEN: Ref Ed­die Ilder­ton awards Le­ices­ter a spot kick



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