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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 22:25 GMT
Leicester 1-0 C Palace
Leicester players celebrate Paul Dickov's winner
Leicester players celebrate Paul Dickov's winner

Leicester City hung on to Division One leaders Portsmouth tails with a stunning late strike from Paul Dickov that gave them a hard-earned win against Crystal Palace.

Micky Adams' side looked desperately short of ideas until Dickov's screaming strike settled the match with 13 minutes left.

Palace had their chances and dominated the hosts for long periods but Trevor Francis must now lift his squad before Wednesday night's FA Cup replay with Liverpool.

Talented midfielder Tommy Black, still fighting for a new contract at Selhurst Park, caused problems for Leicester's full-backs and his dangerous cross after eight minutes forced an excellent catch from goalkeeper Ian Walker.

James Scowcroft was given a rare moment of freedom to head Muzzy Izzet's corner into the crowd eight minutes before half-time, but seconds later it took a brilliant stop from Walker to stop Palace taking a deserved lead into the break.

Hayden Mullins ran at the City defence and drove a low shot at Walker, who reacted brilliantly to knock the ball away with his legs.

Palace were almost punished for some poor marking on the hour when another corner from Izzet found the head of Matt Elliott, who was only denied a goal by a desperate clearance off the line.

Scowcroft then directed a six-yard header straight at Berthelin with the goal gaping as the Foxes began to find their form, and the opening goal which had looked so unlikely finally came with 13 minutes left.

Dickov, who had been ineffective all afternoon, drove a fabulous shot beyond Berthelin and into the top corner of the net to earn his 15th goal of the season and a result which flattered the title contenders.


Leicester: Walker, Sinclair, Elliott, Heath, Rogers, Scowcroft, Izzet, Davidson, Stewart, Dickov, Benjamin. Subs: Summerbee, Taggart, Jones, Wright, Flowers.

Crystal Palace: Berthelin, Popovic, Symons, Powell, Butterfield, Mullins, Derry, Granville, Black, Johnson, Adebola. Subs: Cronin, Akinbiyi, Freedman, Gray, Fleming.

Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire).


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