Leicester City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
AFTER a January of disappointment and doubt, Nottingham Forest restored the credibility of their promotion challenge in full measure at the City Ground yesterday, sweeping aside Leicester in a keenly fought but none the less emphatically one-sided derby.
Deprived by a stubborn hamstring injury of their 19-goal leading scorer, Stan Collymore, Forest needed an answer to the charge that their credentials are in the hands of one man. This performance provided it.
Collymore, missing for much of last month, may also sit out the remainder of this one but Forest, unbeaten in 13 League matches, are now third in the First Division, the disappointment of defeat in both Cup competitions in January behind them.
They also offered evidence that they do have others who can score. Scot Gemmill raised his tally to five in as many appearances with two pieces of sharp opportunism and Lee Glover, who has ploughed a thankless lone furrow as Collymore's understudy, was rewarded with his first goal in six games as stand-in.
It was Lars Bohinen who largely ensured that Leicester's afternoon yielded so little, his contribution in midfield as ball-winner and playmaker was the outstanding factor in Forest's dominance.
Leicester, who have twice led the section this season, held their own initially but the tide turned against them after the alert and accurate Gemmill returned goalkeeper Kevin Poole's clearance into an empty net after 23 minutes.
Gemmill added the second in first-half injury time after Glover had won the ball from Gary Mills. A telling run by Steve Stone set up Glover's moment before Ian Woan completed Forest's business.
Colin Hill, the Leicester centre- back, was sent off eight minutes from time for a second bookable offence. Stuart Pearce and Des Lyttle of Forest, along with Leicester's Iwan Roberts and Steve Agnew, were also cautioned after an explosion of tempers, but there was less obvious ill-feeling than those statistics would suggest.
Nottingham Forest (4-1-4-1): Crossley; Lyttle, Haland, Chettle, Pearce; Phillips; Stone, Bohinen, Gemmill, Woan; Glover. Substitutes not used: Webb, Bull, Wright (gk).
Leicester City (4-4-2): Poole; Mills, Grayson, Hill, Whitlow; Agnew, Thompson, Oldfield, Lewis (Lowe, 45); Joachim, Roberts. Substitutes not used: Gibson, Ward (gk).
Referee: R Bigger (Norfolk).