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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 18:20 GMT
Portsmouth frustrate Foxes
Portsmouth's Nigel Quashie sends Muzzy Izzet flying
Portsmouth's Nigel Quashie sends Muzzy Izzet flying
Leicester 1-1 Portsmouth

Portsmouth came from behind to win a share of the spoils in a clash of the First Division's top two at the Walkers Stadium.

Matthew Taylor drilled in Pompey's equaliser from long range after Trevor Benjamin had opened the scoring for the home side.

It was a predictably cagey and at times scrappy meeting, but the protagonists did enough to maintain their billing as favourites for automatic promotion to the Premiership.

The pair are now 13 points clear of the chasing pack led by Sheffield United.

Leicester and ourselves would really have to stumble now if we're not going to make it to the Premiership

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp

Leicester took an early lead when Portsmouth defender Arjan de Zeeuw failed to control the ball.

It fell fortuitously into the path of Benjamin, who hooked it past Shaka Hislop for his first at the Foxes' new ground.

Portsmouth looked to respond after that ninth-minute shock but Foxes goalkeeper Ian Walker was equal to Svetoslav Todorov's tame effort.

Paul Dickov failed to take a gilt-edged second-half opportunity to when he cut in off the left wing but failed to trouble Hislop with a wayward shot across goal.

It proved the cue for the south-coast side to spark into life and Paul Merson went close before a last-ditch Frank Sinclair tackle denied Todorov.

I'll take second place at the end of this season because we've had a traumatic year

Leicester boss Micky Adams

The equaliser came in the 65th minute courtesy of Taylor, though Merson deserved his fair share of the credit too after a trademark pass off the outside of the right boot.

Taking his prompt, Taylor advanced with the ball at his feet before producing a spectacular right-foot curler which struck the inside of the post and nestled in the back of the net.

Taylor gave substitute Nicky Summerbee, on for Benjamin, the slip before again threatening Walker from range.

But for all their late promise the visitors found it impossible to breach the Leicester defence on a second occasion, Merson's insipid late effort notwithstanding.


Leicester: Walker, Sinclair, Elliott, Taggart, Rogers, McKinlay, Izzet, Davidson, Scowcroft, Dickov (Wright 83), Benjamin (Summerbee 74).
Subs not used: Stewart, Jones, Flowers.

Portsmouth: Hislop, Primus, Foxe, Zeeuw ,Harper, Sherwood, Quashie, Taylor, Merson, Ayegbini (Pericard 80), Todorov (Diabate 90).
Subs not used: Kawaguchi, Festa , O'Neil.

Referee: M Pike (Cumbria).

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Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp
"I thought we well deserved the point"
Portsmouth's Paul Merson
"I thought we dominated the second half"

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