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Derby 2 Leicester 1 – Match report: Chris Martin seals crucial victory for County

Derby 2 Leicester 1: Martin seals crucial victory for County to heap more misery on Pearson

PUBLISHED:

19:44 GMT, 16 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:56 GMT, 16 March 2013

First-half headers from captain Richard Keogh and on-loan striker Chris Martin saw Derby end their Leicester hoodoo with victory at Pride Park.

After five successive npower Championship defeats against the Foxes, Nigel Clough's side broke the sequence with a vital three points to move them clear of the relegation zone.

Substitute Jeff Schlupp pulled a goal back for the visitors just after the hour mark but Leicester could not rescue anything from the game as their winless league run reached five matches.

Rush of blood to the head: Chris Martin celebrates his goal to put County 2-0 up

Rush of blood to the head: Chris Martin celebrates his goal to put County 2-0 up

Frank Fielding returned in goal for Derby in one of four changes made by Rams boss Clough.

Fielding replaced Adam Legzdins to make his first appearance since losing his place through injury at the start of October.

With Gareth Roberts out with a knock
sustained in training this week, on-loan Watford midfielder Craig
Forsyth filled in at left-back.

Leading scorer Jamie Ward, midfielder
Craig Bryson and right-back Kieron Freeman all returned from injury as
Ben Davies and Valentin Gjokaj dropped to the bench.

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson made
one change to his side, recalling fit-again left-back Paul Konchesky in
place of striker Schlupp.

No way through: Lloyd Dyer (centre) finds his path blocked by Derby's Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts

No way through: Lloyd Dyer (centre) finds his path blocked by Derby's Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts

Match Facts

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

Andy King headed over the crossbar as the Foxes attacked early on but it was Derby who took the lead after 16 minutes.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan conceded a free-kick wide on the left and Keogh glanced home Ward's delivery from six yards out.

A mistake by Jeff Hendrick midway through the first half almost led to an equalising goal.

The midfielder lost possession to
opposite number Richie Wellens on the edge of his own box but Lloyd Dyer
scuffed his volley after being picked out at the far post by David
Nugent, who was denied by Fielding shortly afterwards when he let fly
from long range.

Derby felt they should have had a
penalty in the 40th minute when Wellens tripped Freeman just inside the
area down the right-hand side.

In the air: Derby's Richard Keogh opened the scoring with this bullet header

In the air: Derby's Richard Keogh opened the scoring with this bullet header

The Rams finished the first half on
top and almost extended their lead when Ward escaped down the left
before setting up Martin, but the man on loan from Norwich saw his shot
saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Martin would not have to wait long
for a goal, however, as he headed home Forsyth's left-wing cross a
minute before the half-time whistle.

Schlupp, who in Konchesky's absence
had been filling in as a makeshift left-back, was introduced at the
start of the second half with Wellens making way.

And the 20-year-old, who recently
spent a month on trial at Manchester United, got Leicester back into the
game after 62 minutes with an arrowing left-footed strike across
Fielding after being teed up by Nugent's lay-off.

Jumping for joy: Jeff Schlupp of Leicester hit a terrfic strike for the Foxes but they still went down 2-1 to their midlands rivals

Jumping for joy: Jeff Schlupp of Leicester hit a terrfic strike for the Foxes but they still went down 2-1 to their midlands rivals

The German-born Ghana international
continued to make a nuisance of himself and almost returned the favour
for Nugent in the 70th minute, but this time Fielding made the save.

At the other end, substitute Davies
worried Schmeichel with a 25-yard shot but his effort was always rising
and narrowly cleared the crossbar. Martin's deflected strike then looped
kindly into the hands of the Dane.

Leicester pushed for an equaliser but
never really tested Fielding as Derby held on for a first Championship
victory in nine outings to climb into the top half of the table.

Leicester had been pushed down to
sixth with Nottingham Forest's win at Hull earlier in the day and
Pearson's team remain in the final play-off spot.

Rigadin De Beauchene lands Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

Rigadin De Beauchene lands Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

PUBLISHED:

16:02 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:51 GMT, 12 January 2013

Rigadin De Beauchene (5-1) put the icing on the cake of what has been a bountiful start to the month for trainer Venetia Williams when getting up in the shadow of the post to deny Godsmejudge and the gallant Pete The Feat in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick.

