Bolton Wanderers. . .1
AT THE end of a nervy evening, Leicester City's players - after the obligatory tea and towel-down - completed a lap of honour at Filbert Street to what one might call scenes of bridled joy.
They had earned the point required to reach their third successive First Division play-offs; ahead lies Wembley, scene of painful final defeats - by 1-0 and 4-3 - in the last two seasons. The cries of 'We are going up' lacked conviction.
The home side had to thank Ian Ormondroyd, their lamp standard of a centre-forward, for lighting the darkness that began to descend once Bolton had taken a deserved lead seven minutes before half-time as John McGinlay scored his 37th goal of the season.
Ormondroyd, who had been conspicuously unsuccessful in the air, slanted a ground pass behind the Bolton defence after 65 minutes which invited Phil Gee to score. Gee, a 43rd-minute substitute, hesitated before accepting his invitation.
It was Leicester's one real threat on goal in a match that was clearly an ordeal for them. The effect on morale for Brian Little's side will be beneficial as they gird themselves for a third push for promotion.
Bolton's manager Bruce Rioch, who played with Little at Aston Villa and worked alongside him for three years at Middlesbrough, was generous in his praise. 'I'd love to see Leicester progress. Brian's hit the crossbar two consecutive years. I hope he makes it this year.'
Little himself felt qualification third time round had been 'the toughest yet'. Last night's draw was their fifth in a run of seven games unbeaten, achieved against a background of extensive injuries. 'It looks very even now,' he said.
Leicester City (4-4-2): Poole; Grayson, Willis, Coatsworth, Lewis; Oldfield, Agnew, Blake, Philpott; Ormondroyd, Speedie (Gee, 43). Substitutes not used: Gibson, Ward (gk).
Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Davison; Brown, Winstanley, Lydiate, Phillips; Green (McAteer, 68), Stubbs, Lee, Patterson; Walker, McGinlay. Substitutes not used: Spooner, Walton (gk).
Referee: K Barratt (Coventry).Reuse content