Andy King's injury-time winner ensured that Leicester stay in touch with the Championship leaders and that Plymouth slip back into the bottom three.
With the Foxes dominating the early exchanges, Yann Kermorgant and Matt Fryatt both had efforts that went wide.
The hosts' dominance continued into the second half, but they were given a fright by Alan Gow's long-range shot.
A stalemate loomed, but King pounced after Dany N'Guessan's shot was blocked to give City all three points.
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: "We tried to win throughout while Plymouth would have been happy with a point.
"We deserved our three points, although we weren't at our best.
"We nicked it late on, but that's the nature of football. I'm delighted for the players because their application was first class."
Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock told BBC Radio Devon: "It's a huge kick in the teeth for everybody involved.
"The positives are that they are a team in the top six, they have got some special players, and we have handled them for 90 minutes.
"It was always going to be a hard game to create too many chances."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 21 November 2009
06 Brown yellow card
12 Fryatt (Adams 84)
18 Waghorn (Howard 76)
22 Kermorgant (N'Guessan 72)
18 Sawyer yellow card
02 Duguid (Rede Johnson 88)
03 Paterson (Clark 59)
08 Mackie yellow card
11 Kari Arnason
26 Gow (Fallon 80)
22 Rede Johnson,
Ref: Danny McDermidAtt: 27,174
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+4:43 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
90:00+3:38 The assist for the goal came from Dany N'Guessan.
90:00+3:38 GOAL - Andy King:Leicester 1 - 0 Plymouth Andy King gets on the score sheet with a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Leicester 1-0 Plymouth.
90:00+2:51 Outswinging corner taken by Nicky Adams from the right by-line, Dany N'Guessan takes a shot. Kari Arnason gets a block in.
90:00+2:30 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Nicky Adams, clearance by Rory Fallon.
90:00+1:39 Nicky Adams fouled by Reda Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Paul Gallagher, Alan Judge
makes a clearance.
90:00+0:30 Jamie Mackie takes a shot. Save by Chris Weale.
88:50 Unfair challenge on Reda Johnson by Dany N'Guessan results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Romain Larrieu.
88:00 Substitution Karl Duguid leaves the field to be replaced by Reda Johnson.
86:59 Dany N'Guessan takes a shot. Save made by Romain Larrieu.
86:02 The offside flag is raised against Jamie Mackie. Indirect free kick taken by Wayne Brown.
83:57 Substitution Nicky Adams joins the action as a substitute, replacing Matt Fryatt.
81:30 Jack Hobbs gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yoann Folly. Free kick taken by Kari Arnason.
79:23 Substitution Rory Fallon is brought on as a substitute for Alan Gow.
79:23 Booking Caution for Jamie Mackie.
77:53 Unfair challenge on Steve Howard by Kari Arnason results in a free kick. Richie Wellens restarts play with the free kick.
76:16 Unfair challenge on Richie Wellens by Carl Fletcher results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Paul
75:37 Substitution Steve Howard comes on in place of Martyn Waghorn.
74:52 Wayne Brown is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Alan Gow shoots direct from the free kick.
74:01 Corner taken by Alan Gow from the right by-line, Martyn Waghorn manages to make a clearance.
73:36 Alan Gow fouled by Paul Gallagher, the ref awards a free kick. Alan Judge delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed
from left channel, clearance by Wayne Brown.
72:31 Corner taken by Paul Gallagher, Headed effort from inside the area by Dany N'Guessan misses to the left of the goal.
71:48 Substitution (Leicester) makes a substitution, with Dany N'Guessan coming on for Yann Kermorgant.
67:53 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Alan Gow from the right by-line, clearance made by Bruno Berner.
67:26 Corner taken left-footed by Alan Gow from the right by-line, Wayne Brown manages to make a clearance.
65:40 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Romain Larrieu.
62:58 Paul Gallagher gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alan Gow. Shane Lowry takes the direct free kick.
62:30 Matt Fryatt takes a shot. Blocked by Shane Lowry.
