Colchester United 1 Leicester City 1: Leicester undermined by harsh decisions

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The Independent Football

As first-time visits go, this was a particularly memorable one for Leicester City, except for the result. Two disallowed goals and two late saves denied the Foxes the advantage they deserved after Iain Hume's first-half strike. It also left them vulnerable to the increasingly unconfident handling of the match by Danny McDermid, as the Leicester manager, Rob Kelly, pointed out.

A harshly awarded penalty just after the interval, several unwarranted yellow cards, and then a red card for Karl Duguid, swiftly retracted, were testament to that fact. It was McDermid's first match at this level.

"Everyone knew that sort of decision was coming," Kelly said referring to the penalty after the slight contact between the centre-half Patrick McCarthy and Chris Iwelumo. The striker himself got up and equalised from the spot-kick for his 14th goal of the season and in the process extended the Essex side's unbeaten home run to 12 games. Yet this result was something of a surprise. Colchester's form, since losing their first two home games in August, and appearing to be set for an instant return to League One, has lifted them into the play-off places.

The Foxes' overall superiority was shown as they forced the issue late on. They might have finally scored a winner had Duguid been forced to go, although McDermid at least checked that the midfielder had not already been booked and thus avoided his own Graham Poll moment.

The Colchester manager, Geraint Williams, having profited from the penalty decision, was loath to criticise the official. On the evidence here he has enough work on his hands.

Goals: Hume (19) 0-1; Iwelumo pen (48) 1-1

Colchester Utd (4-4-2): Gerken; Halford, Baldwin, Brown, Barker; Garcia, Watson, Izzet, Duguid; Cureton (Ephraim, 62), Iwelumo. Substitutes not used: Davison (gk), White, Jackson, Guy.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Henderson; McAuley, Kisnorbo, McCarthy, Maybury; Hughes, Williams, Tiatto, Porter; Hume, Fryatt (Cadamarteri, 84). Substitutes not used: Logan (gk), Johansson, Stearman, Wesolowski

Referee: D McDermid (London).

Booked: Colchester United Watson, Duguid, Izzet; Leicester City McCarthy, Hughes, Tiatto, Fryatt

Man of the match: Tiatto.

Attendance: 5,915.

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