League Cup games between these East Midland rivals are incredibly rare. Indeed, the only reason there have been two of them is down to the 1985/86 tie that was played over two legs. Derby won the first leg at the Baseball Ground with goals from Jeff Chandler and a Ross McClaren penalty on September 25th, while the second leg, on October 9th, ended 1-1 after goals from Leicester’s Ian Wilson and the Rams’ Bobby Davison.
The first ever meeting between the two sides took place in Round 2 of the FA Cup in 1894. The game ended 0-0 so went to a replay at the Baseball Ground, on 17th February, which Derby won 3-0 with goals from John Allan, Stuart McMillan and Percy Francis. That win put Derby through to a Round 3 tie against the might of Blackburn Rovers and they lost 4-1.
Leicester Fosse registered a record victory over their near neighbours in February 1910 by six goals to nil. There were 18,000 fans packed into Filbert Street to watch the Division Two fixture and the majority of them went home happy as Frederick Shinton netted a hat-trick with Shirley Hubbard scoring twice. Dick Pudan was the other Fosse scorer.
In 1971-72 Filbert Street staged the first meeting between the sides for 18 years. It was to be Derby’s season as, under Brian Cough, they stormed to the First Division Championship. It was early in the season when the Rams went over to Leicester, the third game in fact and Derby were flying. A goal from Kevin Hector and an Alan Hinton penalty secured both points in the third match of the campaign as Clough’s side continued an unbeaten run that was to stretch for 12 games.
Leicester had to wait a long time, five years in fact, before they managed a win in this fixture. Derby won six and drew two before the Boxing Day game in 1975 at Filbert Street, which City won 2-1 with goals from the iconic Frank Worthington and Bob Lee. Leighton James netted Derby’s consolation.
In the 1981-82 season both clubs were in the second tier of English football. The first meeting between the two sides at that level for 28 years ended with a Derby victory. Goals from Craig Ramage, Kevin Hector and Steven Buckley, on September 12th 1981, were enough to ensure the win. Jim Melrose scored Leicester’s consolation.
The following campaign Leicester claimed the bragging rights with an outstanding 4-0 win over Derby, at the Baseball Ground. Gary Lineker’s hat-trick did most of the damage but Alan Smith did weigh in with the visitors’ other goal – whatever happened to those two?
On April 5th 1993 the return league fixture of the season, which took that campaign’s aggregate score tally to 11, ended Leicester City 3 Derby County 3. Iwan Roberts hit a hat-trick for Leicester while a brace from Paul Kitson and a Jimmy Willis own goal ensured parity and a point apiece.
Perhaps the biggest ever meeting between Derby and Leicester took place at Wembley, in 1994 in the Division One Play-off Final. It was Leicester’s third consecutive play-off final and it was to prove third time lucky for the Foxes after losing to Blackburn and Swindon the two previous seasons. It started badly for City as Tommy Johnson scored for Derby just short of the half hour. But Leicester hit back inside four minutes and Steve Walsh powered home from Gary Coatsworth’s cross. City’s five man defence stood firm against Derby onslaughts but the Rams’ inability to turn dominance into goals was to prove their undoing. Ian Ormondroyd, with six minutes remaining, powered a header which Martin Taylor could only parry out and there was Steve Walsh to turn in the winner. It earned LeicesterCity a first Wembley win in seven attempts.
The best of the more recent meetings between the two sides took place in 1998 when the first ever Premier League meeting between Leicester and Derby took place at PridePark on September 19th. Stefan Schnoor put Derby ahead just past the half-hour mark and Paulo Wanchope doubled the Rams’ advantage six minutes into the second period. Derby ended the second month of that season in second place, Leicester were just outside the drop zone. The Rams ended the campaign a creditable eighth position; Leicester recovered from their suspect start to finish three points behind their Midland rivals, in 10th place.
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