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It is hard to believe that this was a Premiership fixture two seasons ago, and a return to the land of cash and controversy for either club seems light years away after this instantly forgettable encounter.

Kenwyne Jones eventually settled the tie with a well-taken goal in added time to ensure that Leicester can now concentrate on avoiding a drop into the third tier for the first time in their history.

Jones, a Trinidad and Tobago international, had been on the field only a few minutes when he scored Southampton's first goal in four games, just as it looked as if a replay was inevitable.

Leicester never looked capable of providing Rob Kelly, their caretaker manager, with a welcome win and have still recorded only one win in the last two months.

Their capricious season and forthcoming battle to avoid relegation to League One led to Craig Levein's dismissal on Wednesday.

Levein's assistant, Kelly, stepped into the breach and has already indicated that his appointment will be very much in the short term.

Peter Reid is a leading candidate to take over until the end of the campaign and there is also support for Steve Cotterill, the Burnley manager and former Leicester coach, in the corridors of power at the Walkers Stadium.

It has been an equally harsh baptism for Burley, with Southampton collecting only two victories since his return to management. However, the visitors produced the first chance of this moribund encounter when Marian Pahars glanced Matt Oakley's free-kick wide.

However, it was a brief respite in an appalling first half in which both teams seemed intent on outdoing the other in plumbing previously unattainable levels of dross.

David Prutton was taken off in the 36th minute after emerging ruefully from a full-blooded challenge on Patrick McCarthy, but it was probably a relief for the midfielder that he was granted an escape. Both goalkeepers would have been well within their rights to have been chomping on cigars, such was their lack of activity.

The second half saw a marginal improvement and yet again Southampton were cursing the wastefulness of Pahars. The diminutive Latvian international seized on a deep centre from Nathan Dyer and created a yard of space, but hooked his shot into the stands.

Leicester eventually carved out their first opportunity in the 57th minute when Stephen Hughes released Elvis Hammond, but the striker's hesitant shot was easily repelled by Bartosz Bialkowski.

The visitors looked spirited as time ebbed away and substitute Jones pounced from close range to give Burley something to celebrate.