Moore problems for Norwich

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The Independent Online

Norwich City 1 Tranmere Rovers 1

What was supposed to be a new start for Norwich, a new mood of optimism, has still to show itself. Yesterday was a reminder of old sores: an inability to finish off opponents and the home crowd calling again for the chairman, Robert Chase, to take out his chequebook.

The frustration of the Norwich support was understandable as their side let slip an advantage provided by an outstanding goal. They have now drawn six of their 14 First Division fixtures and have won only once in their last four at home.

Norwich had command of the game early on; they finished the stronger too. Yet in between Tranmere were allowed to get hold of a fluctuating contest and after that they proved difficult to shake off.

The fact that the home side lost their way could be traced to the departure of Ian Crook with a groin strain just past the half hour. With him dictating from a central station and Andy Johnson making forceful runs ahead of him, there looked only one winner between these promotion hopefuls.

Their goal on 11 minutes put the home fans in a sunshine mood. It began deep in the Norwich half when John Aldridge was blocked and the ball spilled out for Darren Eadie to set off on a barnstorming run.

Support came from Johnson and Robert Fleck, and when the ball was returned to him Eadie picked out Johnson and the midfielder, who has been the success of their season so far, steered home a scorching volley for his fifth of the campaign.

It was a breakthrough that underlined the wealth of young talent that promises a more hopeful future around Carrow Road, but in the end young Eadie and Johnson were outshone by Ian Moore, the 19-year-old son of the Tranmere coach, Ronnie.

Smaller and slighter than his father, he has an elusive appreciation of time and space, and before his equaliser had already declared his intent.

Norwich could not complain then that they had not been warned, and paid dearly for allowing him the room to glance home Tony Thomas's right-wing cross a minute into the second half.

"He knows where he is going and of course there is no one better to learn from than Aldridge," the Tranmere manager, John King, said.

It was the youngster's fifth goal in his last four games and there are obviously plenty more to come.

Gary Stevens brought a low save from Bryan Gunn but the final word was almost Norwich's, Eadie demanding a smart stop from Danny Coyne and Johnson wasteful from close-in.

Norwich City (4-4-2): Gunn; Bowen (Polston, 75), Newsome, Prior, Ullathorne; Eadie, Crook (Milligan, 31), Johnson, O'Neill; Ward, Fleck (Akinbiyi, 71).

Tranmere Rovers (4-4-2): Coyne; Thomas, McGreal, Teale, Stevens; Bennett, Jones, Brannan, Nevin; Aldridge, Moore. Substitutes not used: Branch, Garnett, Nixon (gk).

Referee: G Singh (Wolverhampton).