Foxes boost playoff hopes with resounding victory
Leicester City maintained their slim playoff hopes with a comfortable 4-0 win over relegation-threatened Doncaster United at the King Power Stadium.
Danny Drinkwater netted in the first-half following David Nugent’s clever knock down, before Lee Peltier doubled the Foxes advantage after the break when his low cross somehow crept underneath Doncaster goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.
Ben Marshall put the game out of sight with a sublime curling strike from twenty yards, before substitute Paul Gallagher added a fourth with just minutes remaining.
It was a resounding victory for Leicester who are now unbeaten at the King Power Stadium since November 2011, and one that closed the gap on sixth-placed Cardiff to just five points with as many games remaining in this Championship campaign.
Leicester came out swinging from the kick-off with David Nugent testing Carl Ikeme with a fierce strike from 30 yards, before Wes Morgan’s clever header back across goal from a corner kick was almost turned in by Jermaine Beckford.
Beckford – who was showing no signs of any apparent fallout with Foxes manager Nigel Pearson after last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Peterborough United – might have opened the scoring after five minutes after collecting Lee Peltier’s ball into the Doncaster penalty area, but his shot lacked power and was easily cleared by the visitors.
At the other end, James Coppinger’s shot from just outside the penalty area flew inches wide of Kasper Schmeichel’s far post, while Giles Barnes came close for the away side moments later after a mix-up in defence between Sol Bamba and Wes Morgan.
Ben Marshall fired over the bar after initial good work out wide from Lloyd Dyer, before another defensive mistake gave Chris Brown the chance to give Doncaster an early advantage, but his shot failed to trouble Kasper Schmeichel.
Midway through the first-half, former Rovers captain Richie Wellens rose to meet Ben Marshall’s out-swinging free-kick, but his header flew inches over the crossbar.
The deadlock was eventually broken with just over ten minutes remaining in the first-half when David Nugent cleverly headed down Wes Morgan’s long ball into the path of Danny Drinkwater, whose half-volley beat Carl Ikeme and clipped the inside of the post on its way in.
It was a cleverly worked goal from the Foxes, and Drinkwater’s first since joining Leicester at the beginning of the year.
Doncaster looked good value for adding an equaliser before the break but Kasper Schmeichel did well to save James Coppinger’s well-hit effort from outside the penalty area.
Leicester doubled their advantage two minutes into the second-half when Lee Peltier fired a low near post cross into the six yard box which initially appeared to have been comfortably dealt with by Carl Ikeme, only for the ball to squeeze underneath his body and across the goal line.
It was an agonising goal for Dean Saunders’ side to concede but just the stroke of luck which some Foxes fans would argue their side has not received so far this season.
With the Foxes now in control, Paul Konchesky and Lloyd Dyer both had chances to extend the lead, but Ikeme this time was equal to both efforts.
At the other end, Chris Brown inexplicably headed over from six yards when it seemed easier to hit the target – a moment which summed up the visiting side’s day.
With ten minutes remaining in the game, Ben Marshall added a third to Leicester’s tally when he picked the ball up on the left-hand side of the pitch before cutting inside and firing a stunning twenty yard curling strike past the helpless Ikeme.
It was Ben Marshall’s third goal for the Foxes and one which added to his collection of outstanding strikes as the youngster continues to make a real name for himself at the King Power Stadium.
With Doncaster on the ropes, Marshall and substitute Paul Gallagher came close to furthering the Foxes’ lead with successive efforts on goal, before Marshall struck the crossbar with a looping shot which had Ikeme well-beaten.
Gallagher added a fourth for Leicester in the dying moments of the match, latching on to a dissecting pass from Marshall and firing into the bottom corner of the goal from eighteen yards.
It was the Scotsman’s tenth goal of the season and a good confident boost for the out-of-favour forward who has seen his chances limited in recent weeks due to injury.
The final whistle put Doncaster out of their misery as they slip further into relegation trouble, while a comfortable home win for Nigel Pearson’s side reignites their playoff hopes for this season.