Football: Bellamy sets ferocious pace

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The Independent Online
Norwich City 4

Bellamy 2, 30, Roberts 41, 49

Huddersfield Town 1

Beresford 59

Attendance: 15,403

HUDDERSFIELD, the First Division leaders, were caught napping by the electric pace of the teenage sensation Craig Bellamy as Norwich swept to an emphatic victory at Carrow Road, allowing Sunderland to dislodge the Yorkshire side at the top of the First Division.

Untroubled by torrential rain, the 19-year-old Welsh international had destroyed Huddersfield's lame challenge before half-time, scoring twice and laying on another for Iwan Roberts, who grabbed his second early in the second half.

Peter Jackson's side, a force at home but yet to achieve consistency on their travels, paid a high price for naive tactics as Bellamy's speed exposed the high risk strategy of playing for offsides.

The youngster, hailed as the First Division's answer to Michael Owen, dealt the first blow to the erstwhile leaders after only 84 seconds as Roberts headed Craig Fleming's long ball into his path. The absence of a linesman's flag left the Huddersfield back four helpless. Bellamy rounded the goalkeeper Nico Vaesen and slotted the ball home. The visitors recovered their composure but were caught out again on the half-hour as Bellamy scored a second goal, racing on to Lee Marshall's well-timed through- pass to waltz around Vaesen in a replay of his first success.

Rattled, Huddersfield looked beaten even before Roberts made it three after 42 minutes, the brawny centre forward feeding off a one-two with his precocious team-mate to sweep home a third for the rampant East Anglians.

A stunned Jackson, now haunted by memories of a 5-0 thrashing on the same ground last season, made a triple substitution at half-time, taking off Kevin Gray, Wayne Allison and David Phillips in favour of Ben Thornley, Paul Barnes and Marcus Browning.

To a degree the changes worked, but by the time David Beresford drove home Marcus Stewart's cross to produce evidence of the improvement Roberts had slid home Norwich's third goal after Fleming rose to head down Ged Brannan's 49th-minute corner.

It might have been worse. Vaesen saved efforts from Fleming and Roberts and reacted in time as Bellamy tried to complete his hat-trick. with a precise side-foot towards the far post.