Bristol City 1 Norwich City 0

Leroy Lita was the centre of attention on his return to the club which sold him for £1million, but it was his marker who gained the plaudits and grabbed the winner.

Bristol City centre-back Jamie McCombe trotted up for a long free-kick, skipped past the wall when it came down and neatly side-footed the ball home.

Newly back from a fractured cheekbone, McCombe was generously named man-of-the-match by his club.

His duel with Lita, who is on loan at Norwich from Reading, was just about all square although he was kept at full stretch.

City have revealed they have twice tried to bring Lita back to Ashton Gate and could make a third attempt, although he was restricted to one real shot.

There were chances for both sides in an open if physical first half.

Norwich came off worst as they had to make two changes and saw their centre-back John Kennedy in need of lengthy treatment.

The home side's lively leader Dele Adebola received a long lecture for that tackle but it was his determination in the air and on the ground which kept his side rolling forward.

Too often Norwich conceded free-kicks just outside the box in critical positions.

The best of them from Bristol City's point of view saw Michael McIndoe bend his kick towards the near post bringing a finely-timed leap from keeper David Marshall.

Marshall's alertness several times kept Norwich from falling behind but the openings were by no means all one-way.

Lita's biggest threat came from a run in from the left as he cut past McCombe but his shot was saved before panic in the home defence when Adriano Basso raced almost to the edge of his box but missed the ball.

With an empty goal in front of him, Matty Pattison closed in with a right-footed shot which was just off target.

Norwich's best chance came in the second half when Lee Croft pushed a great ball through for Lita to hit on the run but Basso got down for a good save.