Sunderland 1 Norwich City 0
Report of match 4th May 2004
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Post match analysis of the match against Sunderland
Sunderland finally clinched a play-off place after beating a Norwich City side crowned champions in the wake of West Brom's defeat at Stoke.
Carl Robinson, on loan from Portsmouth and keen to stay at the Stadium of Light on a permanent basis, scored the all-important goal on the stroke of half-time.
But Norwich should have had the title wrapped up in the first six minutes, missing three golden opportunities against a makeshift Sunderland side.
Skipper Adam Drury headed a Kevin Cooper corner over the bar when unchallenged in the first minute and just a minute later following exceptional skills on the left by Darren Huckerby, Mathias Svensson headed against the upright.
Malky Mackay also went up unchallenged from a Cooper corner before the Black Cats gradually claw their way into the game.
Robert Green turned a Sean Thornton free-kick over the bar, Marcus Stewart headed past the post and Kevin Kyle was guilty of squandering the best chance by screwing his shot across the face of goal from six yards.
Kyle almost redeemed himself in the 39th minute with a bullet header from Thornton's free-kick only for Marc Edworthy to head off the line with Green well beaten.
Sunderland were not to be denied however and in the 44th minute Thornton whipped over another dangerous free-kick for Robinson to head home his first goal for the club.
Phill Babb headed on to the roof of the net while at the other end Huckerby's shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Norwich made a double substitution in the 62nd minute, Cooper and McKenzie making way for Phil Mulryne and Paul McVeigh, but it was Huckerby who came closest to snatching a point, his shot deflected on to the bar and before being scrambled away to safety.
"We wanted to get something out of the game, but we have won the championship and I want us to finish with a good performance on Sunday," Canaries manager Nigel Worthington commented.
|Competition: Nationwide League Division One Date: Tuesday, 4th May 2004 Kick off: 20:00 Venue: Stadium of Light|
|1 - 0||Norwich City
|12||John Oster (Clark 88)||6|
|10||Marcus Stewart (Smith 80)||6|
|6||Ben Clark (Oster 88)|
|11||Tommy Smith (Stewart 80)|
|1||Kevin Cooper (Mulryne 63)||6|
|19||Mathias Svensson (Roberts 85)||7|
|14||Leon McKenzie (McVeigh 64)||6|
|7||Philip Mulryne (Cooper 63)||6|
|18||Paul McVeigh (McKenzie 64)||6|
|9||Iwan Roberts (Svensson 85)|
|Sunderland cards shown|
|70 mins||Sean Thornton||Unsporting behaviour|
|84 mins||George McCartney||Dissent|
|Norwich City cards shown|
|13 mins||Kevin Cooper||Dissent|