STRIKE duo Michael Chopra and Jason Scotland were the Town villains yesterday as the Blues were forced to settle for a point at Leicester City.
Lee Bowyer’s fourth-minute opener was cancelled out by Paul Gallagher’s second-half penalty as honours were even at the King Power Stadium.
A draw at the home of the pre-season favourites is not to be sniffed at with the Blues once again demonstrating admirable resilience in front of Arran Lee-Barrett’s goal.
But it could have been a third straight win if Chopra had scored from the spot during a frantic opening – Kasper Schmeichel saving after Lee Martin had been brought down with less than 30 seconds played.
And then his strike partner Scotland had a moment of madness defending a corner, controlling the ball with his hand to gift Leicester a point with their own spot kick.
But Town boss Paul Jewell said: “It was a good point. It is always tinged with a little disappointment when you take the lead, but seven points out of nine is good form.
“There was plenty of pressure (from Leicester) but our keeper has only had one save to make with his feet. The only disappointing thing is we had a few situations on the break that we didn’t quite make the most of.
“It was two evenly-matched teams and a typical Championship game.”
After seeing a few Town players try to grab the ball before Chopra’s failed spot-kick, Jewell added: “I spoke to the fourth official and he told me we did well to get a penalty in the first minute – as if they are not meant to be given early.
“(The taker) was sorted out beforehand so I don’t know what happened there. He didn’t hit it very well but it was decided before the game that Chopra was on the penalties.”
And of Scotland’s indiscretion, team-mate Lee Bowyer said: “I was on the wrong side to see it but Jason admits he did catch it with his hand.
“He didn’t mean to though, obviously – no one is silly enough to do that in their own box. Without the penalty, I don’t think they would have scored.”