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18:38 14th January 2012


TWO goals on the counter-attack by Andrew Surman and Steve Morison saw City past West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at the Hawthorns.

City survived some strong West Brom pressure during the first half, but countered on 44 minutes and Wes Hoolahan's teasing ball was hit first-time on the volley by Surman to put the visitors into a 1-0 lead at the break.

The Canaries performed better in the second half and again withstood what the Baggies had to throw at them until the 68th minute, when Jerome Young was brought down by Daniel Ayala and referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot. Substitute Shane Long stepped up and put the home side level going into the final minutes of the game.

But it was the Canaries who took the spoils 11 minutes from time, as breaking from defence substitute Grant Holt pin-pointed Morison lurking at the back post who headed home past Ben Foster for his eighth Barclays Premier League goal of the season.

Speaking after the game City boss Paul Lambert said: "To get any wins away from home in the Barclays Premier League is incredibly tough.

"We defended resolutely when we had to and we were really strong when West Brom put us under pressure. But I think we are always a threat and I've got nothing but praise for the lads."

Lambert made five changes to the side that beat Burnley in their FA Cup Third Round tie at Carrow Road last Saturday.

John Ruddy, Steve Morison, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington and Kyle Naughton returned to the starting line-up, whilst one of last week's scorers Grant Holt dropped to the bench with Crofts, Drury and Fox. Goalkeeper Jed Steer was named on the bench after Declan Rudd picked up an ankle injury in training.

On six minutes West Brom had the opening chance of the game when Peter Odemwingie let fly at goal and John Ruddy did well to get a hand to it as the ball flew up and off the crossbar for a corner.

The Canaries had shown some nice touches early on through Naughton and Hoolahan on the left and it was down this side that the visitors won their first corner of the game, but unfortunately Surman's delivery was cut out easily by the Baggies' defence.

On 11 minutes Ben Foster's clearance caught Morison and it rebounded off the City striker and dribbled agonisingly towards the goal but just clipped the base of the post and away for a goal kick.

Odemwingie was proving a threat and Ruddy was forced to parry his dangerous near-post cross.

On 21 minutes the Canaries created a nice opening when Pilkington's cross from the right was met by Jackson in the area but his first time effort was high over the bar. This was swiftly followed by a chance for the Baggies at the other end - Ruddy called into action again to deny Simon Cox a clear opportunity.

Soon afterwards the Canaries defended a West Brom attack and then broke themselves with Kyle Naughton driving forward. His pass saw Jackson nip in front of Dawson but the defender just got a leg out to deny the Canadian an opening and concede the corner.

The home side went close moments later when firstly Steve Morison had to head clear a corner, and then Andrew Surmam was forced into a goal-line clearance from James Morrison's drive from outside the box.

City were finding it difficult to retain possession and Jerome Thomas was denied a shot on goal through a great block from Zak Whitbread.

Six minutes before the break the Canaries did make it out of their half and attacked down the left where Pilkington's delivery found Morison at the far post, but the striker could not hit the target under pressure from Shorey.

A minute before the break however, it was the visitors who took the lead - Pilkington's searching pass out of defence was controlled well by Jackson, who waited and laid it back for Hoolahan and when the Irishman's cross into the box found Surman in space, his first-time left-foot volley whistled swiftly past Foster.

: West Bromwich Albion 0, Norwich City 1

Four minutes in and the Canaries couldn't quite dig out a shooting opportunity through either Jackson or Surman, who tried to work Morison's dangerous knock down in the box.

Surman's corner delivery on 51 minutes also caused the Baggies' defence problems but they managed to eventually clear and then worked themselves a couple of long-range
shots which were high over Ruddy's bar.

Just before the hour Naughton made a great run down the left and played in Surman but the midfielder's cross-shot wasn't strong enough and Foster stepped up to claim the ball.

Roy Hodgson made two substitutions on 63 minutes replacing Odemwingie and Scharner with Shane Long and Graham Dorrans.

The Irishman made an immediate impact forcing Ruddy into a low save and then Whitbread denied Cox at the far post, who was following up on the rebound.

The home side were given a way back into the game on 68 minutes, when referee Mike Dean awarded them a penalty feeling Daniel Ayala got more of Jerome Thomas than the ball, booking the Spaniard and pointing to the spot. Long stepped up and dinked the ball to Ruddy's left pulling the Baggies level.

Lambert responded with a double substitution of his own, Andrew Crofts and Grant Holt coming on for Pilkington and Jackson.

Bradley Johnson had a shot deflected over the bar after he'd picked up a loose ball from outside the area on 72 minutes.

West Brom's last substitution of the game came on 76 minutes when Fortune replaced Thomas.

The Baggies continued to pressurise and they went very close when Dawson headed a corner delivery straight into the arms of John Ruddy.

But again on the counter-attack the Canaries drove forward this time through Club captain Holt and his left-footed delivery to the back stick found the waiting Morison who headed home. Ben Foster in goal for West Brom got a hand to Morison's effort but could not stop it crossing the line.

City's final substitution was made with 10 minutes left David Fox coming on for Johnson in midfield.

The Canaries worked hard during the closing stages with both Holt and Morison keeping the West Brom defence occupied working the balls into the corners and the team saw the game out to secure three vital away points.

Final score
: West Bromwich Albion 1, Norwich City 2

: Foster, Morrison, Thomas (Fortune 76), Reyes, Shorey (c), Mulumbu, McAuley, Odemwingie (Long 63) Dawson, Cox, Scharner (Dorans 63). Subs not used: Fulop, Mattock, Thorne, Tamas.
: Ruddy, Martin, Johnson (Fox 80), Morison, Whitbread, Jackson (Holt 68), Surman, Pilkington (Crofts 68), Hoolahan (c), Naughton, Ayala. Subs not used: Steer, Drury, Bennett, Wilbraham.


Mike Dean

    Data provided by Press Association


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