Leicester put an end to Peterborough’s 15 match unbeaten run with a crushing 4-0 victory over their fellow promotion hopefuls.
An early own goal from Chris Morgan and Matty Fryatt’s 23rd of the season put Leicester two goals to the good at half time, followed by second half strikes from Andy King and Steve Howard to wrap up the win.
Manager Nigel Pearson rang two changes from last week’s win at Carlisle; centre back Aleksander Tunchev replacing Michael Morrison, and midfielder Mark Davies coming in for veteran Chris Powell, with Bruno Berner moving to left back.
Peterborough began the match the brighter of the two teams, George Boyd dragging a shot wide within the opening two minutes. At the other end Matty Fryatt saw his shot well blocked by Posh goalkeeper Russell Martin.
However, it wasn’t long before the home side took the lead on six minutes. Great work from Fryatt allowed the striker to keep the ball in play and deliver a cross into the Peterborough box which was hopelessly sliced into the net by Posh defender Chris Morgan.
The goal gave Leicester real momentum as they pushed for a second against the team who were sitting in 4th place before the match.
Fryatt came close again seven minutes later, but was unlucky not to reach Steve Howard’s knockdown. Leicester midfielders Matt Oakley and Mark Davies both came close soon after, but saw their efforts go the wrong side of the bar.
More chances for the hosts followed, with Oakley again and then Howard, the latter with a slightly scuffed shot inside the area which went wide of Russell Martin’s goal.
Peterborough began to hit back following Leicester’s spell of pressure, causing problems in the area for the Foxes. Centre back Jack Hobbs gratefully managed to clear after a goalmouth scramble to restore the lead.
Leicester had lady luck to thank straight afterwards when Peterborough hit the bar and then the post in succession.
Firstly George Boyd’s deflected shot jumped agonisingly onto the post before Mackail-Smith headed onto the bar following the rebound. Striker Aaron McLean finished the move off for Peterborough with a header over the bar after the second rebound.
In truth, this was all Peterborough had to offer, and rarely caused the Foxes’ defence problems, surprising for a team which included the likes of Mackail-Smith and McLean up front.
Leicester hit back immediately when Fryatt tested goalkeeper Joe Lewis, but the Peterborough ‘keeper was there to match his effort.
Fryatt did beat Lewis however in the 38th minute to double Leicester’s advantage.
Jack Hobbs’ long ball over the top found its way to Fryatt, who made no mistake of nodding the ball past Lewis and tapping home to provide him with his 23rd goal of the season.
Left winger Lloyd Dyer was brought down on the edge of the box soon after Fryat’s goal to hand Matt Oakley the chance of a third. The midfielder’s effort was brilliantly saved by Lewis to keep Peterborough in the game, if only just.
With Leicester two goals up at half-time, it seemed only a matter of when, and not if, they’d claim a third goal to seal the game.
With things clearly not going well for the visitors, manager Darren Ferguson decided to make a change, with Paul Coutts replacing Chris Westwood. The second half began fairly well for Peterborough, with Crofts heading wide early on.
Aaron McLean’s shot from 25 yards flashed dangerously past David Martin’s goal on 52 minutes, before Fryatt almost handed the opportunity for Steve Howard to score, but thwarted thanks to some last ditch Peterborough defending.
Posh fans thought their side had got right back in it when Crofts hit the side netting, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Leicester looked for a third.
Leicester midfielder could have got the third via central midfielder Andy King, but his header was well stopped by Lewis from point-blank range.
Charlie Lee came close for Peterborough soon afterwards, but his header flew perilously wide of the goal.
King made no mistake with his second headed chance of the game to put Leicester three goals up with 70 minues played.
Matt Oakley’s free-kick from just outside the box found its way to King who comfortably headed home for his 8th goal of the season, an impressive achievement for the player from Leicester’s youth academy.
Lloyd Dyer could have handed the Foxes a fourth goal straight after, but a superb last ditch tackle from Morgan denied the winger a certain one-on-one opportunity.
Paul Dickov made a proper return to action with 73 minutes played, replacing Fryatt, and being familiarly booked soon after for a poor challenge.
Striker Steve Howard rounded off Leicester’s brilliant with with an emphatic fourth to seal all three points. He gathered the ball from 25 yards out before unleashing a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to finish off the rout.
The win sees Leicester increase the gap at the top to 4 points, with MK Dons now in second after their 3-1 win over Leicester’s next opponents Leeds United.
Leicester: Martin, Gilbert, Tunchev, Hobbs, Berner, Oakley ©, Davies, King, Dyer, Fryatt (Dickov 73), Howard. Subs not used: Powell, Cisak, Gradel, Morrison.
Peterborough: Lewis, Martin ©, Morgan, Lee, Westwood (Coutts 45), Whelpdale, Keates, Crofts (Green 76), Boyd, McLean, Mackail-Smith (Batt 76). Subs not used: McKeown, Blanchett.
ity: Dickov (77)
nited: Morgan (43)
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
David Martin (7)
Signed his loan until the end of the season yesterday, and didn’t put a foot wrong today, producing some good handling under pressure at times.
Kerrea Gilbert (7)
Another solid performance from the man on loan from Arsenal. Always a threat going forward as he showed today, but sturdy at the back too.
Aleksander Tunchev (8)
A rock at the heart of Leicester’s defence. Won absolutely everything that came his way today. A steal from Pearson and his staff in the Summer.
Jack Hobbs (7.5)
Like his defensive partner, was solid at the back today. Won the ball in the air constantly and rarely looked under pressure.
Bruno Berner (6.5)
A steady if unspectacular game for Berner today. Showed he can support the attack when he wants to, but looks more comfortable at the back naturally.
Matt Oakley (8.5)
Another captain’s performance from Oakley today. Looked up for the fight by winning constant tackles in the middle of the park, showed by his tackle which lead to Fryatt’s goal.
Andy King (7.5)
Grabbed yet another goal for Leicester today, and could have had another. Always a goal threat with his shooting and range of passing which was on display today.
Mark Davies (8)
Another great find from Nigel Pearson. Only recently signed on loan, but looking a class act at times in this division. His qualities were really on show today.
Lloyd Dyer (7)
Helped by Berner, a constant threat to Peterborough’s defence. Always able to at least get the cross in, and always a willing runner and provider.
Matty Fryatt (7.5)
Another game, another goal. Sign a contract please Matty.
Steve Howard (8)
Finally grabbed the goal he’s been deserving for so long. A sterling performance up front today alongside Fryatt, he held the ball up superbly and caused Peterborough’s defence all kinds of problems.