The eight-year-old put his jumping issues behind him under a determined Robbie Dunne to pull the race out of the fire after he was seemingly booked for third at the second-last fence.

New star: Nigel Twiston-Davies has a leading candidate for Cheltenham

New star: Nigel Twiston-Davies has a leading candidate for Cheltenham

Dunne intentionally steered a wide
course on Rigadin De Beauchene in the straight, a ploy that paid off as
the combination reeled in the battling leaders with 50 yards to travel
to win by half a length.

Williams said: 'Robbie swept wide
into the straight and managed to get the horse to meet the last fence on
a good stride which I think was very important.

'His owner Andrew Wiles hopes he may
emulate his half-brother Miko De Beauchene and win the Welsh National
next season. I think Andrew might have reservations about him going for
the Grand National itself though. He's had issues with his jumping.'

Williams said she was encouraged
about a good run from her gelding after the horse that beat him in the
mud at Lingfield went on to land the Sussex National.

Dunne said: 'We were going a good
gallop when he made a mistake down the back and he also got in tight to a
couple. But overall he jumped much better today, having had a
confidence-booster at Lingfield.'

Noel Fehily was proud of the gallant Pete The Feat whose unbeaten run of five this season was finally broken back in third.

He said: 'It was another very good run. He's jumped from fence to fence and galloped to the line.'

Nigel Twiston-Davies can be forgiven if he starts getting excited about The New One (1-2 favourite) who routed the opposition in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

So far the only defeat he has
suffered in his career came in the Festival Bumper where he was sixth
but nothing in this Grade Two could live with him.

His jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: 'The sky is the limit.'

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: 'He seems
to have so much speed and staying power and it's a shame we haven't
really learned anything, as some of the others didn't go in the ground
and he wasn't tested.

'He won but we still don't know
enough about him and that encourages me to look at the programme book
and find another two-and-a-half-miler for him in order to give him some
more experience.'

Sarah Such, joint-owner of the winner,
was out of breath after cheering The New One home and exclaimed:
'Amazing. I can't breath he is absolutely wonderful, a really special
horse.'

Team Twiston-Davies also took the concluding bumper with Pure Science (5-1), a nine-length winner.

Rocky Creek boosted his claims for the RSA Chase and was cut to 12-1 from 20s for that Cheltenham Festival contest after flooring Highland Lodge in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Novices' Chase.

Paddy Power were impressed with the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old after he readily brushed aside Highland Lodge in the home straight of the three-mile contest to leave that rival exhausted on the run-in.

The pair had taken each other on at the last three of the fences down the back stretch with Rocky Creek nudging into the lead under a confident Daryl Jacob before the second last.

At this point the 7-4 chance jumped to the front where Tour Des Champs fell and brought down the weakening Forgotten Gold. Rocky Creek then forged steadily clear of Highland Lodge, who stopped to a walk on the flat and was caught by 16-1 shot Fill The Power for second.

Jacob believes the winner could be a factor in the RSA given the right underfoot conditions.

He said: 'I had the favourite covered and just wanted him to give me a lead into the straight before pressing on.

'He's a horse for the future and will be a truly super chaser in time. He's a possible Cheltenham horse for sure providing the ground there isn't too quick.'

Ely Brown booked his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival when avenging his 2012 defeat in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier.

Second to Thehillofuisneach here 12 months ago, Charlie Longsdon's charge travelled well and readily outstayed Holywell and Hada Men by a length and a quarter and four under Noel Fehily.

According to his trainer, Ely Brown needed to win today in order to guarantee a run in the Final at Cheltenham in March.

Longsdon said: 'I said to Noel he had to win again if he was going to get to Cheltenham and after this he certainly deserves to take his chance.

'If he goes up 5lb it will be his ticket booked. He was second here last year and when I looked down today's field I thought it was quite a lot tougher.

'He had a hard race at Aintree. We gave him plenty of time to recover from that and he was pinging after his last outing at Haydock.'

Rody (11-2) earned glowing praise from his pilot Paddy Brennan who described the Tom George-trained gelding as 'as good a jumper as you could possibly wish to see' following his resounding success in the Betfred 'The Bonus King' Handicap Chase.

