Promotion-chasing Foxes win again
Leicester City took another step towards promotion to the Premier League on Saturday, the Championship leaders winning 2-0 against Middlesbrough.
With QPR and Burnley not playing this weekend, Nigel Pearson’s side took advantage of the opportunity to cement their position on top of the second tier.
Goals from Jamie Vardy and Ritchie De Laet at the King Power Stadium gave Leicester their seventh successive victory for the first time since 1993, in the process opening up an eight-point lead over second placed QPR.
Vardy scored his 10th goal of the season with a close-range finish in the 52nd minute and, after Middlesbrough goalkeeper Shay Given saved a David Nugent penalty, De Laet netted with a far-post header in the 73rd minute
“It was a very good win in difficult conditions in the first half,” Pearson said.
“This season more than ever, we have developed a way of playing that has brought us good results. And I thought the players coped with the conditions pretty well.
“We have now got 60 points from 27 games which is good going. The challenge now is to see it through and the players are determined to do so.”
Elsewhere, on-loan Chelsea forward Patrick Bamford scored for the second successive game as fourth-placed Derby County rescued a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers.
Rovers went ahead shortly after half-time through Rudy Gestede’s third goal in his last four matches, but youngster Bamford rewarded Derby’s attacking endeavour with a superb curling shot seven minutes before full time.
Derby manager Steve McClaren expects great things from the 20-year-old Bamford as his career develops and he said: “His temperament is fantastic. It’s as if he’s been here for years.
“I think he’s shown in the two games the qualities he’s got. He’s a natural goalscorer and the goal, there was no backlift. It was just hit early with pace and power.
“We’ve got a real asset on our hands. He’s got a long way to go and a lot to learn but he’s a sensible and very intelligent boy and he’s making the right steps.”
Billy Sharp’s late goal denied Barry Ferguson a first win in caretaker charge of Blackpool as they drew 1-1 with Doncaster Rovers at Bloomfield Road.
Former Rangers star Ferguson has taken over on a temporary basis following the sacking of Paul Ince, who was dismissed after nine defeats in Blackpool’s previous 10 matches.
Andy Halliday looked to have given the Scot a win with his debut strike on 78 minutes, but Sharp popped up with a late header to salvage a draw for struggling Doncaster.
Ipswich got their play-off charge back on track with two second-half goals to beat in-form Reading 2-0 at Portman Road.
Daryl Murphy’s shot off the underside of the bar broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute before substitute Paul Anderson capped a fine cameo display with a decisive second in stoppage time.
Mick McCarthy’s men are now just two points behind sixth placed Reading in the battle for play-off berths.