Bolton Wanderers’ late rally at the King Power Stadium couldn’t find an equaliser with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Leicester City.
The Whites battled bravely throughout and took the lead early on with David Ngog hitting the back of the net from the penalty spot.
But City went into the interval ahead with two quick fire goals at the end of the first half through Chris Wood and Lloyd Dyer.
Darren Pratley made it 2-2 midway through the second half but Leicester found the winning goal with 12 minutes to go after Jeff Schlupp’s long range strike found a way past the Bolton defence.
Bolton made three changes for the trip to the King Power Stadium to face Nigel Pearson’s Foxes.
Teenage midfielder Josh Vela made his first start in over two months, whilst there were also starts for Sierra Leone international Medo Kamara and on loan defender Danny Butterfield.
Jay Spearing missed the game after picking up an injury at Bristol City. Manager Dougie Freedman’s two other alterations saw Sam Ricketts and Marvin Sordell named on the bench.
Hosts Leicester drafted in Anthony Knockaert and Lloyd Dyer replacing former Portsmouth striker David Nugent and Danny Drinkwater.
It was a case of déjà vu for the travelling Wanderers faithful, as they were left celebrating inside the opening two minutes for the second consecutive game.
In their first attack, lone frontman Ngog cleverly worked his way down the right flank to direct a low cross into the danger area.
Making his way into the box from the opposite wing, South Korean international Chung-Yong Lee was tripped by Leicester skipper Wes Morgan, giving referee Eddie Ilderton no option but to point to the penalty spot.
Stepping up confidently, number nine Ngog stroked the ball into the right hand corner despite the goalkeeper guessing correctly to hand the Whites the lead.
Leicester City mustered up their first chance in the 13th minute. Tricky winger Dyer, looking for his fourth goal of the campaign, cut inside from the left wing away from Butterfield but his effort crashed against the side netting.
A couple of half chances for the Foxes followed on without Adam Bogdan being tested. On the other hand the Whites were quickly playing the ball forward when in possession towards Ngog, who was supported in attack by Pratley, Chris Eagles and Lee.
Bolton’s Hungarian number one made his first important save just before the half-hour mark. Winning a free-kick 30-yards from goal, Wood unleashed a menacing strike destined to nestle in the right corner, but Bogdan was equal to strike and palmed away.
In the 38th minute, Leicester were awarded a penalty kick of their own after Butterfield was adjudged to have fouled Dyer in the penalty box. New Zealand international Wood took on the responsibility and equalised for the hosts.
The Foxes turned the game on its head two minutes later and took the lead at the King Power Stadium.
Wood, holding off two Bolton challenges, fed the ball out wide for Dyer and the former WBA trainee hit a thunderous strike from inside the penalty area, rattling off the frame and across the line.
Bolton created one final chance before the half time whistle, Spaniard Marcos Alonso seeing his close range header from a Chris Eagles corner saved by the feet of Kasper Schmeichel.
The second half began with Wanderers looking for a way back into the contest. Boss Freedman made his first change in the 56th minute, Craig Davies introduced for Vela, giving the Whites more options in attack.
However, the Foxes continued to look a threat in attack and Bolton’s second change quickly followed, Butterfield replaced by Welsh international Ricketts.
But it was the first substitute Davies who made the first telling contribution. Shrugging off Michael Keane’s challenge, the striker hit a vicious half volley from the edge of the penalty box which rattled Schmeichel’s bar.
Bolton’s momentum picked up, with Lee having a second penalty decision this time go against him after going down under Ritchie De Laet’s challenge.
The Foxes thought they had goal number three when Knockaert narrowly missed the target with a powerful strike from 20-yards.
Chances were falling at both ends, with Davies presented another opportunity in the 67th minute, stabbing the ball goal bound, Danish international Schmeichel had to be quick down to palm away.
The Whites continued to battle away, and their efforts were awarded with an equaliser in the 71st minute with Pratley wonderfully adjusting his body to meet Ricketts’ long throw into the penalty area and side foot home.
Bolton’s hard work to level proceedings was cruelly undone seven minutes later, as Schlupp found room on the edge of the area to rifle a right footed volley past Bogdan.
Freedman’s men didn’t let their heads drop, and Eagles corner from the left hand side found an unmarked Zat Knight at the far post.
Heading the ball back into the mix, Davies was quick to respond with a follow on header which was acrobatically saved by the Foxes’ number one.
Five minutes before full time, Ngog was stretchered off after picking up an injury, striker Tom Eaves coming on his place after returning to the club following a loan spell at Shrewsbury Town.
The manager moved three in attack in an attempt to find a third, with Craig Dawson joining Eagles and Dawson on the frontline.
Despite Bolton’s late pressure they couldn’t find a way past the Leicester back line and focus will now be geared towards the game against Middlesbrough on Saturday.