Sixth win in six leave Foxes top of the league
Leicester City maintained their position at the top of the Championship with a narrow 1-0 win over Brighton at the King Power Stadium.
In front of a home crowd of over 25,000, Andy King scored the only goal of the game ten minutes into the first-half after his initial shot was blocked inside the penalty area by Gordon Greer.
The visitors were awarded a second-half penalty when Zak Whitbread was adjudged to have brought down Will Buckley inside the area, but Ashley Barnes` spot kick was well-saved by Foxes` goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Barnes might have rescued a point for Brighton in stoppage time, but was unable to hit the target from the edge of the penalty area with plenty of time to settle his position before shooting.
It was Leicester`s sixth consecutive league win at the King Power Stadium, and seventh game unbeaten – an excellent run of form which has given the Foxes top spot in the Championship with one-quarter of the season played.
Nigel Pearson named an unchanged starting eleven from Saturday`s 1-1 draw at Birmingham, and although Leicester began the first-half more tentatively than usual, they were ahead after just ten minutes after some excellent work by David Nugent on the left wing allowed him to break into the Brighton area and lay the ball off to Andy King, and although the midfielder`s shot was initially blocked, he made no mistake in finding the back of the net with the follow-up.
The early advantage seemed to trouble Brighton – especially defensively, as Gus Poyet`s side began misplacing passes under continual pressure from Leicester`s forward players.
Ritchie De Laet then broke into the Brighton penalty area and played a clever ball across goal to Andy King, but the Welshman was unable to add to his earlier goal, seeing his effort go way over the bar.
At the other end, Liam Bridcutt kept Kasper Schmeichel on his toes with a looping free-kick to the back post, forcing the Danish shot-stopper to tip the ball wide for a corner.
The ever-dangerous Anthony Knockaert then tested Tomasz Kuszczak with a shot from 20 yards, but the former Manchester United goalkeeper was equal to it.
Brighton began to increase tempo towards the end of the half, and could have been level when Craig Mackail-Smith latched on to Ritchie De Laet`s poor backpass, but Kasper Schmeichel was alert to make an important stop.
Mackail-Smith continued to try and cause the Foxes` backline problems after the break with his pace and persistence, but in actual fact, Foxes captain Wes Morgan and Zak Whitbread were able to marshal the threat of Mackail-Smith for the majority of the game.
David Nugent then stung the palms of Tomasz Kuszczak with a powerful curling strike from the edge of the penalty area, but Brighton were given a glorious opportunity to draw level moments later when Zak Whitbread was adjudged to have upended Will Buckley inside the Leicester penalty area.
Ashley Barnes stepped up to take the spot-kick, but could not beat Kasper Schmeichel who guessed correctly – and although the rebound fell into the path of Barnes, the follow-up shot flew high over the crossbar, much to the relief of the Leicester fans.
Brighton seemed to lose momentum after the missed penalty, and Leicester could have doubled their advantage when Martyn Waghorn picked out Lloyd Dyer with a good cross into the Brighton eighteen-yard box, but the connecting header sailed wide of the left-hand post.
Paul Konchesky then had a shot beaten away by Tomasz Kuszczak, before substitute Jamie Vardy headed wide from inside the penalty area as the Foxes looked to tighten their grip on their opponents.
Andy King fired a shot across goal after Anthony Knockaert had done well to pick him out from the right-hand side, but dragged the ball inches wide of the Brighton goal.
For all of Leicester`s chances to put the game to bed, Ashley Barnes had a late chance to salvage a point for the visitors, but was unable to hit the target from the edge of the area despite having time and space to compose himself.
The final whistle blew, giving Leicester a narrow but deserved victory – one that keeps them top of the Championship for at least another few days.