Surman gets Canaries flying again

Norwich City 2 Bolton Wanderers 0

Carrow Road

The meak performance in defeat at Sunderland in midweek would be a one-off, Norwich manager Paul Lambert promised, and so it proved. His Canaries were very much back to their best here, and thoroughly deserved to bring Bolton's revival to the sort of end which must have concerned manager Owen Coyle more than he was prepared to admit.

"In the circumstances, that's as good as we've been in the three seasons I've been here, the desire was brilliant," said Lambert. His side brushed off losing both centre-halves, Zak Whitbread and Daniel Ayala, to injury in a dominant first half, and though the second period was slightly less one-sided, it was the home team who continued to create the better chances before Andrew Surman and Anthony Pilkington got the goals which converted their superiority into three points.

Lambert made four changes to his starting line-up, including David Fox and Pilkington returning to midfield, while Simeon Jackson replaced Steve Morison alongside Grant Holt up front. Despite two transfer deadline day signings in Ryo Miyaichi from Arsenal and Marvin Sordell from Watford, Coyle was disinclined to tinker with a line-up which had seen the Trotters lose only once in their last eight matches in all competitions. The only change from the team which drew with Arsenal in their previous outing saw Tyrone Mears replace the injured Gretar Steinsson at right-back.

The first half was something of a procession. Whitbread, Holt and Jackson had all missed chances before Surman should have opened the scoring in the 24th minute. With only the Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan to beat from inside the six-yard box, he lifted the ball against the underside of the bar.

Bolton's only threat of the first half came late, a hopeful Martin Petrov shot deflected over the bar, and the Bulgarian also went close direct from a corner after the break, but otherwise it continued to be all Norwich, and soon after Holt had contrived to turn Pilkington's cross over the bar, Surman made the breakthrough.

His first effort was blocked, but the ball sat up nicely and at the second attempt he volleyed firmly beyond Bogdan. Petrov brought a decent save from John Ruddy with a well struck half volley, but Norwich continued to miss the majority of the chances, most notably when Holt turned Pilkington's cross over from short range, but with six minutes remaining, Bogdan spilled Holt's shot and Pilkington turned in the rebound.

"It was a blow losing the two centre-halves – they're big lads and we were up against a big side, but our substitutes were colossal," said Lambert.

Coyle, whose side next face Wigan, said: "I thought we started slowly, and though we changed things in the second half and looked more of a threat, the first goal was always likely to be decisive. We weren't at our best, we never got to the standard we're capable of, and I wouldn't argue that they deserved the three points."

Norwich (4-4-2): Ruddy; Drury, Whitbread (Bennett, 40), Ayala (Martin, 23), Naughton; Pilkington, Fox, Hoolahan, Surman; Jackson (Morison, 74), Holt.

Bolton (4-2-3-1): Bogdan; Mears, Knight, Wheater, Ricketts; Reo-Coker, Muamba (K Davies, 57); Eagles (Tuncay, 73), M Davies, Petrov; N'Gog (Sordell, 82).

Referee: Lee Probert

Man of the match: Jackson (Norwich)

Match rating: 7/10

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

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us