Norwich City 3 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

Last updated : 14 February 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Brighton did not make it easy for Norwich City, even when reduced to ten men for most of the second half.

A long clearance from Robert Green set up Darren Huckerby for the opening goal and his quick thinking when he threw the ball to Huckerby led to Robert Earnshaw's first goal since joining City two months ago.

The fact that the home side did not make the game safe until the 87th minute says much for the contribution of Brighton which made the Norwich fans and players look decidedly edgy.

Norwich kicked off attacking the Barclay end goal, but they had a scare after just three minutes when the impressive Joe Gatting headed wide from ten yards.

Four minutes later Peter Thorne's snap shot was blocked and Wayne Henderson did well to save Huckerby's low drive when the Norwich winger was first on to the rebound.

Norwich continued to create chances without managing to test Henderson until the 28th minute when Green's long clearance bounced off the head of Adam El-Abd releasing Huckerby down the Norwich left.

He burst into the Brighton penalty area and beat Henderson from the corner of the six-yard box with a right-foot shot that found the far corner of the net.

Referee Thorpe, who angered the home fans by failing to award free-kicks for apparent fouls on Huckerby and Earnshaw, produced yellow cards for kicking the ball away.

Adam Hinshelwood, Zesh Rehman and Paul McShane falling victim to strict interpretation of the rules before half-time.

Ten minutes into the second half Gary Hart made way for Colin Kazim-Richards and a minute later Hinshelwood's foul on Huckerby earned him a second booking, leaving Brighton with ten men.

As so often happens, Brighton looked a better team after the dismissal and asked serious questions of the Norwich defence.

Leon McKenzie, on for Jonatan Johansson for the last 20 minutes, brought a smart save from Henderson with a crisp shot, but most of the play was still in the Norwich half.

Gatting brought a good save from Green with a long-range shot, while at the other end McKenzie's shot came back off the post.

Earnshaw fired over and Huckerby's shot went inches wide, before Earnshaw opened his City account in the 87th minute.

Green's throw released Huckerby down the left wing. He raced clear of the Brighton defence and unselfishly passed the ball inside to Earnshaw, who scored an easy goal with a right-foot tap-in from six yards.

Three minutes later substitute Paul McVeigh released Earnshaw through the middle and his right-foot chip over the advancing keeper was adjudged to have crossed the line off the inside of the post to give the home side a flattering 3-0 result.