Colchester's first forays in 2007 have not been productive. Geraint Williams' team followed up defeat on New Year's Day with an FA Cup exit against Barnet. This draw also ended a run of 11 consecutive home wins for the Essex side.
Just as scrappy as the Us' recent form was that of the referee Danny McDermid, officiating in his first match at Championship level. Leicester's manager Rob Kelly felt he was unready for games such as this and was upset with the penalty that gave Colchester the draw.
The Foxes had earned their lead through Iain Hume's well-taken strike after 19 minutes, thanks to Matt Fryatt's pass, but were then pegged back three minutes after the interval.
McDermid made a confident start but the official gave way to a nervous rash of bookings. He also seemed reluctant to allow physical contact, the only possible explanation for his award of Colchester's penalty. From a seemingly innocuous contest between Patrick McCarthy and Chris Iwelumo, the striker went to ground before dispatching the ensuing spot-kick low to his right.
"It was not a penalty, I've seen it again and no Colchester player appealed," said Kelly. "This game was a bit too much for the referee - a bridge too far."
McDermid had another nervous moment five minutes from time, showing a red card to Colchester's Karl Duguid, thinking he had already booked the midfielder. He retracted the card, although Kelly was in no mood to retract his criticism.Reuse content