Giving weight to all seven of his rivals in the two-mile contest, Rody made it three wins from his last four starts as he continually made ground on Eastlake at his fences.

Brennan sent him on rounding the home bend and the combination pulled eight lengths clear, with Kapga De Cerisy a neck back in third. The winner is owned by Tony Dalton and Jennifer Laing who both work for Saatchi and Saatchi.

Laing said: 'He's a happy horse who really likes being at the racecourse. He wasn't as good over hurdles because he used to brush through them, but he gives the fences more respect.'

Brennan added: 'It's his jumping that wins him his races, I've been very impressed with him.'

Flaming Charmer caused a minor shock in the opener, posting a 14-1 triumph for owners Chasing Gold, trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell.

The five-year-old proved too strong for Thunder Sheikh to deny Timmy Murphy a winner on his first ride back from injury in the Betfred Goals Galore Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

On ground described as soft by the winning jockey, Flaming Charmer outstayed his foes and Powell said: 'He's a nice horse for the future and I think he'll stay further.'

Tom Chadney, spokeman for Chasing Gold, said: 'The reason I bought him was because his dam is Kates Charm who won the Cleeve Hurdle and was a very good mare for Robert Alner.

'We have nine horses spread around the country with seven trainers. It enables our members to watch the horses run wherever they are based.'

Derby and Watford want Wes Thomas

Derby and Watford lead race to sign Cherries striker Thomas

By
James Andrew

PUBLISHED:

17:10 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 9 January 2013

Championship duo Derby and Watford are chasing Bournemouth striker Wes Thomas.

The 25-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at Blackpool at the end of last year where he scored three times in nine games during his stay in the north west.

But Thomas has returned to League One Bournemouth and seen his first team chances at the Goldsands Stadium restricted by the return of Brett Pitman, and is attracting interest from the Championship pair.

On the move: Wes Thomas (right) is a target for Derby and Watford

On the move: Wes Thomas (right) is a target for Derby and Watford

Both Nigel Clough and Gianfranco Zola are keen to bolster their strike force as they try to mount a promotion push in the second half of the season.

Eddie Howe is looking get Bournemouth out of League One but Sportsmail understands he is willing to listen to offers for Thomas.

Burnley 2 Derby 0 match report: Austin on target as Claret extend hoodoo over Rams

Burnley 2 Derby 0: Austin on target as Claret extend hoodoo over Rams

PUBLISHED:

18:04 GMT, 26 December 2012

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UPDATED:

18:04 GMT, 26 December 2012

Charlie Austin scored his 23rd goal
of the season to set Burnley on their way to a first victory in six
npower Championship matches as Derby were beaten 2-0 at Turf Moor.

Austin struck five minutes before
half-time. The former Swindon striker was at his predatory best to turn
the ball into the net after the visitors failed to deal with Kieran
Trippier's cross.

Hot shot: Burney's Charlie Austin

Hot shot: Burney's Charlie Austin

Match facts

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Wallace, Marney, McCann, Paterson (Treacy 62), Ings (Stock 72), Austin (Vokes 68). Subs Not Used: Jensen, Edgar, Mills, Bartley.

Booked: Wallace, McCann, Treacy, Grant.

Goals: Austin 40, Duff 74.

Derby: Legzdins, Brayford, O'Brien (O'Connor 83), Keogh, Roberts, Hughes, Jacobs, Hendrick, Coutts, Bryson (Tyson 65), Sammon (Robinson 72). Subs Not Used: Fielding, Doyle, Davies, Freeman.

Booked: Robinson.

Att: 13,779

Ref: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Some more poor defending cost the Rams after 74 minutes when Michael Duff headed in the second goal.

In a game of few chances, it was enough to see Burnley maintain their recent stranglehold over Derby. The Clarets are now unbeaten in eight games against the Rams, winning six.

Danny Lafferty returned from injury for the hosts, replacing Joseph Mills at left-back in the only change made by boss Sean Dyche.

Derby manager Nigel Clough also made one change, recalling the fit again Mark O'Brien as James O'Connor dropped back down to the bench.

Rams goalkeeper Adam Legzdins saved early on from Martin Paterson before Chris McCann and Ross Wallace had efforts blocked by Richard Keogh and Conor Sammon respectively.

