Date: 13th November 2010 at 6:23pm
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Steve Howard struck against his old club to hand Leicester a well deserved victory against East Midlands rivals Derby County.

Howard’s 71st-minute penalty sealed all three points for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side at the Walkers Stadium after an impressive performance against the in-form Rams.

Nigel Clough’s side had won seven of their last nine Championship fixtures prior to the match, while Leicester went in with just one defeat in their last six under Eriksson.

The Foxes chief was forced into one enforced change before kick-off as centre back Miguel Vitor was injured during the warm-up. In came Jack Hobbs to partner Curtis Davies, while Steve Howard was handed a start in place of Martyn Waghorn.

It was Leicester who began the game much the brighter of the two sides, looking good value to put Wednesday’s disappointing performance against Sheffield United behind them.

It took just six minutes for City to put the ball in the net, but Darius Vassell was adjudged to have been in an offside position before his excellent finish into the bottom corner.

Undeterred, the home side continued to push their local rivals at the back and went close with efforts from both Curtis Davies and Andy King.

But pressure told after 13 minutes when King slotted Leicester ahead. The Welsh international’s excellent run was found by Richie Wellens’ exquisite ball through, allowing King to finish coolly past Frank Fielding in the Derby goal.

The visitors’ first effort on goal arrived courtesy of Kris Commons, whose shot from the edge of the area was gathered comfortably by Weale after some slack City defending.

Leicester were causing problems down both wings for Derby, with both Kyle Naughton and Greg Cunningham supporting attacks well down their respective sides.

Several half chances fell City’s way over the next ten minutes, a King header coming closest following good work from Cunningham.

Nigel Clough’s Rams began to get to grips with the match as the first half wore on, but despite a chunk of possession, failed to test City goalkeeper Chris Weale.

Derby were clearly comfortable on the ball when allowed space, and could have produced much greater threat had it not been for some encouraging hounding from Leicester.

Commons fired wide from range with ten first-half minutes remaining, before on-loan West Brom striker Luke Moore blasted hopelessly over to safety.

Half-time arrived at a useful time for City, who had successfully rode the wave of Derby pressure to go into a deserved lead.

Half-time: Leicester 1-0 Derby

The home side once again came out of the traps quickest, and looked to extend their lead through two Howard efforts which failed to trouble Fielding.

Derby’s best opportunity of the game arrived on the hour mark when Paul Green fluffed his header wide from Luke Moore’s cross, keeping City in the lead.

Eriksson introduced Lloyd Dyer with half an hour remaining, and the winger almost made an immediate impact when his powerful shot inside the box was palmed away by Fielding.

Dyer was once again involved to turn over Paul Gallagher’s whipped cross from the right as City began to turn the screw on Clough’s side.

And sure enough the Foxes were handed a glorious opportunity to double their lead with 20 minutes to go when Kyle Naughton was tripped inside the area by Commons.

Up stepped Howard, who made no mistake with his second spot-kick in a week, drilling the ball into the bottom corner to seal victory.

From here on it was all Leicester, as a lacklustre Derby failed to find a way back into the clash.

The hosts could have added more to the scoreline with Howard and Gallagher both registering efforts on goal, but the scoreline stayed the same as City claimed their third win in four matches.

Foxes manager Sven-Goran Eriksson will be delighted with yet another clean sheet for his rejuvenated backline, particularly the performance of Jack Hobbs after a shaky showing midweek.

Nigel Clough will have no complaints with the result after seeing his side outplayed for the majority of the game, but will be disappointed at his team’s inability to hand Chris Weale a significant test.

The win sees Leicester move up to 15th, now just four points off the play-off positions after their run of solid form.