Carl Ikeme sent off as Norwich get the better of Wolves
Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme saw red as a controversial penalty helped Norwich to a hard-fought 3-1 win at Carrow Road.
The match was in the balance at 1-1 entering the final 20 minutes when defender Matt Doherty was harshly punished for bringing down Wes Hoolan with the slightest of touches in the area.
Ikeme was then sent off for angrily pushing Hoolahan to the ground and with Paul Lambert having used all three of his substitutes Doherty had to go in goal and was promptly beaten by an expertly taken spot-kick from Robbie Brady.
It was the second soft penalty of the game, with Helder Costa equalising on 57 minutes after another debatable decision from referee David Coote.
The Canaries, who have now won four home league games out of five, had gone ahead early on through Steven Naismith, with a deflected effort from Jonny Howson in injury time adding some gloss to the final scoreline.
Wolves boss Paul Lambert had never lost a game against the club he led with such success for three seasons, but his side were on the backfoot for long periods at Carrow Road and could have few complaints about the outome.
After a slow start that matched the tense atmosphere in the ground Norwich went ahead on 12 minutes from their first genuine attack of the game
Howson was desperately unlucky when his powerful long-range drive came back off the crossbar but fortunately for the hosts it bounced kindly for Naismith, who coolly rolled the ball past Ikeme.
Cameron Jerome then blasted over from a good position after Wolves had given the ball away in a dangerous area before Ikeme produced a brilliant reflex save to deny Howson from close range.
It was a similar story in the early stages of the second period, with Jerome going close to making it 2-0 on 55 minutes when his shot from just outside of the box hit the right upright and deflected to safety - but out of the blue the visitors got themselves right back in it a couple of minutes later.
Ivo Pinto was penalised for stopping Doherty's run into the six-yard box with a slight touch on the back and Costa converted emphatically from the spot to bring the scores level.
Norwich reacted well to that setback and Brady's spot-kick was no more than they deserved.
Wolves were then faced with the tough task of fighting back with just 10 men and an outfield player in goal and it proved beyond them, with Howson's scoring number three with a deflected shot just as the match entered five minutes of injury time.
It was a timely win for Norwich boss Alex Neil, whose side crashed to defeat at bottom side Rotherham last week, and took them back to within five points of the play-off positions.
Source : PA