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
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little