Leicester City 1 Cardiff City 2

Last updated : 21 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer
A goal by new signing Matt Fryatt on his home debut wasn't enough to prevent Leicester City from slumping to a defeat which leaves them firmly entrenched in the relegation zone.

The East Midlanders have won just five league games this season and alarmingly have now lost their last five on the trot.

Fryatt equalised Cameron Jerome's early opener but a trademark free-kick by Jason Koumas 10 minutes after the re-start sealed it for the Bluebirds.

Leicester dominated the early exchanges without creating much of a threat on goal and it was the Welsh side who took the lead on 12 minutes with the prolific Jerome bagging his 15th of the season.

A long ball from Neil Cox picked out Neal Ardley on the right and when the cross came in the lively striker was allowed to rise unchallenged to head powerfully beyond Rab Douglas.

Dithering in the Leicester defence then let in Steve Thompson but fortunately for the home side his shot lacked the venom to trouble Douglas.

The Foxes hit back with Fryatt firing Ryan Smith's low cross over the bar and Alan Maybury then blazed over as the home side created chances but struggled to hit the target.

But their persistence was rewarded five minutes before the break with Fryatt equalising.

Mark De Vries' cross from the right was nodded on by Stephen Hughes for the former Walsall hit man to steal in and head home with the last defender Darren Purse unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

Inspired by their equaliser, the Foxes tore into Cardiff and finished the half with their tails up with both De Vries and Fryatt close to giving their side an interval lead.

But it was the Bluebirds who began the second half more strongly with Jerome squandering a clear opportunity when he blazed high and wide after good work by Ardley and Thompson.

Then on 50 minutes the home side were denied the lead when Fryatt followed up De Vries' blocked shot only to hold his head in disbelief as the Cardiff keeper threw himself backwards to claw away his goal-bound shot.

It was to prove a crucial moment for it allowed Cardiff to recover the lead on 55 minutes when Nils-Eric Johansson fouled Thompson to concede a dangerous free kick.

Up stepped Koumas who, from 20 yards out, curled the ball over the wall and into the top right-hand corner of the Leicester net.

De Vries was close to another Leicester equaliser on 66 minutes when he headed Smith's cross narrowly wide.

The game was slipping away from Leicester and with 13 minutes remaining Craig Levein gambled on a double substitution with Iain Hume and James Wesolowski replacing Maybury and Patrick Kisnorbo.

But it failed to inspire the expected late flourish and it was Cardiff who finished the stronger.