The visitors replied through Paul Coutts, an old favourite at Burnley's rivals Preston, but Lafferty got in the way of his shot.

Dean Marney headed weakly wide just after the half hour mark from a good far-post position before Austin struck.

Trippier's cross from the right-hand side was not properly cleared and Austin swept a low shot past Legzdins from 12 yards out.

Derby might have equalised before the break but O'Brien headed wide from Michael Jacobs' free-kick.

O'Brien made a block to deny Austin another goal early in the second half and Wallace's shot from the right side of the penalty area hit a post just before the hour.

Austin miscued from close range but Burnley eventually got their second goal when Derby seemingly ignored Duff and he headed in Wallace's corner at the far post.

Substitute Brian Stock worked Legzdins with a long-range effort late on.
Derby substitute Theo Robinson had the last chance of the game but missed the target from 12 yards out as the Rams suffered a seventh away loss in the league this season.

Alex Brown retires from rugby with shoulder injury

Gloucester and former England lock Brown forced to retire after failing to recover from shoulder injury

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UPDATED:

10:15 GMT, 20 December 2012

Retiring: Brown has called it a day

Retiring: Brown has called it a day

Gloucester's former England lock Alex Brown has been forced to retire from rugby because of a serious shoulder injury.

The 33-year-old was hurt during Gloucester's opening Aviva Premiership game of the season against Northampton.

After almost three months of rest and rehabilitation, Brown underwent complex surgery on nerve damage, but although the operation will improve his shoulder movement, it has meant an end to his playing career.

'It is stating the obvious, but I am totally gutted,' he told the club's official website.

'When the surgeon came in after the operation and told me that I would not be able to play rugby again, the news hit me hard and has been tough to deal with, especially as there has been a new dawn at Gloucester under (rugby director) Nigel Davies and I so wanted to be part of it.

'I genuinely thought that I had a few good years left in me, but it's not to be. I've had to take on board the advice I have received and what my body is telling me.'

Brown won three England caps in 2006 and 2007, and he made 227 Premiership appearances, including a competition record 87 consecutive starts.

High hopes: Brown was a top lineout operator

High hopes: Brown was a top lineout operator

'I've been incredibly lucky to spend so many years playing in the top flight, firstly with my home town team, Bristol, and then to play for so many memorable years at Gloucester,' he added.

'I have still got lots of things to focus on and enjoy for the rest of the season – my continued work with the team and the testimonial activities that the committee have kindly organised for this year.

'It will give me an opportunity to thank everyone who has been so good to me over the years.'

David Barnes, rugby director of the Rugby Players' Association, paid tribute to Brown.

International: Brown - seen here playing against South Africa in Pretoria in 2007 - picked up three Test caps for England

International: Brown – seen here playing against South Africa in Pretoria in 2007 – picked up three Test caps for England

'Alex is one of the most respected players across the Premiership for his commitment, professionalism and his understanding of the game,' Barnes said.

'The irony is not lost on us that this year Alex has generously been supporting Restart – the Rugby Players' charity – to help other players who have suffered serious injury and illness, and now he too finds himself in this position.

'We will continue to work closely with Alex as he begins to plan the next stage of his life.'

Bristol City 0 Derby 2: match report

Bristol City 0 Derby 2: Rams raid in double-quick time to end road woes

PUBLISHED:

17:31 GMT, 15 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:31 GMT, 15 December 2012

Two goals in two first-half minutes gave play-off chasing Derby their first away win since October.

Jeff Hendrick volleyed Nigel Clough's side into the lead in the 34th minute before Craig Bryson nodded home a second to delight the 846 travelling fans.

Rams on the rise: Jeff Hendrick (centre) scores Derby's first goal

Rams on the rise: Jeff Hendrick (centre) scores Derby's first goal

Match facts

BRISTOL CITY: Heaton, Foster, Bates (Cunningham 44), McManus, Fontaine, Adomah, Dannis, Elliott, Bryan (Stead 71), Baldock, Taylor (Davies 46). Subs not used: Geken, Wilson, Pearson, Anderson.

Booked: Davies.

