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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...