Foxes pegged back by resilient Forest
Leicester City were denied a seventh home victory of the season by rivals Nottingham Forest, who fought back twice to share the points at the King Power Stadium this afternoon.
The Foxes took the lead after just five minutes through Elliot Ward`s own goal, but Adlene Guediorua drew Forest level midway through the first-half.
David Nugent`s sublime chip restored Leicester`s lead ten minutes later, before Simon Cox scored from the spot in the second-half after referee Anthony Taylor awarded the visitors a controversial penalty with just over twenty minutes remaining.
Leicester should have been awarded a penalty of their own towards the end of the match when Lloyd Dyer`s shot struck the outstretched arm of Simon Gillett inside the Forest penalty area, but the home side`s protests were waved away by referee Taylor.
The result keeps Leicester amidst the playoff places, although Nigel Pearson might feel as though his side dropped points in this East Midlands-derby.
Leicester, boasting an impressive home record with six wins in seven games, dominated the early possession, and were quickly ahead when Martyn Waghorn found Lloyd Dyer in space on the left-hand side, and as the winger left full-back Brendan Moloney for dead, his shot on target took a wicked deflection past goalkeeper Lee Camp to put the home side a goal to the good.
Although Dyer will hope to claim the goal, Elliot Ward`s touch undoubtedly deceived Camp, who looked like he had the situation under control.
Leicester might have doubled their advantage moments later when David Nugent played a clever pass to Anthony Knockaert who broke down the right-hand side, but the Frenchman was unable to pick out Martyn Waghorn, who had made a promising run into the penalty area.
Nottingham Forest were forced into playing the ball long in the opening exchanges, although their first real chance came when Chris Cohen whipped in a dangerous free-kick which was flicked on by Andy King and out for a corner.
Anthony Knockaert then had a powerful strike blocked at the other end after some good work by David Nugent, before Wes Morgan nearly got a toe onto the end of Martyn Waghorn`s in-swinging free-kick.
The hosts were made to pay for not making more of these opportunities when Jeffrey Schlupp was caught out of position by Simon Cox in the left full-back position, and the former West Brom striker pulled the ball back to teammate Adlene Guedioura to smash past Kasper Schmeichel from twelve yards to level the score.
It was a well-worked goal by Nottingham Forest, although Foxes fans may feel as though it came against the run of play.
Leicester did regain the lead just after the half-hour mark gone when Anthony Knockaert`s clever chip picked out David Nugent amongst three Forest defenders, and the one-time England international touched the ball on in spectacular fashion, lobbing the onrushing Lee Camp from sixteen yards.
It was Nugent`s sixth goal of the campaign, and a moment of real quality from the Foxes` top goal scorer, who had looked lively from the start of the match.
Forest were struggling to deal with Leicester`s pace going forward, and the home side could have doubled their lead through Lloyd Dyer five minutes before half-time, although the winger`s heavy touch eluded both himself and goalkeeper Lee Camp.
Nigel Pearson will have been pleased with his team`s performance in a lively opening 45 minutes, and the hosts nearly extended their advantage three minutes after the break when David Nugent pounced on a loose ball to pick out Martyn Waghorn in the penalty area, only for the former Sunderland man to see his shot cleared off the line by Elliot Ward.
Billy Sharp fired high and wide for Forest after good hold-up play by Simon Cox, while Lee Camp`s acrobatic save at the other end denied Waghorn a goal after glancing on from Ritchie De Laet`s cross into the box.
Camp was certainly the busier of the two goalkeepers throughout the match and did well to stop Lloyd Dyer`s powerful 20-yard drive just after the hour mark, although the visitors were handed a lifeline with just over twenty minutes remaining when Zak Whitbread was adjudged to have fouled Billy Sharp in the penalty area by referee Anthony Taylor.
Replays showed that Whitbread made contact with the ball before Sharp went to ground, although Leicester`s protests fell on deaf ears as Simon Cox stepped up to send Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way and draw Forest level for the second time in the match.
Nigel Pearson and assistant Craig Shakespeare made their feelings known to the fourth official before Leicester were denied a spot kick of their own less than five minutes later, when Lloyd Dyer`s venomous shot on goal clearly hit the arm of Simon Gillett inside the Forest penalty area, but when referee Anthony Taylor waved away the Foxes` appeals, the home side must have felt like today would not be their day.
Substitute Ben Marshall attempted to inject some life into Leicester with fifteen minutes remaining, although the winger was unable to make much of an impact as the game somewhat fizzled out toward the end with both sides cancelling each other out in pursuit of an equaliser.
The final whistle gave the visiting side their fifth away draw of the season, while Nigel Pearson`s side – now without a win in four – were left to rue a number of missed opportunities.