Surman ensures Norwich keep their noses in front

Norwich City 2 Nottingham Forest 1
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The Independent Football

Norwich City moved back into second in the Championship despite an early scare with a frenetic 2-1 victory here last night over Nottingham Forest.

Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy and Forest striker Nathan Tyson contrived to gift the visitors a bizarre opener before Grant Holt restored parity with his 20th league goal of the season.

Andrew Surman used excellent positional sense to complete a first-half comeback and give the Norfolk club the advantage in the promotion chase over rivals Cardiff and Swansea until at least this afternoon.

Forest were ahead in unorthodox fashion after only three minutes. Ruddy raced to the edge of his area to deal with a loose ball, only to cannon his clearance against the onrushing Tyson, the ball looping wildly into the net to the former Everton man's horror.

However, four minutes later the hosts were back in the match. Former Forest striker Holt rose to meet David Fox's lofted free-kick, heading beyond Lee Camp to equalise.

With 21 minutes played, Surman twisted and turned on the edge of the Forest box, and tried an audacious lob which bobbled wide to the disappointment of the home fans.

The Reds could have retaken the lead when Guy Moussi received an incisive ball from McGugan in the box but clipped his shot against the Norwich upright after 29 minutes.

The consistent attacking prowess of the home side would pay dividends again in the 37th minute, Surman beating the offside trap expertly to connect with Holt's weighted through-ball and clip beyond Camp.

After the break both sides continued to press, Forest exposing the wings with the blistering pace of McGugan and Tyson. Paul Konchesky was dismissed in injury time after picking up a second yellow card to further compound Forest's disappointment as the Canaries held on for three valuable points.

Norwich: Ruddy, R Martin, Whitbread, Ward, Tierney, Fox (Lansbury, 60), Crofts, Surman, Hoolahan (Lappin, 78), Holt, Jackson (Edwards, 90). Substitutes not used Rudd, McNamee, Vokes, Pacheco.

Nottingham Forest: Camp, Moloney, Chambers, Morgan, Konchesky, Tyson (Earnshaw, 73), McKenna, Moussi (Gunter, 51), McGugan, McGoldrick, Boyd (Tudgay, 45). Substitutes not used Darlow, Adebola, Tudgay, Majewski, Bennett.

Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).