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Match Report


Posted Sat 26 Dec 09 at 14:46 PM

Norwich City 2 Millwall 0

Grant Holt grabbed his 20th goal of the season as Norwich City scuppered Millwall's hopes of breaking into the Play-Off spots with an eighth successive win at Carrow Road.
Prolific marksman Holt headed home the Canaries second killer goal after Wes Hoolahan had fired Paul Lambert's side into a 28th-minute lead against the run of play.
Millwall started the game showing real purpose and forced third-placed Norwich onto the back foot from the opening whistle.
Good link up play between Steve Morison and Danny Schofield saw the latter's tight angle shot smothered by keeper Fraser Forster.
Lewis Grabban (6mins) sent a scorching shot-on-the-turn inches over the bar and then Forster did well to pluck a Marc Laird corner out of the air under pressure as The Lions continued to pen The Canaries back.
It took until the 14th minute for the home side to carve out their first noteworthy effort of the game when Darel Russell's clipped free-kick picked out Grant Holt, but a combination of ali Fuseini and Paul Robinson blocked the danger.
The Lions were denied a blatant penalty on 16 minutes when Grabban was clearly impeded as he broke into the danger zone, but the infringement was unsighted by the officials.
Norwich had the ball in the back of the net on 19 minutes, but on this occasion the whistle been blown long before Holt fired home from an off-side position.
It took a magnificent point-blank save by visiting keeper David Forde to thwart Hoolahan's goal-bound effort three minutes later before Holt had the ball in the back of the net for a second time, again to see his effort ruled out for a blatant offside.
However it proved to be third time lucky for Norwich on 28 minutes when Jon Otsemobor whipped in a quick, low delivery and there was Hoolahan to volley home his 14th goal of the season.
Right-back Otsemobor nearly gifted Millwall a way back into the game within a couple of minutes of the game restarting, playing a woeful square ball straight to Morison. The Lions frontman was shaping to shoot when Russell Martin produced a stunning sliding interception to nick the ball away to safety.
Norwich boss Lambert made a change at the break, introducing Matthew Gill for injured midfielder Russell, whilst Lions manager Jackett refrained from making any changes at that stage of proceedings.
It was the visitors who continued to prise and probe in a bid to try and find a way through a resolute Canaries rearguard.
Schofield's shot was deflected into the grateful hands of keeper Forster and Fuseini's dipping effort flew over in quick succession.
But the wind was taken out of Millwall's sails with 22 minutes remaining. A sloppy piece of play by Grabban handed possession to the home team and Hoolahan turned provider, settingg up Holt who duly sent a diving header past the reach of keeper Forde.
Jackett responded by immediately bringing on Adam Bolder and Jason Price for Grabban and Fuseini to try and manufacture a quick goalscoring response.
And that so nearly happened within two minutes of their introduction when Bolder and Morison combined, but Price just couldnot get a touch to the ball.
Millwall continued to get into threatening areas, although invariably the ball just never fell near enough for in-form striker Morison to try add to his tally of five goals in three games.
Jimmy Abdou, Bolder and Laird all went close, but it was one of those games where no-one could fault the effort and commitment of Jackett's men, it was the difference in quality and guile in front of goal that proved decisive.

Norwich City: Forster, Otsemobor, Nelson, R.Martin, Drury, Hughes (Adeyemi, 61mins), Hoolahan (McNamee, 84mins), Holt, Russell (Gill, 46mins), Lappin, C.Martin. Subs not used: Kelly, McDonald, Steer, Dawkin.
Hoolahan (28mins), Holt (68mins)

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Frampton (Barron, 76mins), Abdou, Robinson, Craig, Schofield, Fuseini (Bolder, 70mins), Laird, Morison, Grabban (Price, 70mins). Subs not used: Sullivan, Grimes, Hackett, Ward.
Booking: Dunne (64mins)

Ref: G. Salisbury
Att: 25, 222

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