DERBY: Legzdins, Brayford, O'Brien (Freeman 87), Keogh, Roberts, Coutts, Hendrick, Hughes (O'Connor 90), Jacobs, Bryson (Davies 68), Sammon. Subs not used: Fielding, Tyson, Robinson, Doyle.

Goals: Hendrick 34, Bryson 36

Booked: Coutts, Hendrick

Referee: Andy D'Urso

Att: 12,526

The latest Championship table, fixtures and results

The Rams had goalkeeper Adam Legzdins
to thank for keeping their two-goal lead intact though, pulling off a
string of fine stops to help his side to a rare away victory.

Derby made the trip to Ashton Gate
looking to end a run of four straight npower Championship defeats and
they almost made the perfect start within six minutes when Paul Coutts'
corner was met by the right foot of Michael Jacobs but Tom Heaton
superbly tipped his clever flick around the post.

Sam Baldock's two goals helped City
to record a vital victory at Hillsborough last weekend and a fine save
from Legzdins stopped him from scoring yet again after Ryan Taylor
picked out the former MK Dons striker.

And Taylor was involved in the home
side's next chance but Albert Adomah fired over the bar after the ball
was rolled into his path.

The Robins had conceded more goals
than any other side in the division coming into this match and they let
in their 44th of the campaign in the 34th minute when Jacobs' cross
found Hendrick on the edge of the six-yard box.

And just two minutes later that lead
was doubled when Gareth Roberts swung a ball in from the left wing that
Bryson nodded past Heaton from five yards out.

City almost found an instant
response just seconds later when Adomah rampaged forward and set up
Baldock but his effort was kept out by the quick reactions of Legzdins.

Derek McInnes shuffled his pack at
half-time with Taylor being replaced by top scorer Steve Davies as they
searched for their first home win since August 25, a run stretching back
eight games.

But the visitors, who came into this
clash just three points off a play-off place, had the first real chance
of the second half when Jacobs' effort from the edge of the box was
deflected wide by Stephen McManus.

Just two minutes later Davies headed
Adomah's corner wide from 12 yards out and in the 74th minute the Scot's
came close to his ninth of the season with a 20-yard curling effort
which was saved well by Legzdins.

City were really upping the ante and had another two chances in quick succession.

First Baldock fired over the bar
before Adomah's looping cross found defender Liam Fontaine and his
close-range header forced Legzdins into a superb save.

Bristol City striker Jon Stead made a
welcome return from injury for the Robins but his only real chance, a
long range effort with five minutes to go, was comfortably saved by the
Derby keeper.

And Legzdins was called into action once again minutes later to push away Adomah's volley.

Leicester 4 Derby 1 match report:

Leicester 4 Derby 1: Nugent at the double as Foxes move up to third

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UPDATED:

19:59 GMT, 1 December 2012

Derby's miserable away form in the npower Championship continued as
they failed to recover from a dismal start at promotion-chasing local
rivals Leicester.

England Under-21 international Martyn Waghorn set up Zak Whitbread for
Leicester's opener, added a second with a cool side-footed finish and
could have scored three more in an embarrassingly one-sided opening
half-hour.

Leicester's David Nugent rises above Richard Keogh to head home third goal

High point: Leicester's David Nugent rises above Richard Keogh to head home third goal

Match facts

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Whitbread, Konchesky, Knockaert (James 80), Drinkwater, King, Dyer (Marshall 66), Waghorn, Vardy (Nugent 66). Subs Not Used: Logan, Schlupp, Moore, Futacs.

Goals: Whitbread 6, Waghorn 23, Nugent 74,89.

Derby: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, O'Connor (Freeman 77),
Coutts,Hendrick,Hughes,Jacobs (Bennett 85),Robinson (Tyson 81),
Sammon. Subs Not Used: Fielding, O'Brien, Davies Hoganson.

Booked: Coutts.

Goals: Robinson 38.

Att: 20,680

Ref: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).

The latest Championship table, results and fixtures

The visitors belatedly sprung into life and pulled a goal back through Theo Robinson's 38th-minute half-volley.

Leicester were not to be denied, though, and wrapped up an eighth home win of the campaign – and fifth successive league win over County – through two late goals from substitute David Nugent.

