Chris Wood's first EPL goal snatches draw

TONY SMITH
Last updated 10:26 17/08/2014
Leicester City's Chris Wood celebrates after scoring a goal during their English Premier League match against Everton at the King Power stadium in Leicester.
Reuters
ON TARGET: Leicester City's Chris Wood celebrates after scoring a goal during their English Premier League match against Everton at the King Power stadium in Leicester.

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All Whites striker Chris Wood is staying in the English Premier League after kicking off the season with a goal in Leicester City's opening round draw with Everton.

The 22-year-old came off the bench to sweep home a loose ball four minutes from fulltime and score his first EPL goal and earn newly promoted Leicester a 2-2 draw with Everton at Leicester's Kingpower Stadium.

Wood was delighted with the team's performance.

"Great fight from the lads coming [back] twice,'' he said on Twitter. "Good point, and something to build on for [next] week.
 
"Very happy with my first Premier League goal.''

Wood had been at the centre of pre-game specuLation that he was set to leave Leicester before the season had even started.

A queue of six Championship (second-tier) clubs were interested in securing his services with Wolverhampton Wanderers having a bid rejected by both Wood and his club.

But the Waikato man was named in Leicester's matchday squad and took the field in the 78th minute for his first premier league game since his debut season with West Bromwich Albion as a 17-year-old in 2009.

Wood was praised by the English football media for his "smartly-taken finish'' in the 86th minute when he brought the 31,000-strong Leicester crowd to their feet with the equaliser in the club's first premiership match for 10 years.

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson later insisted Wood was not for sale.

''He's staying. I've spoken to Chris on a couple of occasions this week and he is happy to stay,'' Pearson told The Guardian's Football Unlimited website.

''It can be unsettling for any individual to be involved in speculation about his future but I’m very pleased he was able to play his part in securing our first Premier League point of the season.''

Meanwhile, All Whites captain Winston Reid tasted EPL defeat when West Ham United lost 1-0 to London rivals Tottenham Hotspur after Eric Dier's injury-time goal.

West Ham's Mark Noble missed a penalty and both teams finished the game with 10 men after Kyle Naughton (Spurs) and James Collins (West Ham) were shown red cards.

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