Football: Villa ambushed by Marshall

Leicester City 1 Marshall 37 Aston Villa 0 Attendance: 20,304

The lesson learned here is that Leicester City, the toughest of battlers last season, will work their socks off again this year and damage more title hopes than just Aston Villa's in their determination to survive in the Premiership.

A goal from Ian Marshall eight minutes before half-time wrecked Villa's plans to launch their campaign of high ambition with a decisive victory over their Midlands rivals, their three-pronged attacking spearhead, constructed around the pounds 7m talents of record signing Stan Collymore, blunted by a tireless Leicester defence in which Matt Elliott and Spencer Prior were outstanding.

Villa's formation was adventurous, their tactics direct. Brian Little had not chosen three in attack in order that Leicester could enjoy a stroll in the sun and his game plan was clearly to supply the trio frequently and at speed.

For half an hour it all went according to plan, with the best early chances going their way. First Ian Taylor drove wide after a Savo Milosevic strike was only half-cleared, then Dwight Yorke, feeding off Collymore's persistence in the box, could not find sufficient power to trouble Kasey Keller.

Collymore enjoyed his debut, not least for the exchanges - in words and gestures - with the home crowd. After 20 minutes, at the end of a typically swift Villa attack, he beat Keller to Andy Townsend's cross but headed over.

Leicester's defence were feeling the heat, not least Pontus Kamark, deployed to follow Yorke. Villa had the bit between their teeth and missed going ahead by a whisker when Mark Draper, lying in wait after a Collymore cross was knocked away, brushed the outside of a post.

But just when it seemed Villa must score, Leicester did, with a goal that raised questions about Villa's defensive organisation, a four-man rearguard having replaced last season's five. Steve Guppy's cross from the left found Marshall taking on the diminutive Alan Wright in a decidedly uneven contest at the far post and there could only be one winner.

Leicester might have extended their lead seconds before half-time and again in the first minutes of the second period. Elliott missed narrowly moments before the break, volleying just too high after Guppy's deep corner was teed up by Steve Walsh, then Guppy dragged a good chance wide at the start of the second half before supplying a penetrating ball that Marshall was close to converting.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system