The Pirates run aground at Carrow Road

Norwich City 5 Bristol Rovers 1

The Manager of Month curse struck again, as Paul Trollope’s Bristol
Rovers went down 5-1 at Carrow Road.  Even though his side
equalised Chris Martin’s 9th minute opener, further first half goals
from Wes Hoolahan, and Grant Holt, twice, underlined which team ran this

An entertaining second half only produced one further goal from Jamie
Cureton deep into stoppage time to wrap up the three points, which
lifted his side to 7th in the League One table.

Paul Lambert made just one change from the Norwich side that
comfortably saw off Leyton Orient 4-0 on Tuesday night, rewarding Chris
Martin for his match-turning substitute appearance.

Paul McVeigh was the unfortunate player to drop to the bench, where he
joined keeper Fraser Forster, Stephen Hughes, Cureton, Tom Adeyemi,
Luke Daley and Cody McDonald.

Declan Rudd was also rewarded for his confident home debut against
Orient by retaining the keeper’s jersey.

The visitors kicked off towards the River End and had the early
pressure, winning the game’s first corner in just the third minute.
Although the Canaries’ defence headed away Stuart Campbell’s out-
swinging delivery, Rovers regained possession, winning another corner
from the opposite side, in front of the Aviva Community Stand. Despite the
Bristol central defenders attempting to crowd out Rudd, his own defence
stood firm around him.

That early pressure counted for nothing as the Canaries took the lead
in their first attack! Chris Lines flattened Wes Hoolahan in the 8th
minute, as he showed what he can do when he runs at the opposition.
After referee Andrew Hall, had been rather fussy in re-spotting the
ball, Chris Martin stepped up to score from 26 yards, striking the ball
round the wall and past Mikkel Andersen’s despairing dive to his left.

Martin had the ball in the net again just two minutes later, but it
was disallowed, because the referee must have been the only person in
Carrow Road to see a handball, by the City Academy graduate.

Rudd, had to be alert in the 24th minute to
push Kuffour’s shot round the post.

Kuffour caused more problems just two minutes
later as he turned Jens Berthel Askou in the area, the referee
penalised the Dane and immediately pointed to the spot, brandishing a
yellow card.

Jeff Hughes gave the young Norwich keeper no chance with his spot kick,
finding the top right hand corner with Rudd diving to his left.

City looked to regain the lead immediately, as Hoolahan weaved his way
around the Roves area before crossing. Holt headed the ball back into
the six-yard area from where Martin headed just over.

At least the referee was consistent, because when Hoolahan was fouled
in the Rover’s penalty area, he immediately awarded the Canaries a
penalty. The mercurial Irishman blasted the penalty low to Andersen’s
left with a firm left fooy shot.

City did not sit back and amid huge cheers of “Come on You Yellows”
they won two quick corners. From the second in front of the visiting
fans, Lappin’s in-swinging kick was headed on by a defender and
fell very nicely for City Captain, Grant Holt, to fire home from just
six yards out.

From a free kick for a foul on the marauding Michael Spillane,
Hoolahan stung the keeper’s hands with a curling shot from the right
hand side of the area.

The next thing Andersen did was the pick the ball out of the net after
City deservedly extended their lead! It was a wonderful individual goal
from Holt. After receiving the ball in midfield he still had work to do
and did so wonderfully well.,  forging his way into the area, then
unleashing a powerful left foot shot to Andersen’s right.

Not knowing when they were beaten, the Pirates immediately won a corner
from the kick off. However, Rudd’s well-marshalled defence easily dealt
with it.

At the end of three extra minutes the home players left the field to a
standing ovation.

HALF-TIME:  City 4 Rovers 1

Not surprisingly City were out first for the start of the second half
and they continued where they left off before the break.
Holt was brought down just inside the Bristol penalty area,
but the referee awarded a free kick just outside.

As Rovers advanced down their left in the 50th minute, Spillane pulled
up with a hamstring injury, leaving Rudd exposed. But City’s
defence closed ranks at the expense of a corner.

Korey Smith took up the right-back role, with McVeigh coming on in

Drury then found himself in space wide on the left and had time to
deliver the perfect cross for Martin, who sliced his
header narrowly wide of the far post.

Manager of the Month for September, Trollope, then made two
substitutions of his own, bringing on striker Andy Williams for
midfielder Mark Wright in the 56th minute and Dominic Blizzard for
Lines in the 58th minute.

Two minutes later Drury was booked for what looked an innocuous foul.
The Canaries however, immediately countered from the free kick!

Twice within two minutes Rudd was alert to right-wing breaks from the
opposition and on both occasions he dealt with them very
confidently. In the 69th minute a sweeping attack from City so nearly brought
Holt his hat-trick, as his first time volley from Korey Smith’s cross was
held at the second attempt by Andersen.

With nearly 20 minutes still remaining, Trollope made his last throw of
the dice replacing Chris Dickson with another forward, Darryl Duffy.

Hughes then replaced the hard-working Russell in the 77th minute. The
substitute nearly made it five, ending a glorious passing move with
a first time volley, which shaved the outside of Andersen’s right post.

Captain Holt was then substituted, earning a well-deserved standing
ovation for his brace that had cemented another City victory. He was
replaced by Cureton.

In the last minute of normal time, Smith started a fast moving
attack from within his own half, which ended with him producing a shot
that whizzed just outside Andersen’s right hand post.

However, deep into the three minutes of added on time, the Canaries did
extend their lead. For the second game running it was substitute
Cureton with the last word!

He confidently blasted Hoolahan’s low cross from the right into the roof of
the net.

FULL-TIME:  City 5 Rovers 1


Norwich:  Rudd (GK), Drury, Holt © (Cureton 82), Doherty, Hoolahan,
Spillane (McVeigh 51), Martin, Lappin, Russell (Hughes 77), Smith,
Berthel Askou

Unused Subs: Forster (GK), Adeyemi, Daley,

Bristol: Andersen (GK), Regan, Wright (Williams 56), Lines (Blizzard
58), Coles, Campbell ©, Dickson (Duffy 71), Hughes, Anthony, Kuffour,

Unsused Subs: Evans (GK), Elliott, Reece, Swallow.


City: Berthel Askou (foul) 26; Lappin (foul) 38; Drury (foul) 60
Rovers:  None

Referee:  Mr Andrew Hall

Attendance: 24,117