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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 22:25 GMT
Walsall 1-4 Leicester

Leicester boosted their promotion hopes with a four-goal demolition of Walsall at the Bescot Stadium.

Walsall battled bravely for 40 minutes but two goals in four minutes before half time knocked the stuffing out of the home side and the last 20 minutes saw them concede another brace.

Darren Bazeley was just wide with a 25-yard shot and Leicester keeper Ian Walker then had to be alert to save from Junior from a similar distance.

At the other end, Paul Dickov sent in a stinging shot which James Walker could only parry.

The Saddlers keeper did even better minutes later when he somehow kept out a powerful close-range header from Trevor Benjamin.

As the half wore on Leicester looked stronger.

Paul Dickov was just wide with a well-struck free-kick and then Frank Sinclair just failed to find the Walsall net with a 25-yard shot.

Dickov finally got the goal Leicester had threatened four minutes before half-time after Benjamin was fouled by Tony Barras, who was booked for his pains.

Izzet hit a perfectly-flighted free-kick and the diminutive Scot rose to head home from close range.

Right on half-time Leicester scored a crucial second goal when Jamie Scowcroft hit a tremendous volley from 20 yards into the bottom corner of the net.

After the restart Walsall went close again when a powerful header by Barras, from a Fitzroy Simpson corner, was well saved by Ian Walker.

Then Martin O'Connor had a fierce 25-yard shot deflected for a corner.

But Walsall's spirited fightback ended in the 72nd minute when another well-directed free-kick by Izzet was met by Leicester skipper Matt Elliott who swept the ball home.

Leicester put the game beyond Walsall in the 83rd minute with Scowcroft's second goal.

Once again Izzet was the provider with another beautifully-weighted free-kick after Scowcroft had been fouled by O'Connor.

It was O'Connor who grabbed a late consolation goal for the home side three minutes from time.


Walsall: Walker, Bazeley, Carbon, Barras, Aranalde, Wrack, O'Connor, Emblen, Simpson, Leitao, Junior. Subs: Ward, Corica, Matias, Zdrilic, Sonner.

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

Referee: U Rennie (S Yorkshire)


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