Battling Wolves deny Canaries away win
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Norwich City 2
Tuesday 20 December 2011
Wolves twice came from behind to rescue a precious point in their battle for Premier League survival against Norwich at Molineux.
Former Wolves midfielder Andrew Surman broke the deadlock only for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who replaced the axed Kevin Doyle, to level before half-time.
Substitute Simeon Jackson restored Norwich's lead with his first touch but Ronald Zubar's first goal of the campaign rescued Wolves from a second home defeat in four days.
Doyle has managed just two goals this season and he paid the price as Wolves boss Mick McCarthy gave Ebanks-Blake his first start since the 2-2 home draw with Swansea in October - the only change from the side beaten at home by Stoke on Saturday.
Norwich boss Paul Lambert kept faith with the side which earned a creditable 1-1 draw at Everton at the weekend.
Wolves made an encouraging start and nearly went ahead in the fourth minute after Stephen Hunt was brought down by Marc Tierney. Hunt floated in a quick free-kick which Ebanks-Blake was first to react to inside the box but Zak Whitbread blocked his shot.
Norwich knocked the ball around in confident style and Wes Hoolahan's pass picked out Surman on the edge of the area - but he failed to get any power in the shot and Wayne Hennessey made a routine save.
The Wolves goalkeeper was more extended in tipping aside a cross-shot from Steve Morison, and it came as no surprise when the Canaries went ahead after 12 minutes through Surman's first Premier League goal for Norwich.
Hoolahan was played onside by Christophe Berra and burst down the left flank before crossing for the unmarked Surman to head past Hennessey.
Wolves were at sixes and sevens at the back and Hennessey saved another Surman header from an Andrew Crofts cross, before a Berra clearance was charged down by Crofts after he mishit his shot.
Norwich looked dangerous every time they attacked but Hunt missed a great chance to equalise after 26 minutes.
Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy parried a shot from Ebanks-Blake to Hunt eight yards out - but the Republic of Ireland international could not keep his shot down.
Zubar became the first player to be booked after a late challenge on Grant Holt, who then followed him into referee Chris Foy's notebook after an off-the-ball clash with Tierney.
After 37 minutes Ebanks-Blake justified his recall by levelling.
The overlapping Stephen Ward's cross found Hunt, whose shot was blocked - but the ball fell to Ebanks-Blake, whose shot was not cleanly struck but trickled over the line.
Norwich defender Kyle Naughton was booked for bringing down Ward six minutes before the interval.
Wolves started the second half in purposeful mood and Steven Fletcher curled a 20-yard shot just past the post after good play by Hunt.
Hennessey was grateful Holt failed to make proper contact on his shot after a Morison flick, then Roger Johnson made a crucial interception from a David Fox corner at full stretch with Morison poised to take advantage.
Hennessey had to be alert to save a shot from Surman away to his right after Holt had created the opportunity with a neat lay off.
Although Wolves were having more of the play, Norwich continued to look the more dangerous.
Zubar had to make a perfectly timed tackle inside the Wolves box to prevent Morison racing clear.
Hennessey clung onto a 20-yard attempt from Surman while at the other end Ebanks-Blake sent his header from a Ward cross straight at Ruddy.
Hennessey then excelled himself saving a low shot through a ruck of players from Hoolahan.
McCarthy brought on Adam Hammill for Hunt after 76 minutes and at the same juncture Norwich replaced Holt with Jackson.
Lambert's switch was inspired as Jackson restored Norwich's lead with his first touch. Morison made good ground down the left and outpaced Johnson before crossing for Jackson to net from close range.
But Zubar made it 2-2 in the 82nd minute when he powered home a header from Jarvis' corner.
Johnson was just off target with another header and then in injury time Fletcher thought he had scored the winner, only to have strayed marginally offside.
In a grandstand finish by the home side Jarvis powered a fierce drive inches wide.
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