Towering Holt and Morison dominate Newcastle's little big men in six-goal thriller

Norwich City 4 Newcastle United 2

Carrow Road

Height has its benefits. In the era of Lionel Messi and David Silva, the simple utility of tall players over short ones can be written off or ignored. Not so yesterday at Carrow Road, where the hulking but ever-so-slightly pre-modern pair of Grant Holt and Steve Morison confronted Newcastle's make-shift and miniature centre-backs Danny Simpson and James Perch. Holt and Morison scored three headers between them in a 4-2 win.

Alan Pardew said that his side could not expect to concede from three set plays and avoid defeat. In open play his team were competitive and classy, with Demba Ba scoring two excellent goals, taking his season's tally to 11. But the injuries to Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor left Pardew's team "stretched to the limit".

"If the ball's there to be won, the lads have got a great desire to get a head on it. It's not rocket science," Norwich's manager Paul Lambert said after his team had moved into ninth. "Holt and Morison were excellent."

Wes Hoolahan, their best and shortest player was the catalyst. As he lifted the tempo, the Norwich full-backs got involved.

Kyle Naughton's cross was blocked by Davide Santon's outstretched arm but Martin Atkinson rejected the penalty appeal. "I thought the only thing he'd ever done was catch it," Lambert said. "It was a penalty."

A cross though brought the opening goal. Marc Tierney slung in an outswinger, which Tim Krul caught as it curled back towards the pitch. However a corner was given, following which Hoolahan shinned the ball in. "Tim just caught it where it was," Pardew said. "He didn't take it out."

Newcastle equalised when Yohan Cabaye chipped a delightful through ball to Ba who controlled it and clipped beyond John Ruddy.

The game was there to be won, and up stepped the home team's pair of robust centre-forwards. Fourteen minutes into the second half, David Fox played a short corner, and crossed the return pass. Holt saw his header saved by Krul but nodded the follow-up in off the bar.

Four minutes later, another cross, and another header, made it 3-1. Dan Gosling gifted the ball to Andrew Crofts, whose centre was converted with remarkable neck strength by Morison. Just two minutes after that a frustrated Gosling badly fouled Russell Martin and was sent off.

But even with 10 men Newcastle still had quality, pulling one back soon after. Zak Whitbread was robbed by Shola Ameobi, who played a through ball to Ba, whose touch and finish were even better than his first.

But just when a comeback felt possible, Norwich's simple advantages of numbers and height reasserted themselves. James Perch conceded a free-kick on Hoolahan. Bradley Johnson crossed and Holt, inevitably, towered above Perch and Simpson to score his second.

Norwich (4-3-1-2): Ruddy; Naughton, Martin, Whitbread (Barnett, 83), Tierney; Crofts, Fox, Surman (Johnson, 76); Hoolahan (Jackson, 84); Holt, Morison.

Newcastle (4-4-2): Krul; R Taylor, Simpson, Perch, Santon; Obertan (Sammy Ameobi, 81), Cabaye, Gosling, Gutierrez; Shola Ameobi (Smith, 90), Ba.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of the match: Hoolahan (Norwich)

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
i100... with this review
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

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam