Dire Forest keep Cotterill awake

Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0

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The Independent Football

Leicester's big-spending challenge for a return to the Premier League may look tenuous after one win in seven matches but in this FA Cup third-round replay last night they were far too good for ailing Championship rivals Forest, who were left to concentrate on their fight to avoid relegation while Nigel Pearson's team look forward to a fourth-round tie at home to Paolo di Canio's Swindon.

A Jermaine Beckford hat-trick did most of the damage after the sides had drawn 0-0 when they met at the City Ground. Forest have failed to score in 10 of their last 11 matches.

The scale of the defeat led the Forest manager, Steve Cotterill, to admit his current predicament is worse than the one he faced at Portsmouth, whom he kept in the Championship last season despite near-bankruptcy.

"I was in a similar situation at Portsmouth but I was able to bring in three or four new players in the January window," he said. "Here I can't get anyone in unless I sell first. I have a huge problem with the players I have missing, a problem that keeps you awake at night. Everyone at the club knows the situation and all I can do is do my best."

Leicester were in front by the seventh minute when Lloyd Dyer's low cross was turned into his own net by Forest's George Boateng.

Forest might have equalised quickly, but Robbie Findley somehow managed to put the ball over the bar from two yards. Instead, they were two down inside half an hour. Full-back Lee Peltier delivered a fine cross on the overlap that Lee Camp palmed away on to the head of Beckford, who put it in off the underside of the bar.

By the 50th minute Forest had conceded again, when Beckford ran on to David Nugent's flick to score his second. Within seven minutes Beckford had his third, hooking the ball past Camp at the second attempt.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Peltier, Mills, St Ledger, Konchesky; Gallagher, Danns, Wellens, Dyer (Kennedy, 78); Beckford (Howard, 78), Nugent. Substitutes not used Weale (gk), Abe, Tunchev, Taft.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-1-1): Camp; Gunter, Moussi, Lynch, Cunningham; Findley, Boateng (McGugan 46), Greening (McGoldrick, 46), Anderson; Reid; Harewood (Blackstock, 78). Substitutes not used Derbyshire, McCleary, Smith (gk), Majewski.

Referee C Pawson (Yorkshire).

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