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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 16:57 GMT
Leicester 1-1 Newcastle
Darren Ambrose
Darren Ambrose hit a last-minute equaliser to save Newcastle's blushes against struggling Leicester.

The visitors dominated for the first hour, only for Paul Dickov to fire the Foxes ahead.

The Magpies lost their rhythm after the goal, and the home side looked like taking the points in their 4,000th league game.

But just as the stadium-record crowd of 32,148 prepared to celebrate, Ambrose's header put Newcastle level.

Newcastle suffered a blow before kick-off, with midfielder Kieron Dyer withdrawing from the team after going down with a stomach bug.

Former Magpie Steve Howey passed a fitness test on a hamstring injury to line up against his old club - but lasted only 16 minutes before he was replaced by Matt Elliott.

KEY MOMENTS
67 mins: Paul Dickov fires Leicester ahead
90 mins: Darren Ambrose equalises for Newcastle

That was one of the talking points of a disappointing first half which offered little in the way of goalmouth action.

United were first to threaten on four minutes when Solano crossed to Laurent Robert, who hammered a left-foot volley across the face of Ian Walker's goal.

James Scowcroft headed wide for the Foxes on six minutes, but the bright start soon faded.

United enjoyed the better of the play, with Elliott denying Alan Shearer a clear strike at goal, and Walker saving from Gary Speed's diving header.

It was not all Newcastle, and the Magpies were grateful for Olivier Bernard's header off the line on 29 minutes after James Scowcroft's goalward flick.

The best chance came towards half-time as Laurent Robert tested Walker from 40 yards with a dipping, swerving effort which the keeper had to tip over.

The visitors began the second half as they ended the first, and Walker saved another Robert attempt on 50 minutes with his legs.

Bernard, then Lomana LuaLua, had attempts for Newcastle and a goal looked inevitable for the visitors.

Yet, they were to pay for the wasted chances as Dickov netted on 67 minutes.

Finding himself on the edge of the box, Dickov hustled Aaron Hughes off the ball and hit home leaving Shay Given no chance.

Jermaine Jenas shot wide as Newcastle tried to come back, but to Leicester's credit they were not allowing the Magpies clear sight of goal.

And the visitors seemed to lose their composure towards the end, Les Ferdinand heading inches wide as the Foxes looked to seal the win.

Yet with seconds remaining, Ambrose rose to head Newcastle level and earn Sir Bobby Robson's side a point.


Leicester: Walker, Curtis, Thatcher, Howey (Elliott 16), Stewart (Davidson 71), McKinlay, Izzet, Scimeca, Scowcroft, Dickov, Ferdinand. Subs not used: Coyne, Bent, Hignett.

Newcastle: Given, Hughes (Ambrose 85), O'Brien, Bramble, Bernard, Solano, Jenas, Speed, Robert, LuaLua (Chopra 86), Shearer. Subs not used: Harper, Woodgate, Viana.

Attendance: 32,148.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Steve May
"Ambrose broke Leicester hearts in the last minute of normal time"




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