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20:11 21st December 2011


NORWICH City earned another crucial away point with a 2-2 draw with Wolves at Molineux on Tuesday in a thrilling encounter.

Andrew Surman and Simeon Jackson scored for the Canaries, but Paul Lambert's side were twice pegged back by strikes from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Ronald Zubar.

Paul Lambert told Canaries Player afterwards: "It says something about how far we have come that we have had two really tough away games in the space of four days, picked up points in each of them, and left feeling slightly disappointed.

"Tonight I thought we were excellent, especially in the first half-hour, and the build-up and finish for Surman's goal were sublime.

"I was frustrated in those last few minutes because of the way our lads play, they were a bit gung-ho, and sometimes maybe you need to play with your head. But I can not criticise them, they always play to win and they have given me everything over the last two years."

City were again unchanged with leading goalscorer Grant Holt partnering Steve Morison up front.

Andrew Surman and Elliott Bennett returned to their former club - Surman again a starter on the left of the midfield diamond and Bennett on the bench.

Wolves started with top-scorer Steven Fletcher partnering Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, the scorer of a hat-trick the last time the sides met at Molineux in a 3-3 draw, with Irish international Kevin Doyle dropped to the bench.

The Canaries kicked off the game in the green and white of their Errea away kit.

A Stephen Hunt free-kick in the fourth minute led to the first half-chance of the game, his delivery into City's area was controlled by Ebanks-Blake who tried An attempt on goal which Russell Martin did well to block and the visitors cleared their lines.

Four minutes later the Canaries worked the ball out to Hoolahan who cut inside and found Surman on the edge of the Wolves' area, but the midfielder just couldn't dig it out and his effort wasn't strong enough and Hennessey comfortably collected.

On 10 minutes the Welsh stopper was forced to get a touch on the ball from his international team-mate Steve Morison when the City man made a strong burst into the box and put a shot across the goal.

Two minutes later however the ball was in the back of the net through a move started and finished by former Wolves man Surman.

The midfielder combined with Morison who laid it off for Hoolahan, and the Irishman's cross found Surman who'd continued his run into the box, and he placed a lovely header past Hennessey to make it 1-0 to the Canaries.

City were knocking it about nicely with both Morison and Surman looking lively and exploiting space in the channels.

On 22 minutes Wolves' central defenders just managed to get the ball out from under their feet and under pressure from Morison after he was slipped in by a great through ball.

But on 24 minutes the home side had their best chance yet, Ebanks-Blake managed to get in behind the Canary defence, forcing Ruddy to tip away his cross and although it fell to Hunt, the Irishman lifted the rebound high over the bar.

However, the Canaries then had a great chance to make it two, Morison heading a Tierney cross straight at Hennessey.

Hoolahan then had a dipping effort just over the bar from distance after 27 minutes.

Just before the half-hour Ronald Zubar received the first yellow card of the game for a late challenge on Grant Holt, swiftly followed into the referee's notebook by his team-mate Hunt.

With 10 minutes left to the break Ebanks-Blake hit a rasping shot over Ruddy' bar.

But two minutes later Wolves were level through their number 9, Matt Jarvis found space down the left and put in a good cross which found Hunt and although Martin managed to block the Irishman's shot it unluckily broke for Ebanks-Blake who scrambled it home.

Kyle Naughton became the first City player to receive a booking from referee Chris Foy.

On 43 minutes David Fox forced Hennessey into conceding a corner with a great effort which bounced just in front of the 'keeper who had to make sure it went round the post.

Wolves now had more impetus and in injury time Zubar's right-wing cross was almost met at the far post by Steven Fletcher, but the frontman couldn't get the right connection and danger was overted for the Canaries.

Half-time: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Norwich City 1

Three minutes into the half and Fletcher had a curling shot from outside the Canary area which was high over the upright.

On 53 minutes Grant Holt just couldn't get enough on Morison's knock down in the box and from about eight yards and it went straight into the grateful arms of Hennessey.

The hour mark saw Surman test Hennessey again - Morison had worked well down the right and put a low ball into the penalty area, which Holt laid off for the South African who controlled and tried to curl into the corner, but the Welshman denied the midfielder.

Five minutes later a last-ditch tackle from Zubar denied Morison a clear run on goal, the corner delivery was met by Morison at the far post but he was adjudged to have handled the ball and the referee awarded a Wolves free-kick.

The game was opening up and Fletcher quickly responded with a drive just over City's goal.

City were struggling to keep possession and Ruddy was forced into parrying a Matt Jarvis cross to safety with 22 minutes remaining.

At the other end Hoolahan tried from distance and Berra was nearly forced into scoring an own goal when a cross was whipped into his area.

The Canaries went close again twice, firstly Hoolahan had a right-footed shot deflected wide and Martin also had a shot blocked from the resulting corner.

On 75 minutes a double substitution for the Canaries, David Fox and Grant Holt replaced by Bradley Johnson and Simeon Jackson. This was swiftly followed by a change for the hosts, Mick McCarthy bringing on Adam Hammill for Stephen Hunt.

But it was another inspired change by Paul Lambert when Morison squared the ball across the area, and after just two minutes on the pitch, Jackson slotted home his first of the season and the Canaries second of the night to make it 2-1.

And the Canadian international was through on goal again moments later but this time he blazed his effort over under pressure from Berra.

Another change for Wolves came with 10 minutes left, Doyle coming on for the Wolves scorer Ebanks-Blake.

But on 81 the hosts pulled level again, a Matt Jarvis corner powered in by Ronald Zubar to set up a tense finale.

With five minutes left another Wolves corner proved dangerous this time Roger Johnson racing in to head just wide.

Paul Lambert made his final change with three minutes to go, former Wolves man Elliott Bennett coming on for Hoolahan.

And it looked like heart-break for the Canaries when a City attack was broken down and Wolves raced away resulting in Fletcher slotting the ball into the back of the net, but thankfully the assistant referee raised his flag for an offside decision to the relief of the Yellow Army.

Then at the other end Morison found himself one-on-one with Hennessey, but the big stopper did enough and got close enough to block his international colleague's effort. And at the opposite end City's number one was the Canary hero again with a great block at the death to deny Adam Hammill and the hosts a winner.

It proved a dramatic ending to an entertaining game, but it was honours even at Molineux.

Final score: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Norwich City 2

Hennessey, Henry, Ebanks-Blake (Doyle 80), Fletcher, Ward, Hunt (Hammill 75), Johnson (c), Berra, Jarvis, Milijas, Zubar. Subs not used: Elokobi, Stearman, De Vries, Guedioura, Forde.
Ruddy, R Martin, Whitbread, Tierney, Naughton, Crofts, Surman, Hoolahan (Bennett 87), Fox (Johnson 75), Morison, Holt (Jackson 75). Subs not used: Rudd, Barnett, Pilkington, Wilbraham

    Data provided by Press Association


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