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2007: Generous City edge out local rivals in league cup rematch

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This week in Leicester City’s history goes back a decade

Leicester City Press Conference
Megson and Mandaric organised ‘free goal’
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

We here at Fosse Posse love to bring you the latest news and opinions on our great football club, which we all love, Leicester City. But we also like to reminisce and look through blue tinted glasses at how our team have come through the last 133 years.

We’ll delve way back and highlight the likes of Arthur Chandler, Frankie Wortho and others, as well as Cup Finals, landmark achievements and moments that have just filled us with joy (and sometimes despair)!

Tuesday 18th September 2007

Nottingham Forest 2, Leicester City 3

A historic gesture by Leicester City gave this already eventful league cup tie a surprising start, which would also be matched with an exciting finish, which saw City get through to face Aston Villa in the next round.

This second round tie was originally played at the end of August, but had to be abandoned due to City’s on loan defender Clive Clarke suffering heart failure.

Thankful Clarke came through the half time incident, as he had regained consciousness by the time he was taken to the nearby hospital in an ambulance.

The rematch was scheduled for several weeks later, and to add to the intensity of a local derby, was also the change of manager in the Leicester dugout, which was none other than former Forest boss Gary Megson.

Megson wasn’t a popular choice with the Leicester faithful as well as being unpopular with the home fans in the City Ground.

However, his actions at the start of the game, may have given him some much needed brownie points with both sets of fans.

The home team had been winning 1-0 when the first game was abandoned, so he and Milan Mandaric came up with a plan to restore that lead to them.

Gary Megson said:

"I had a chat with Forest manager Colin Calderwood 20 minutes before the kick-off to explain what we had in mind but it was kept very quiet until just before the start."

Calderwood added:

"Leicester felt it was the correct thing to do and I must admit it took us back a little bit to start with.

"But it was an honourable gesture and I would like to think that football in general has come out of the game as the winner.

"I think the crowd took it in the spirit it was intended."

To avoid any suggestion of wrong doing (betting on first goal scorer) they picked goalkeeper Paul Smith to take the ball from kick-off up the field, unopposed to give them a ‘free goal’.

After that it was full stream ahead, and indeed a cracking cup tie then developed.

Alan Sheehan equalised with a classy free-kick before Nathan Tyson's neat finish restored Forest's lead midway through the second half.

With time running out, it looking like the free goal would cost City a meetup with their old boss Martin O’Neill in the next round.

Megson threw on the subs, and one of them, Richard Stearman leveled with 2 minutes remaining and we had extra time looming.

However the drama wasn’t over yet, with pretty much the last kick of the game, midfielder Stephen Clemence hit the stoppage-time winner from outside the box, sending City fans into raptures.

A cracking game and result for City over their fierce rivals, and a big highlight in a season that would turn into despair come the end of it.

However City not only came out with the win but the plaudits, thanks to the club and chairman Milan Mandaric.

"This will not hurt football, I'm proud of the players and happy we did it."

"The idea came from the whole club - we all like to win games but morality and fairness is also important.

"It was a difficult situation, but it was the right thing to do."