25.08.2013 01:45 h

Football: Pearson salutes gritty Leicester

David Forde
David Forde

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson saluted his players' fighting spirit as they preserved their unbeaten start to the Championship campaign with a dramatic 3-2 win over Birmingham.

Pearson's team trailed to a 12th minute goal from Matt Green and the hosts had to wait until the 78th minute before equalising with a fine strike by Jamie Vardy.

Andy King put the hosts in front in the 82nd minute and David Nugent netted a stoppage-time penalty before Birmingham grabbed a consolation from Chris Burke.

"We wasted a lot of good chances to score and conceded with their first meaningful attack. So it looked as though it was going to be a potentially frustrating afternoon," Pearson said.

"But we were able to come from a losing position to win the game and I was really pleased with the response from the players in the second half.

"The players responded well and those who went on in the second half played a big role in changing the fortunes of the side."

Leicester's hard-fought win left them second on goal difference behind leaders Blackpool.

Blackpool manager Paul Ince was relieved as youngster Tom Barkhuizen climbed off the bench to give his injury-hit team a 1-0 win over Reading.

Barkhuizen scored his first goal for the club in the 75th minute and Ince revealed the 20-year-old would have probably been watching from the stands if he had been able to select a full strength team.

"When you look at us, talent alone won't win you matches, you have to have a bit extra and that's what got us through," Ince said.

"We lost (Craig) Cathcart, (Isaiah) Osbourne before the game and then (Gary) Mackenzie during the game.

"Ideally, if I had a full strength squad Tom Barkhuizen might not have been on the bench. I told him to enjoy the moment and don't think about it too much."

QPR, who came down alongside Reading, were 1-0 winners at Bolton thanks to a 54th-minute goal from former England striker Andrew Johnson.

And assistant coach Joe Jordan admitted he was delighted to see his team adapting so well to life outside the top-flight.

"As history has shown, you've got a lot of teams that have come out of the Premier League and they've not quite grasped how difficult the Championship can be," Jordan said.

"I think we've started in a way that we've shown the correct application and got on with it. We've got some results and I think we'll improve."

The three teams on 10 points are a point clear of Nottingham Forest, who will look to go back to the top and continue the division's only 100 per cent record when they go to promotion rivals Watford on Sunday.

Leeds are on eight points after they recovered from an early deficit to defeat Ipswich 2-1.

James Vaughan scored a hat-trick as Huddersfield cruised to a 5-1 home win over promoted Bournemouth.

Blackburn romped to a 5-2 win over 10-man Barnsley at Ewood Park to secure their first three points of the campaign.

Rock-bottom Barnsley remain on one point, the same as Millwall and Charlton.

Millwall picked up their first point after Andy Keogh's late penalty rescued a 2-2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

Charlton were trailing 3-1 at home to 10-man Doncaster at The Valley when the match was abandoned at half-time as heavy rain left the pitch unplayable.

Derby won 3-0 at Yeovil and Brighton beat Burnley 2-0.