Date: 7th February 2006 at 10:40pm
Written by:

Leicester City are believed to have won their abandoned Reserves game with Ipswich Reserves tonight because more than an hour had elapsed when the floodlights failed.

The Hinckley United ground was plunged into virtual darkness only a few minutes after right winger Max Gradel had scored the only goal with a speculative but accurate miskick.

Fans were so cold in the biting wind and so numbed by the lack of incident that at first they joked that the lights going out was ‘an improvement.’

However after some 20 minutes standing in the cold and dark it was left to the match video cameraman to reveal that the game was off and that the result ought to stand due to the time played.

But, by then, many had made their way home believing the game was void and would have to be replayed.

Recently the Reserves have provided some scintillating football with goals galore.

Tonight everyone felt that the 73 minutes played was plenty.

Eric Odhiambo and the ever-dangerous Louis Dodds had first half penalty claims turned down, Odhiambo also broke clear but slipped before he could shoot and, from a similar position minutes later, he pulled his angled shot wide with only debutant Ipswich ‘keeper Peturrson to beat.

Sadly those were isolated incidents. Indeed the most memorable moment of an energetic but largely thoughtless first 45 minutes was City centre-back Liam Norval’s colliding with an assistant referee and sending him somersaulting down the touchline.

At least that briefly lightened a flat atmosphere.

In what was played of the second half goalkeeper Paul Henderson, exemplary all night, saved a near certain Ipswich goal by winning a close race to a through ball and winger Joe Hamill flighted a good cross to Louis Dodds whose header lacked pace and direction.

Eventually it was another left wing cross which gave Gradel his chance to score the winner – an almost slow-motion miscue – and give City a further three Premier Reserve League points, subject to ratification.

Individually, Connor Franklin had an effective game at left centre-back making one goal-saving tackle in particular, his defensive partner Liam Norval made important interceptions and went close to converting a couple of Adam Wykes crosses at the far post and for Gradel it was his second goal in successive games from the flank.

City will also have been pleased to have kept a clean sheet after recent goals-leaking performances although Ipswich posed little direct threat save for a swerving first half drive by Cathal Lordan which flew dangerously close to City’s woodwork.

City: Henderson, Smedley, Mattock, Wykes, Norval, Franklin, Gradel, King, Odhiambo, Dodds, Hamill.

Ipswich: Peturrson, Moore, Ainsley, Lordan, Haverson, Mitchell, Peters, Trotter, Clarke, McDonald,Knights.

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