Nigel Pearson's men move up to third in the table as a result of their victory, while Derby, such a formidable force at Pride Park, have now lost their last four on the road and lie 16th.

Each side showed two changes from their midweek assignments. Paul Konchesky and Anthony Knockaert were restored to Leicester's line-up, while Derby brought in James O'Connor and Jeff Hendrick in place of injured duo Gareth Roberts and Craig Bryson.

The excellent Waghorn was at the heart of the action as Leicester initially threatened to run riot, creating eight presentable chances before their opponents could muster a noteworthy attempt on goal.

Whitbread registered his maiden goal for the Foxes when heading home the forward's outswinging corner in the sixth minute.

Waghorn then forced a save from Adam Legzdins with one free-kick and rattled the crossbar with another before hitting the target again with an acrobatic volley.

Leicester soon added a deserved second when Knockaert capitalised on an error from O'Connor and picked out Jamie Vardy in the box. An unselfish lay-off to Waghorn followed and the game's outstanding player finished with ease.

Some atrocious defending enabled Vardy, who had earlier fired wide, and Knockaert to bring further stops from Legzdins, but Derby eventually woke from their slumber and dominated the remainder of the first period.

The Rams were rewarded for their improvement when Robinson latched onto a cross from Michael Jacobs and took a touch before stabbing a powerful finish beyond Kasper Schmeichel.

Conor Sammon and Robinson were subsequently denied by Schmeichel, before Lloyd Dyer got the hosts going again in the 57th minute with a fine run and shot that was beaten away by Legzdins at his near post.

Derby continued to pose problems at the other end, prompting a double change by Pearson that saw Nugent and Ben Marshall introduced in place of Vardy and Dyer.

After Waghorn had seen an effort deflect on to the underside of the bar via the body of Legzdins, the substitutes combined to settle home nerves with 16 minutes remaining.
Marshall delivered a pinpoint cross from the left, leaving Nugent with a simple close-range header.

That knocked the stuffing out of Derby and there was time for Nugent, who also had a goal disallowed, to rub salt into the Rams' wounds with an 89th-minute half-volley into the top-right corner.

Leicester 6 Ipswich 0 – match report

Leicester 6 Ipswich 0: Nugent lights up Pearson's happy anniversary

PUBLISHED:

17:52 GMT, 17 November 2012

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 17 November 2012

Nigel Pearson watched Leicester stroll to victory and halt a four-match league run without a win in style at the end of a week which marked the one-year anniversary of his return as manager.

Wednesday was 12 months to the day since Pearson came back to City, having previously been in charge between June 2008 and June 2010 before leaving to take over at npower Championship rivals Hull.

City slickers: David Nugent celebrates scoring the first goal

City slickers: David Nugent celebrates scoring the first goal

Match facts

LEICESTER: Schmeichel, De Laet, Whitbread, Morgan, Drinkwater, King, Schlupp, Knockaert (Marshall 64), Dyer, Nugent (Vardy 30), Waghorn (Futacs 74). Subs not used: Logan, James, Moore, Lingard.

Goals: Nugent 8 (pen), 18, Dyer 27, Knockaert 44, Waghorn 53, Futacs 82

IPSWICH: Henderson, Higginbotham, Chambers, Orr, Cresswell, Edwards, Reo-Coker, N'Daw (Hyam 58), Martin, Campbell (Chopra 78), Murphy (Emmanuel-Thomas 58). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Hewitt, Smith, Mohsni.

Booked: Reo-Coker.

Referee: Keith Stroud

Att: 20,779

Click here for the latest Championship table, results and fixtures

Last November, Leicester won 3-0 at
home against Crystal Palace in Pearson's first game back after rejoining
the club from the Tigers, and he saw his side double that tally against
a poor Ipswich team.

Four goals came in the first half.
David Nugent opened the scoring from the penalty spot after eight
minutes and doubled Leicester's lead with his second strike 10 minutes
later.

The superb Lloyd Dyer got on the
scoresheet just before the half-hour mark and Anthony Knockaert netted
two minutes before the break.

Martyn Waghorn scored another for
the Foxes shortly after half-time and substitute Marko Futacs completed
the rout in the 82nd minute.

Leicester were unchanged from the
side that drew 2-2 at home with Nottingham Forest last Saturday, meaning
teenage striker Jeff Schlupp continued to deputise for the injured Paul
Konchesky at left-back.

