Foxes frustrated following New Year’s Eve stalemate
Leicester City promotion hopes were dealt another blow this afternoon as they were held to a draw by Portsmouth at the King Power Stadium.
Marko Futacs put the visitors ahead with a fierce volley following some lackadaisical Leicester defending, but former Pompey striker David Nugent equalised for the Foxes four minutes later with an excellent header.
Both sides had chances to win as Greg Halford hit the Leicester woodwork while Yuki Abe had a powerful strike well-saved by Pompey goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
Leicester have now been held to three consecutive home draws, and are without a win in five games.
The Foxes looked positive in the early stages of the match when youngster Jeff Schlupp rode a heavy challenge before firing just wide from 25 yards.
But the game soon settled down before Lee Peltier’s hanging cross into the Portsmouth box almost picked out Paul Gallagher at the far post.
Chances were few and far between in the first quarter of the match, but it was Portsmouth who took the lead on twenty minutes after Leicester’s defence failed to clear a David Norris cross, and the ball eventually fell to Marko Futacs who made no mistake from close range, blasting past the helpless Kasper Schmeichel.
It was a soft goal to concede, and one former centre-back Nigel Pearson will not have enjoyed watching.
Portsmouth’s early lead sparked Leicester into life as Lee Peltier delivered another scintillating ball across the face of the goal just moments later.
The Foxes were soon level through David Nugent who was on hand to head Paul Gallagher’s free kick past Stephen Henderson.
It was Nugent’s eighth league goal of the campaign, and his second consecutive goal against his former club.
The visitors should have restored their advantage when Schmeichel lost Joel Ward’s high ball in a dangerous position, but Greg Halford’s header struck the woodwork.
Schlupp nodded on another Paul Gallagher free-kick with ten minutes remaining in the half, but Sol Bamba could not find the finishing touch at the back post.
On the stroke of half-time, Yuki Abe’s fierce strike from 20 yards was excellently saved by Henderson, and the Portsmouth shot stopper did well to thwart Schlupp’s follow-up attempts.
After the break, Liam Lawrence forced Kasper Schmeichel into a near-post save before Andy King’s volley did little to test Stephen Henderson.
Marko Futacs fired high and wide inside the Leicester penalty area moments later before Paul Konchesky came close for the hosts at the other end.
Portsmouth looked the more likely side to go on to win the match, but the introduction of Jermaine Beckford with twenty minutes remaining injected life into the home side, as the former Leeds and Everton striker had his angled strike parried by Henderson.
Beckford then had a penalty shout waved away by referee Colin Webster despite seeming to have been upended by Joe Mattock’s clumsy challenge.
Lloyd Dyer hit the side netting in stoppage time but the final whistle meant that the points were shared as Leicester City were held at home once again.