Fleetwood Town 0-0 Leicester City: Vardy misses out as Fleetwood frustrate Foxes to earn huge replay

Fleetwood Town 0-0 Leicester City: Vardy misses out as Fleetwood frustrate Foxes to earn huge replay

Fleetwood Town played host to Leicester City in the FA Cup third round

Ed Mackey

The FA Cup third round draw saw a goalless draaw between Fleetwood Town and Leicester City at the Highbury Stadium

Saturday's early match was the hosts' first against top-flight opposition and was dubbed the 'Jamie Vardy Derby' as the England international returned to the club that Leicester bought him from in 2012.

However, he missed out with a groin injury and watched a goalless draw between his current employers and his former employers with his family by his side.

Testing the water

The first-half was what everyone expected, a boring 45 minutes where the top-flight away side get used to the conditions as the home side push for a goal. As it was, there weren't any goals in the first-half and it was a very drab affair.

Fleetwood nearly took the lead within 10 minutes as Aleksandar Dragovic's misplaced back pass required intervention from Eldin Jakupovic as it almost snuck into the bottom corner. Then it was Leicester's time to have a chance as they grew into the game and began to dominate.

A series of corners for the visitors saw Andy King glance a Demarai Gray header well over the bar halfway through the first period. Gray started to look lively on the half an hour mark with several teasing runs forcing the issue in Fleetwood's bobbly penalty area. The whole pitch took this pattern and made it very challenging for Leicester to string together any passing football.

The Foxes' second half-chance of the game came with 10 minutes left of the first-half as Harvey Barnes thundered a volley that fell to him on the edge of the box wide of the goal. A very tough chance but a sight of goal all the same for the visitors. The half-time whistle sounded after a very uninspiring 45 minutes.

Underdogs outshine the big boys

From the first minute of the second-half, it was clear it would be very different to the first. Both sides looked rejuvenated after the interval and went in search of an opening goal. It was the home side that looked more dangerous and a succession of corners caused problems with the Leicester defence with former Fox, Cian Bolger the main target. 

This came after two Leicester substitutions in Shinji Okazaki and Marc Albrighton who, after a few minutes of madness, eventually settled the game back down as the fitness levels of Fleetwood started to tell against the Premier League side.

These subs didn't inspire a fightback for the away side and the pressure from Fleetwood at set-pieces continued. Heading into the final 10 minutes, it was still Bolger who looked most likely to grab the opener and he once again got on the end of yet another floated corner ahead of Yohan Benalouane but it went well wide. The Irishman punched the ground in frustration and I'm sure the away fans would have wanted to do the same thing as their team was slowly taken apart by the League One side.

The closest either side came to the first goal was during injury time when Ashley Hunter's shot deflected off Benalouane and struck the post before bouncing off Jakupovic back onto the woodwork. The home fans behind the goal thought it had rolled over the line but were brought back down to earth when the referee didn't signal a goal. 

When the ref did signal for the end of the 90 minutes, there were boos from the Foxes end and the replay has been arranged for the 16th of January, something that Leicester really didn't want.