Striker Jamie Vardy returned from
injury to fill the place on the bench left by midfielder Neil Danns, who
has joined Bristol City on loan.

Fit-again Foxes midfielder Richie Wellens, who has just returned from a loan spell at Ipswich, did not make Pearson's squad.

Lee Martin returned from suspension
to replace Wellens in the Town team as one of two changes made by
manager Mick McCarthy, who handed Bradley Orr his debut.

Orr, signed on loan from Blackburn on
Wednesday, came in at right-back with Tommy Smith dropping to the bench
and Luke Chambers switching to centre-half.

Kelly Youga was also signed by McCarthy this week on a short-term deal until January but the defender was not involved.

Ipswich made a sloppy start.
Hesitancy between Stephen Henderson and Orr saw neither take command
following Danny Drinkwater's throughball, resulting in the goalkeeper
bringing down the alert Dyer inside the area. Nugent converted the
spot-kick with aplomb.

Aaron Cresswell did well to block a goalbound shot from Andy king before Nugent struck again.

Henderson could then only parry
Waghorn's fierce shot into the path of Nugent, who got his reward for
following up by chesting the ball home from close range.

Leicester were playing dome lovely football and it only seemed a matter of time before they got another goal.

It was, and it arrived after 27 minutes courtesy of Dyer.

The winger gave Orr a torrid time
down the left, beating him with pace before firing a powerful shot past
Henderson and into the far corner of the net from 15 yards out.

Nugent was denied the chance of a hat-trick when he was replaced by Vardy after only half an hour, carrying some sort of knock.

Vardy got involved straight away, playing a one-two with Knockaert but Henderson pushed away the Frenchman's effort.

But Knockaert was not to be denied and swept home Dyer's first-time cross from 12 yards in the 43rd minute.

Luke Chambers headed over in a rare
Ipswich attack at the start of the second half and Waghorn missed the
target with a header at the other end.

However, the England Under-21
international striker got on the scoresheet after 53 minutes, curling
the ball past Henderson after being put through by King. King slipped
another clever pass past the Ipswich defence midway through the second
half but Henderson was up to the task of saving Vardy's attempted dink
over him.

More brilliance from Dyer down the
left saw Futacs, on as a 74th-minute replacement for Waghorn, score his
first league goal for the Foxes.

The Hungarian made it 6-0 with a lovely first-time finish from 12 yards out.

Ipswich thought they had a
consolation goal when substitutes Michael Chopra and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
combined but Chopra's strike was ruled out by an offside flag.

Lee Clark and Nigel Clough up against it: The Midlander

Football is a results business… but it's never that clear cut for Clark and Clough

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UPDATED:

18:02 GMT, 15 November 2012

Results define a manager's success. Pretty obvious, that.

But perhaps following on from last week's theme regarding Martin O'Neill, it might be worth bearing that in mind when the relative merits of two of the region's other managers are discussed.

I'm referring to Birmingham City's Lee Clark and Derby County's Nigel Clough.

Up against it: Birmingham manager Lee Clark has not made the best of starts at St Andrew's

Up against it: Birmingham manager Lee Clark has not made the best of starts at St Andrew's

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We'll take a look at Clark first. Now, I'll be the first to admit that the Geordie's reign hasn't started well.

It's difficult to erase that performance against Barnsley from the memory, even now, two months later.

But it always struck me as odd why a manager who had a couple of years to size up players in League One wouldn't go there to breathe some excitement into a club in the Championship.

It would seem logical that Clark would pluck a couple of hungry youngsters from the third tier and give them a chance at a higher level.

Supporters of any club love to see players get a chance to prove themselves and here was an obvious opportunity to blood a couple.

Cash is too tight to mention at St Andrew's – a point I'll come onto in a minute – but the likes of Hayden Mullins, Darren Ambrose and Peter Lovenkrands aren't playing for nothing.

Hello, these are ex-Premier League players. And Ambrose cost a transfer fee, too.

It would have made sense for Clark therefore to have given a couple more, such as Swindon Town's Paul Caddis, the chance to earn themselves a reasonable increase in pay and the opportunity to advance their careers at a higher level.

