Nottingham Forest 2 Leicester City 3 match report: Last-gasp goal gets Foxes out of a hole

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The Independent Football

The East Midlands' contribution to the last-day Championship drama saw Leicester City sneak into the play-offs with an injury-time winner that torpedoed the promotion hopes of their opponents and local rivals Nottingham Forest.

City's late hero was the French winger Anthony Knockaert, his winning goal not only securing the club's first League victory at the City Ground since 1972 but leapfrogging them over Forest and Bolton – who could only draw at home to Blackpool – into a two-legged play-off against Watford, starting with the home tie on Thursday.

The last-gasp victory in this see-saw game almost certainly saved the job of manager Nigel Pearson, who was coming under increasing pressure after seeing his team's early-season promise dissolve into an awful run which, prior to yesterday, had yielded only eight points from a possible 26, including just two wins, and left them outside the play-offs.

Pearson must have feared the worst when Simon Cox gave Forest a three-minute lead from six yards out. But midway through the first half Lloyd Dyer and Matty James worked a short routine, allowing the latter to fire an equaliser past Karl Darlow.

Leicester went ahead when Knockaert sped down the left and crossed for Andy King to head in. But Forest equalised early in the second half as Reid's free-kick was met by the head of Elliott Ward.

Forest then poured forward, but it cost them as Leicester pinched the ball and caught the home side short at the back, allowing Chris Wood to set up Knockaert, who tapped into an empty net.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Darlow; Halford (Majewski, 33), Ward, Collins, Harding; Cohen. Guediouru (Sharp, 78), Lansbury, Reid (McGugan, 73); Henderson, Cox.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Schmeichel; De Laet (Moore, 56), Morgan, Keane (Marshall, 85), Schlupp; Knockaert, James, King, Dyer (Kane, 70); Nugent, Wood.

Referee Mike Dean.