Vardy’s last-gasp equaliser rescues point for Foxes
Jamie Vardy came off the bench to score a last-gasp equaliser for Leicester City against Barnsley at the King Power Stadium.
Anthony Knockaert had initially put the Foxes ahead after just nine minutes, but Nigel Pearson`s men were behind to the visitors at half-time courtesy of goals from Stephen Dawson and Reuben Noble-Lazarus.
The Foxes huffed and puffed in the second-half, and finally got their equaliser in the 90th minute when substitute Jamie Vardy smashed home from David Nugent`s header back across goal.
The result sees Leicester drop to fifth in the Championship, and while Nigel Pearson will be pleased about gaining a point from a losing position, the Foxes were not at their best and conceded two very poor goals which should have been dealt with.
Leicester almost went ahead after just two minutes when Zak Whitbread latched onto Martyn Waghorn`s free-kick at the back post, but Luke Steele managed to turn it over the bar.
Waghorn then tested Steele with a shot across goal, but again the Barnsley goalkeeper was equal to it in tipping it round the post.
Leicester got their opening goal after nine minutes when Anthony Knockaert took advantage of some poor Barnsley defending, steadied his footing and fired into the bottom right-hand corner from eighteen yards.
It was a well-taken goal by the Frenchman and his fifth of the season since joining the Foxes this summer.
Martyn Waghorn had the ball in the net again just five minutes later, but he was adjudged to have been offside by the assistant referee after chipping over Luke Steele from David Nugent`s through ball.
Barnsley, however, were level just before the half-hour mark when Kasper Schmeichel tried to play a short ball out wide to Paul Konchesky, but the pass which eluded him was kept alive by Barnsley, and although Wes Morgan made a terrific block from the first shot coming in, he, and Schmeichel could do nothing about Stephan Dawson`s follow-up strike to put the Tykes level.
It was a really sloppy goal for Leicester to concede, and one which came somewhat against the run of play.
Soon after the restart, Lloyd Dyer forced another save from Luke Steele with a fierce shot from a tight angle, before Wes Morgan headed just wide from a corner kick.
But it was Barnsley who looked the more organised side, and they were ahead five minutes before half-time when Reuben Noble-Lazarus volleyed past Schmeichel in acrobatic fashion after the Foxes had needlessly conceded a corner-kick.
It was a good finish from Noble-Lazarus, although Nigel Pearson will not have been happy in the way the goal was conceded by his usually watertight defence.
Martyn Waghorn had the last chance of the first-half, but his tame effort on goal did not trouble Luke Steele in the Barnsley goal.
Leicester were slightly improved after the break, and nearly scored when a goalmouth scramble developed in the Barnsley area ten minutes into the second-half, but Anthony Knockaert`s eventual strike hit Wes Morgan before going out for a goal-kick.
Akos Buzsaky had a shot on target at the other end for Barnsley, but the visitors did not seem like adding to their lead after the break.
The hosts were almost level when David Nugent played the ball square to Andy King, but the Welshman`s shot forced a good save from Luke Steele as Leicester continued to throw players forward.
Ben Marshall and Marko Futacs entered the fray for Leicester, and it was a long throw in from the former to the latter which set up Zak Whitbread`s volley inside the penalty area, but the centre-back`s strike was blocked wide.
As the second-half minutes wound down, Ben Marshall had a free-kick parried away by Steele, as it seemed that it just wasn`t going to be Leicester`s day – but then in the ninetieth minute, substitute Jamie Vardy finally levelled for the Foxes when he fired home from twelve yards after David Nugent`s header back across goal.
It was a huge goal for Leicester, and especially Vardy – who some will argue has struggled to adjust to life in the Championship after transferring from Fleetwood Town over the summer – but the striker had seemed lively since coming off the bench, and looked clinical with his close-range finish.
The equaliser sent Leicester into a stoppage-time frenzy in search of a winner, with Ben Marshall being denied from close range before Andy King fired across goal from a difficult angle.
King then saw his header cleared off the line, before Marko Futacs fired over from close range for the Foxes.
Ben Marshall had another shot blocked wide, and while it seemed that Leicester were destined to somehow find another goal, the referee`s whistle ensured the points were shared – only the third time this season that the Foxes have been denied victory at the King Power Stadium.