Football: Parker's penalty leaves Sunderland aggrieved

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The Independent Online
Leicester City 1 Sunderland 1

Leicester and Sunderland shared the points at Filbert Street last night, but the visitors will feel aggrieved not to have taken all three points back to Roker Park.

Sunderland went in front after 18 minutes with Darren Williams' first goal for the club. But the home side drew level 13 minutes later through a penalty from Garry Parker after Darius Kubicki was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box.

There was little to separate the teams before the match, with Sunderland 12th in the table and Leicester just one place and two points behind with a game in hand. Similarly there was little between the sides on the pitch either.

Leicester started the game following four successive wins, but it was the visitors who took the lead with a well-worked goal. Gareth Hall sent Alex Rae clear down the right, and his cross was met by Craig Russell. Although his shot was blocked, the ball spun back to Williams who calmly slotted home.

Clear chances were rare at either end and it took a controversial decision to draw Leicester level. Muzzy Izzet delivered a low cross from the right which was cut out by a sliding Kubicki. The Sunderland players expected a corner to be given and were stunned to see the referee, Gerald Ashby, award a penalty for handball.

Parker ignored the furore, however, and dispatched his fourth penalty of the season.

Leicester looked set to capitalise with Emile Heskey glancing a header wide and Simon Grayson seeing his lob acrobatically saved by Lionel Perez.

Ten minutes into the second half, Heskey fired a low shot which Perez did well to hold at his right-hand post.

Leicester City: Keller; Grayson, Lewis, Prior, Elliott, Izzet, Lennon, Parker, Claridge, Heskey, Marshall. Substitutes: Watts, Robins, Campbell, Taylor, Poole (gk).

Sunderland: Perez; Hall, Kubicki, Ord, Melville, Bracewell, Williams, Gray, Russell, Kelly, Rae. Substitutes: Aiston, Eriksson, Heckingbottom, Smith, Preece (gk).

Referee: G R Ashby (Worcester)