Not so. Not so because the powers-that-be deemed that Clark should only sign players they had actually heard of.

Therefore, those with a Premier League profile were always going to find a way to St Andrew's, irrespective of whether they were, in fact, the type of players that the Geordie wanted in the first place.

Now, they might well have been. But
surely a manager has to have a say over who he brings into the club
After all, it's his neck on the chopping block.

Furthermore, evidence suggests that
the reason Clark was not able to re-sign Barry Ferguson was because
Fleetwood Town put together a more attractive package than the Blues for
the Carling Cup winner's services.

Hands tied: Derby manager Nigel Clough is also in a difficult position at times

Hands tied: Derby manager Nigel Clough is also in a difficult position at times

I know. Incredible, isn't it But that's the state of the club finances at the moment. Critical.

Which is why, in the absence of a credible buyer, (my hopes of substantial investment from overseas have diminished as the party concerned appears to have cooled any interest) the boost of new owners would at least bring an air of positivity to the place.

Over at Pride Park, Clough will not be in the least bit surprised that he once more finds his hands tied in the transfer market.

Despite the denials from the manager, my understanding is that the club has to make seven-figure cost savings in the New Year.

That means one of his youngsters – in all likelihood Will Hughes – will be sacrificed.

It is difficult for supporters to understand and appreciate the goings-on behind the scenes at any football club as the finances aren't always taken into consideration when the any boss, Clough in particular, has had a difficult job to do.

Only a horrible season in 2010-11 – one in which the Rams were beset by an horrendous injury-list – has he failed to improve the club's league position.

Supporters may think that four years is sufficient to make a mark. They might have a point. But the manager has had to operate against a backdrop of financial difficulty.

No return: Boss Lee Clark was unable to get Barry Ferguson back in a Birmingham shirt

No return: Boss Lee Clark was unable to get Barry Ferguson back in a Birmingham shirt

For instance, where is the logic in selling Jason Shackell, if Clough did not have to

Shaun Barker had a long-term injury. Before Shackell's knock it appeared that the Rams finally had a capable Championship pairing at centre-half.

But Shackell disappears to Burnley and, for the same money, Connor Sammon is recruited from Wigan.

Something doesn't quite add up. But – and here is the rub – if managers speak out about those problems they are immediately hauled in front of their superiors and told to keep their mouths shut – or they can be found in breach of their contract for talking about confidential business in public.

It's why neither Clark nor Clough will break ranks. Even if he the latter has to find 1.8m, he will remain tight-lipped and refuse to moan about his lot.

Price to pay: Youngster Will Hughes (left) could be sacrificed at Derby

Price to pay: Youngster Will Hughes (left) could be sacrificed at Derby

The alternative for both is to speak out, thereby jeopardising their position and give their own bosses the window of opportunity to sack them.

It is, after all, far easier to remove one manager than it is to dump and entire team of players.

In some ways, it's a classic middle-management problem, taking flak from all sides, yet you are still expected to achieve results.

So, even though any manager has to stand by his results on a Saturday afternoon, they may not paint an accurate picture.

In the oh-so-murky world of football, it's left to the rest of us to join the dots as best we can.

Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool on alert as Derby ready to sell 4m Will Hughes

Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool on alert as cash-strapped Derby prepare 4m Hughes auction

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UPDATED:

07:44 GMT, 13 November 2012

Derby County boss Nigel Clough is being forced to cash in on starlet Will Hughes after being told to raise 1.8million in the New Year.

Clough, who has managed
to keep the club on an even keel despite cost-cutting at Pride Park,
needs to find the additional finance when the January transfer window
opens.

Derby County's Will Hughes (left)

Highly-rated: Derby County's Will Hughes (left)

And that means the 17-year-old midfielder will be put up for an auction with Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool considering bids.

Clough values Hughes, who has been called into Stuart Pearce's squad for the game against Northern Ireland, at around 4m.

And such is Derby's position at the moment that the former England international would ask for the money in a lump sum.

So far, Arsenal are the only club to make contact with Derby but Manchester City and Liverpool are also known to be interested while Everton have also scouted him recently.

Hughes has signed professional forms with Derby but the Rams can still effectively put him up for sale and such has been his progress that there will be no shortage of takers.