Having produced one stirring comeback on Tyneside already this season, Norwich were left wanting when it came to repeating the trick against Newcastle last night.
Darren Huckerby's confident 54th-minute penalty after Shola Ameobi had naïvely felled Mathias Svensson appeared to have provided Nigel Worthington's side with the perfect platform from which to overcome a two-goal deficit as they had done here in August to salvage a Premiership point.
On this occasion in the Carling Cup third round, Newcastle not only held on, but would not have been flattered had their margin of victory been trebled. For their first-half dominance alone rewarded by goals from Jermaine Jenas and Shola Ameobi the hosts fully merited victory and with it the fourth-round visit of Chelsea.
Graeme Souness, who extended to nine his unbeaten run since taking charge, said: "The scoreline suggests it was a close game but that wasn't the case. Our confidence is growing with winning games and some of our football, especially first half, was excellent."
Norwich were unlucky to see a Jason Shackell header bounce back off the bar in first-half stoppage time, but by then they were already two goals down. Worthington said: "We could have had a couple of goals in the first half, but our keeper was certainly the busier."
The visitors were up against as soon as they conceded an early goal. Laurent Robert's scuffed corner found its way into the Norwich six-yard box on the second bounce where Jenas succeeded in bundling both ball and Robert Green over the line. Ameobi doubled the advantage from the spot after Darren Ambrose's surge into the area had been halted illegally by Marc Edworthy.
Newcastle (4-4-2): Harper; Hughes, Johnsen, Bramble, Bernard; Milner, Ambrose, Jenas, Robert (Bellamy, 70); Ameobi (Bowyer, 83), Kluivert. Substitutes not used: Given (gk), O'Brien, Shearer.
Norwich (4-4-2): Green; Edworthy, Fleming, Shackell, Drury (Helveg, 65); Huckerby, Holt (Safri, h-t), Francis, Jonson; Doherty (Henderson, 61), Svensson. Substitutes not used: Ward (gk), Bentley.
Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire)Reuse content