Talisman Holt comes off the bench to give Norwich victory

Norwich 2 QPR 1

Norwich talisman Grant Holt came off the bench to bundle home the
winning goal in a closely-fought Barclays Premier League encounter with
QPR.

The battle of last season's top two in the npower Championship ebbed and flowed throughout the pair's first top-flight meeting since 1995.

Norwich dominated the early proceedings at Carrow Road and deservedly took the lead when skipper Russell Martin reacted quickest during a melee in the six-yard box.

Shaun Wright-Phillips saw a strong call for a penalty turned down seconds later as the west Londoners searched for an equaliser, which eventually came in the 59th minute when Luke Young struck his second goal in as many games.

The leveller came on the back of QPR boss Neil Warnock's wily introduction of Jay Bothroyd, but Norwich manager Paul Lambert played his own trump cards to secure the three points.

Having seen an attempt cleared off the line moments before, Holt was set up by fellow substitute Wes Hoolahan to net the winning goal to the delight of the majority of the 26,781 crowd.

The match started at a quick pace, with both sides eking out half-chances in the opening exchanges.

Third-choice QPR goalkeeper Radek Cerny - making his first appearance of the season due to injuries to Paddy Kenny and Brian Murphy - was called into action in the eighth minute when Simeon Jackson struck a well-hit shot from 20 yards.

The Canaries continued to press forward and in-form Steve Morison almost netted his fourth in as many games but, having wriggled past Anton Ferdinand, was thwarted by a low save by Cerny.

Fellow Wales international Andrew Crofts was the next to test the Hoops' backline, twice seeing shots deflect behind for corners.

The latter set-piece from Andrew Surman landed dangerously in the six-yard box and, after Ferdinand failed to clear, Martin reacted quickly to tuck home the opener.

The goal was just reward for the home side's dominance of the first 15 minutes, but they were fortunate not to give away a needless penalty almost immediately.

Wright-Phillips ghosted into the box and tumbled over the outstretched arms of John Ruddy, although referee Mark Clattenburg waved away the claims for a penalty.

The Rs were only impressing in fits and starts and the home side soon came close to doubling their advantage.

Morison, who was proving a handful for the QPR defence, found space on the edge of the box to unleash a curling effort that drifted just over the bar.

However, Norwich's attacks began to dry up as half-time approached and QPR began to enjoy more possession.

Shaun Derry almost connected with a whipped Wright-Phillips free-kick in the 45th minute, before the diminutive winger saw a shot saved by Ruddy and Jamie Mackie hit the rebound into the side-netting.

The second period started in much the same vein and Wright-Phillips almost netted four minutes in after a mix-up in the box between Ruddy and Leon Barnett.

The Rs, though, did not enjoy quite the same possession as they did at the end of the first half, leading Warnock to replace Clint Hill with Bothroyd in the 57th minute as they searched for a leveller.

The alteration paid dividends within two minutes as a speculative Mackie drive came back off the post into the path of Young, who slotted home from a tight angle.

The equaliser was no more than QPR deserved as they continued to look the stronger of the two sides.

As a result, Lambert brought on Hoolahan and Holt in attempt to change the path of the game and got the desired as in the 73rd minute.

After Holt saw a header blocked on the line by Young, the striker was not denied moments later found as he directed home Hoolahan's cross.

Norwich pressed for a third after regaining the lead but looked susceptible on the break, with Young almost capitalising as his cross clipped the bar.

QPR's push for another equaliser continued but resolute defending and wayward finishing allowed the Canaries to secure a victory that sees them leapfrog their opponents in the table.

PA

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

News
i100
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes