Robert Earnshaw hit a hat-trick as Nottingham Forest took the East Midlands bragging rights and third place in the Coca-Cola Championship with a masterful 5-1 defeat of Leicester at the City Ground.

An Earnshaw double put Forest in control at the break and the Wales international completed his hat-trick at the start of the second half with his fifth goal in his last three matches.

Paul Anderson made it 4-0 after 54 minutes before Martyn Waghorn pulled a goal back for Leicester from the penalty spot 10 minutes later.

Substitute Dele Adebola completed the rout 13 minutes from time to stretch Forest`s unbeaten league run to 11 matches.

The victory saw Billy Davies' side leapfrog Leicester in the table and leave the Foxes still looking for their first win at the City Ground since January 1972.

Chris Cohen returned from suspension to replace Garath McCleary in the Reds' starting line-up. It was the only change made by Davies following last weekend's equally rampant 4-1 home victory over Doncaster.

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson also made one change, restoring captain Matt Oakley to the side at the expense of Paul Gallacher.

Forest began brightly and went ahead through a brilliantly worked goal.

Dexter Blackstock played a one-two with Earnshaw who continued his run into the box and fired a shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards when his strike partner picked him out again from the right-hand side.

Anderson forced a parrying save from Chris Weale midway through the first half as Forest continued to overpower the visitors.

Yann Kermorgant headed tamely at Lee Camp and it was the French forward's final contribution before Pearson replaced him with Steve Howard in the 28th minute in the hope that the burly striker would hold the ball up better and help City retain possession.

But it did not work. Four minutes later Forest doubled their advantage and it was Earnshaw who was on target again.

Cohen's shot into a crowded penalty area fell to Earnshaw and he showed great composure to lift the ball over Weale from eight yards out.

Leicester emerged after the break with renewed vigour but shot themselves in the foot just four minutes into the second half.

Jack Hobbs' loose pass to fellow centre-half Wayne Brown was pounced upon by Earnshaw who completed his hat-trick in emphatic fashion by firing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Things got worse for City five minutes later following another defensive error when Brown was caught out of position in the middle of the pitch.

Blackstock attacked the space behind him but over-ran the ball as he tried to take it round Weale. However, Anderson, who was on the books at Leicester as a youngster, was on hand to turn the ball home from a tight angle.

Blackstock then forced Weale into another parrying save a minute later.

Leicester pulled a goal back in the 64th minute when Wes Morgan was adjudged to have handled Richie Wellens' shot. On-loan Sunderland striker Waghorn converted the resulting spot-kick.

The goal failed to breathe any life into City and Forest continued to create chances. Adebola should have scored but headed over the crossbar from six yards before Earnshaw shot wide.

But Adebola did get on the scoresheet in the 77th minute. Fellow substitute McCleary collected a loose ball in midfield and was allowed to advance to the edge of the box where his low shot forced a save from Weale. Adebola was on hand to finish off the rebound.

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Topics:
#Leicester City
#Sunderland
#Paul Anderson
#Doncaster Rovers
#Dele Adebola
#Internationals
#Wes Morgan
#Championship
#Robert Earnshaw
#Lee Camp
#Steve Howard
#Dexter Blackstock
#Nottingham Forest
#Garath McCleary
#Martyn Waghorn
#Matt Oakley
#Yann Kermorgant
#Chris Cohen
#Wayne Brown
#Jack Hobbs
#Wayne Brown
#Liverpool
#Chris Weale
#Anderson
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