Date: 7th February 2009 at 9:17pm
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Leicester failed to go 13 points clear at the top of League One as they were held to a goalless draw by Oldham at the Walkers Stadium earlier this evening.

In bizarre circumstances five minutes into the second half, Latics goalkeeper Greg Fleming was sent off for bringing down Matty Fryatt in the penalty area, and was duly replaced by veteran Dean Windass between the sticks. Fryatt missed the penalty himself much to the shock of the 22,000 crowd.

With that brave Oldham managed to hold out for a point against the league leaders, and could have even won it themselves.

Unsurprisingly, Leicester manager Nigel Pearson named an unchanged starting lineup to the one that demolished Walsall midweek, with Max Gradel replacing Barry Hayles on the bench.

It was Oldham who started the better of the two teams, and Leicester goalkeeper David Martin was called into action within the first two minutes, but he was quick enough to gather the through ball which was intended for Lee Hughes.

It was the Latics who posed the first threat on goal through Dean Smalley, but his effort sailed wide of the target.

However, it was the home side who went closest with 20 minutes on the clock when Steve Howard’s shot hit the inside of Greg Fleming’s post, before bouncing away to safety.

Both sides followed up with efforts of their own, Sean Gregan with a shot wide, before Matty Fryatt also curled his own over the bar.

It was Oldham who were perhaps looking the better of the two sides at this point, their work rate evident against Nigel Pearson’s men.

However, it was the Foxes who possibly should have taken the lead with just over half an hour played, when Matty Fryatt blazed his shot over after Steve Howard had flicked the ball on for the league’s top-goalscorer.

Leicester began to nudge themselves in front in terms of possession in the last 10 minutes of the half, and came agonisingly close to scoring right before the break. A poor backpass from Mark Allott allowed Tom Cleverley to break through on goal and chip an effort over Fleming, but Scott Golbourne was on hand to clear off the line.

The second half began in bizarre fashion in front of the on-looking cameras. Matty Fryatt was sent through on goal and duly brought down by Fleming in the area for a certain penalty. The referee produced a red card much to the dismay of John Sheridan who found himself with no substitute goalkeeper on the bench.

No matter thought Dean Windass, as the veteran stepped up to the mark to stay between the sticks. His first task was the small matter of saving the iminent Fryatt penalty. However, the 25 goal man failed to convert from the spot, criminally dragging his effort onto the outside of the post.

Oldham and Windass now had the difficult task of holding on for 40 minutes with their striker in goal away from home against the league leaders.

There was nervy moments for the goalkeeper in his cameo early on when he had to dive to save Andy King’s free-kick in the 52nd minute. Windass managed to force the ball away for a corner, much to the delight of Oldham’s travelling support.

It wasn’t just Oldham who were feeling the pressure at the back, this time it was the home side who had to be on their guard when Lee Hughes found himself through on goal. However, his resulting effort was well saved by Martin in the Leicester goal to keep his side in the game.

There was also controversy in the Leicester area in the 55th minute when Chris Taylor went down under a challenge from Michael Morrison, but the player was judged to have dived by the referee and was duly booked for his troubles.

It was Hughes again with another chance for Oldham moments later, Martin again equal to his shot to save the Foxes again.

Windass was on hand once again to save Oldham, this time from Matty Fryatt’s low shot. The striker really should have buried it, but Windass got down to save with his legs for a corner.

A late Oldham corner caused all sorts of problems in the Leicester penalty area, Reuben Hazell heading goal-bound to put hearts in mouths for Foxes fans. However, Martin was on hand for a third time to save gratefully.

Cleverley came close for Leicester when his volley whistled over Windass’ bar, before there was more defending for the home side.

Substitute Lewis Alessandra burst through on goal and almost saw sight of goal before Jack Hobbs saved the day to rescue Leicester.

It was a point Oldham fully deserved, much to the credit of their team, not least Dean Windass who stood firm for 40 minutes. Leicester on the other hand will feel they should have won the game with a man advantage and the opposition’s striker in goal, but ultimately the Latics could have easily won this one today.

The draw leaves the Foxes in a good position 11 points clear at the top of League One, with a game in hand for most of the teams below them.


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