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LEICESTER gained a march on Millwall in the First Division promotion race last night, though their victory was disfigured by an extraodinary free-for-all, which ended with the dismissal of the home midfielder, Steve Agnew.
Should the report of the referee, Jimmy Parker, confirm that his offence was violent conduct, Agnew will miss the last two fixtures of the regular season, plus the first match of the play-offs - if, as seems likely, Leicester again qualify.
The fracas came midway through the second half. Leicester led 2-0 - thanks to goals by Agnew and Steve Thompson - when the former reacted angrily to a heavy challenge by Andy Roberts.
At least a dozen players jostled each other as police, stewards and the respective managers tried to restore order. Agnew, who had already been cautioned, appeared to lash out at a Millwall player, leaving Mr Parker no option other than to reach for red.
Millwall tried hard to exploit their numerical advantage, only for the home side to score again through David Oldfield. Leicester thus climbed one rung to fifth, and face another six-pointer at fourth-placed Swindon on Saturday. Millwall remain seventh.
Leicester went ahead in the 34th minute. The sheer presence of converted striker Steve Walsh unsettled Millwall at a free-kick, enabling Agnew to drive in his first goal since arriving at Filbert Street in February.
Kevin Poole made fine saves from Jon Goodman and Malcolm Allen before Leicester struck again in the 55th minute. Kasey Keller, Millwall's American keeper, was perhaps fortunate to stay on after fouling David Lowe on the edge of the area; less so when a deflection wrong-footed him from Thompson's free-kick.
After Agnew had become the fifth Leicester player to be sent off this season, an absorbing game deteriorated considerably. But Leicester's raucous support was further rewarded when Oldfield scored from Lowe's pass 10 minutes from time.
Leicester City: Poole; Mills, Whitlow, Smith, Walsh, Hill, Oldfield, Thompson, Agnew, Lowe, Philpott. Substitutes not used: Joachim, James.
Millwall: Keller; Cunningham, Dawes, Roberts, T McCarthy (Kerr, 79), Maguire (Holsgrove, 67), Rae, Moralee, Allen, Goodman, Barber.
Referee: J Parker (Preston).Reuse content