Holt makes instant impact for Canaries

Norwich City 2 Queens Park Rangers 1: Lambert substitution adds to Warnock's woes after League refuses QPR's goalkeeper request

Carrow Road

Little separated Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City in the Championship last season, the former finishing four points clear at the end of the 46-match slog. The margin of success was again slim yesterday, but this time the London club had to settle for second best against their country cousins.

Meeting in the Premier League for the first time since 1995, Norwich eked out a nervy victory at Carrow Road courtesy of a second-half goal from the substitute Grant Holt. It was not pretty but it did end their four-match sequence without a win and regained lost momentum.

Paul Lambert, the Norwich manager, expressed his delight. "I thought we deserved to win," he said. "We started brightly and regrouped well after they had equalised. The players have been brilliant, they go out and do it, and I've trusted them for the past two years. Grant is just as valuable as everyone else."

Almost inevitably, though, Neil Warnock, the QPR manager, found something that, apart from the defeat, irked him. He was unhappy that the Premier League had refused him permission to sign an emergency goalkeeper on loan after Paddy Kenny had succumbed to a side strain.

Kenny joined Brian Murphy, his deputy, on the casualty list, with Radek Cerny, the No 3, earning a late call-up and Elvijs Putnins, the 20-year-old Latvian, acting as cover. "We asked the League, they thought about it for two days and then said 'no'," Warnock said. "It's absolutely scandalous."

Cerny appeared solid early on but the absence of Joey Barton, the suspended QPR captain, proved more difficult to overcome. There was little leadership in the middle, with Warnock's side relying on the individual bursts of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Armand Traoré.

QPR had warning of what was to come when Steve Morison bundled Anton Ferdinand out of the way to force a smothering save from Cerny. Andrew Crofts went closer, when his powerful 20-yard drive deflected narrowly over off Clint Hill, but Russell Martin got it spot-on, giving Norwich the lead from short-range after the increasingly hapless Ferdinand failed to clear Andrew Surman's corner.

Norwich responded cautiously, not buoyantly – they had, after all, yet to keep a clean sheet in 13 League and cup matches – and it allowed QPR the necessary room to manoeuvre. John Ruddy survived a penalty appeal, appearing to trip Wright-Phillips, and SWP forced a save from Ruddy.

Little changed after half-time. QPR kept up their -tempo and, after Jamie Mackie's low drive struck a post, Luke Young guided it in from a narrow angle. Match No 14 for the sieve-like Norwich defence.

Lambert had to act and did. On came Wes Hoolahan and Holt and inside three minutes they combined to restore Norwich's lead. Shaun Derry blocked Holt's initial header on the goalline but, after the ball had been recycled, Hoolahan crossed into the middle for Holt to touch past Cerny.

Meanwhile the QPR substitute Jay Bothroyd has pledged to report the Twitter user who allegedly sent him racist abuse after the game.

Norwich (4-4-2): Ruddy; D Laet (Naughton, 58), Barnett, R Martin Tierney; Pilkington (Hoolahan, 70), Crofts, Johnson, Surman; Jackson (Holt, 70), Morison.

QPR (4-1-4-1): Cerny; Young, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Hill (Bothroyd, 57); Derry (Buzsaky, 77); Mackie, Wright-Phillips (Smith, 79), Faurlin, Traoré; Helguson.

Referee Mark Clattenburg.

Man of the match Wright-Phillips (QPR).

Match rating 6/10.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there