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17:02 7th May 2011


CITY'S amazing season ended with a giant party before, during and after their 2-2 draw with Coventry City in the last game of the 2010-11 campaign.

A day for the Yellow Army to celebrate promotion to the Premier League turned out to be one to cherish in the memory forever, with events on the pitch something of a sideshow - though an entertaining one for all that.

After a goalless first half, visitors Coventry took the lead after Chris Hussey bundled the ball home from close range following a chaotic scramble in the Norwich six-yard box.

But Grant Holt celebrated his second successive Anglian Home Improvements Player of the Year award with a thumping header to equalise, with his 23rd goal of the season.

Substitutes Henri Lansbury and Dani Pacheco then combined to craft a goal of Premier League quality, the Spaniard netting after twisting and turning in the box.

The Sky Blues equalised through Jutkiewicz to claim a share of the spoils, though it meant not a jot to the Yellow Army who celebrated the presentation of ther npower Championship runners-up trophy in style.

The amazing atmosphere pre-match was boosted further with the announcement of the top three in this year's Anglian Home Improvements Player of the Season award.

In third place was mercurial Irish playmaker Wes Hoolahan, while Russell Martin's awesome season earned him runners-up position. But the winner of the Barry Butler Trophy for the second consecutive season was talismanic skipper Grant Holt, whose 22 goals this season follow his 30-goal haul in the last campaign.

In bright sunshine and a sea of yellow and green around the stadium, the game got underway against a thunderous backdrop of 25,000 clap-bangers handed out to the Yellow Army before the game, kindly sponsored by Aviva.

Both sides started brightly but it was Coventry who carved out the first chance of the match, Hussey's smart effort forcing Ruddy to dive to his left and palm the shot away.

Two minutes later Hoolahan surged forward with the ball towards the edge of the Coventry box but could only drag his left-foot shot wide of the far post.

Defender Zak Whitbread had two attempts in the space of 60 seconds in the 14th minute, first his header being blocked on the line and then in the next attack attempting a spectacular overhead kick which flew well over.

Holt met Surman's corner in the 21st minute with a firm header which zipped just over the bar - had it been on target Quirke would have been severely tested in the Coventry goal.

The game entered a quite phase but City created the next chant of note, Holt's diving header from Tierney's excellent cross striking the legs of diving Coventry 'keeper Quirke in the 41st minute.

Half-time: Norwich City 0, Coventry City 0

Both sides emerged looking to play passing football after the break but it was Coventry who took the lead in the 53rd minute, Richard Keogh bundling the ball home after an almight scramble in the Norwich box which saw the ball strike the post before bouncing around like a pinball then falling to the Coventry defender.

But the lead lasted just over three minutes as who else but Holt quickly brought the scores level with a towering header from Tierney's cross which gave Quirke no chance.

Lambert then made two substitutions in quick succession, Holt and Surman each receiving huge ovations as they were replaced by loan stars Dani Pacheco.

And it wasn't long before the two youngsters combined to put Norwich in front with a lovely goal, Lansbury's reverse pass picking out Pacheco and the Spaniard twisting and turning before lashing the ball home from 16 yards.

Back came the visitors to level the match again as Jutkiewicz ended an incisive break by the Sky Blues to slide the ball home from close range past Ruddy.

In the 67th minute Norwich nearly regained the initiative when Pacheco's 25-yard free-kick crashed against the bar and Whitbread stabbed the rebound wide of the post with the goal gaping.

Two minutes later Jackson darted into the Coventry box after robbing a defender - but his driven effort was deflected narrowly wide.

The last remaining member of our 2004-05 Premier League side, Adam Drury, got a huge welcome as he came on in the 73rd minute to replace the excellent Tierney.

The lively Pacheco teed up Hoolahan with a neat pass inside the box in the 83rd minute, but the Irishman sliced his first-time effort wide of the near post.

As the game entered injury time a low ball into the box from Crofts was met with a diving header from Lansbury but deflected narrowly behind off a defender.

FULL TIME: Norwich City 2, Coventry City 2

    Data provided by Press Association


    Did you know Norwich City Football Club have appeared in three Wembley cup finals?