Adam Redfern reporting from the King Power Stadium
Leicester City went seven points clear at the top of the SkyBet Championship on Friday evening with an emphatic 4-1 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Derby County.
David Nugent scored a brace with Jamie Vardy and Ritchie De Laet also on the scoresheet as the Foxes proved that 2014 could just be their year.
Both sides made a good account of themselves in the opening exchanges, emphasising why they were both in the top four going into the fixture.
Matty James could have opened the scoring for the Foxes on just 11 minutes but he hit his shot wayward after a fearsome Lloyd Dyer effort could only be parried by Lee Grant.
But Ritchie De Laet then opened the scoring on 22 minutes and it had been coming from the home side. Picking the ball up on right he drove into a gap in the Derby defence before coolly slotting home to Grant’s left following a neat one-two with Nugent.
The Foxes were then denied by the bar twice in the space of two minutes as they looked to double their lead. First Jamie Vardy firing in a shot from a tight angle after Nugent’s low drive was initially parried by Grant and then Liam Moore cannoned a header off the Rams crossbar from a corner.
Just after half-time a stroke of luck gave Leicester their second of the evening. Hesitancy in the Derby defence saw the ball fortuitously fall to David Nugent, whose shot cannoned off Jake Buxton instantly ricocheting back off Nugent and into the net.
Derby then got what they were looking for as Buxton’s deft touch diverted Will Hughes corner passed Kasper Schmeichel to get them right back into it on 59 minutes. The goal later going down as a De Laet own goal.
However, immediately afterwards Nugent got his second of the game from the penalty spot after Craig Forsyth brought down Jamie Vardy. Vardy then fired home the Foxes fourth minutes later to put them well out of sight and record yet another home victory for an unstoppable Leicester City.
Full match report and reaction to come.