60:17 Paul Gallagher takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Carl Fletcher.
58:31 Substitution Chris Clark is brought on as a substitute for James Paterson.
58:06 Effort from outside the penalty box by Martyn Waghorn goes wide right of the target.
54:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alan Judge by Robbie Neilson. Romain Larrieu takes the direct free kick.
54:05 Inswinging corner taken by Paul Gallagher from the left by-line, Jamie Mackie makes a clearance.
52:11 Handball by Carl Fletcher. Jack Hobbs takes the direct free kick.
51:54 The official flags Matt Fryatt offside. Kari Arnason restarts play with the free kick.
51:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by Matt Fryatt on Kari Arnason. Free kick taken by Romain Larrieu.
50:36 The ball is swung over by Bruno Berner, Martyn Waghorn takes a shot. Romain Larrieu makes a save.
50:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kari Arnason on Matt Fryatt. Wayne Brown takes the free kick.
48:45 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Alan Judge.
47:24 Effort on goal by Martyn Waghorn from just inside the area clears the bar.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+1:53 The referee blows for half time.
45:00+1:21 Long range effort by Yann Kermorgant goes over the bar.
45:00+0:06 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Gallagher by Shane Lowry. Martyn Waghorn delivers the ball from the free
kick left-footed from right wing, Kari Arnason makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Paul Gallagher from
the left by-line, Yoann Folly makes a clearance.
42:08 Inswinging corner taken by Paul Gallagher from the left by-line, clearance by Shane Lowry.
41:42 Jack Hobbs fouled by Jamie Mackie, the ref awards a free kick. Chris Weale takes the direct free kick.
38:17 A cross is delivered by Robbie Neilson.
36:29 The ball is swung over by Martyn Waghorn.
35:43 Robbie Neilson has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
34:30 The ball is delivered by Gary Sawyer.
28:52 Yann Kermorgant produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.
28:17 Foul by Carl Fletcher on Andy King, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Richie Wellens, clearance
by Shane Lowry.
27:04 Centre by Martyn Waghorn.
25:36 Paul Gallagher takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Alan Judge.
24:44 The free kick is swung in right-footed by Paul Gallagher, Kari Arnason manages to make a clearance.
24:44 Booking Gary Sawyer goes into the book.
24:34 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Sawyer on Robbie Neilson.
24:01 Bruno Berner takes a shot. Romain Larrieu makes a save.
22:05 Richie Wellens takes a shot. Save by Romain Larrieu.
21:32 Outswinging corner taken by Paul Gallagher, clearance by Kari Arnason.
19:29 Shot on goal comes in from Alan Gow from the free kick, Martyn Waghorn gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Alan Judge
from the left by-line, Yann Kermorgant manages to make a clearance.
19:29 Booking Wayne Brown is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
19:03 Free kick awarded for a foul by Wayne Brown on Jamie Mackie.
15:03 Martyn Waghorn is ruled offside. Romain Larrieu takes the free kick.
12:19 Yoann Folly gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richie Wellens. Richie Wellens takes the direct free kick.
9:43 Corner taken by Alan Judge, save by Chris Weale.
9:07 Yann Kermorgant concedes a free kick for a foul on James Paterson. Free kick crossed by Alan Gow, clearance by Yann Kermorgant.
6:58 Effort from outside the penalty box by Paul Gallagher goes wide right of the target.
Correction - 4:16 Effort from inside the area by Matt Fryatt misses to the right of the target.
4:16 Effort on goal by Matt Fryatt from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
3:36 The assistant referee signals for offside against Matt Fryatt. Free kick taken by Romain Larrieu.
2:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Wayne Brown on Alan Judge. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Alan Gow.
2:01 The ball is crossed by Richie Wellens.
1:23 Wayne Brown fouled by Alan Gow, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Wayne Brown.
0:46 Shot from just outside the box by Yann Kermorgant goes over the bar.
0:00 The match has kicked off.
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