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18:34 18th February 2012


THE CANARIES bowed out of the FA Cup in disappointing fashion after losing 2-1 at home to Championship side Leicester City.

The Foxes took an early lead when St Ledger headed home Ben Marshall's corner in only the fifth minute to silence the majority of the 26,658 crowd inside Carrow Road.

City responded well and levelled in the 22nd minute when they were awarded a penalty after Leicester 'keeper Kaspar Schmeichel pushed Elliott Bennett in the back as the two of them contested a high ball into the box.

Up skipped Wes Hoolahan to take the penalty - and though his spot kick was saved well by Schmeichel, the rebound fell kindly for the Irishman to tap home and make the score 1-1.

But David Nugent won the match for Leicester when he latched on to Jermaine Beckford's nod-down in the 71st minute and cut across the edge of the area before firing home a low shot into the corner.

City Manager Paul Lambert told Canaries Player after the match: "If the truth be known, I don't think we did enough to go through.

"We didn't start the game the way we usually do, and got punished at a set piece, but good luck to Leicester in the next round.

"We never got going as much as we'd like to, but to be fair the the players they kept on going and had a few near misses, with shots cleared off the line, but on this given day we couldn't go through to the next round."

Before the game Lambert made several changes to the team which beat Swansea 3-2 in the Barclays Premier League last weekend but it was still a strong squad due to the quality of the replacements called in.

Jed Steer returned in goal following his heroics in the fourth round at West Brom, with a centre-back pairing of Elliott Ward and Leon Barnett supported by Russ Martin and Adam Drury at right and left-back respectively. An attacking midfield featured

David Fox and Wes Hoolahan in the centre, with Elliott Bennett and Anthony Pilkington getting forward on the flanks.

Up front Grant Holt was rested from the squad so Steve Morison came into the attack to partner Canadian international Siemon Jackson.

Norwich made a bright start to the match, with Morison skying a shot over from 16 yards in only the second minute after he was teed up by Bennett.

But Leicester hit back and forced a succession of corners before stunning the majority of the large Carrow Road crowd by taking the lead in the fifth minute. It came when Marshall's flag kick west met by Sean St Ledger with a glancing header into the corner which gave Steer no chance.

The Canaries were rocked back on their heels although Simeon Jackson was only denied an equaliser by a great sliding block after good work from Adam Drury to set him up in the tenth minute.

Norwich stuck to their task and were eventually rewarded when they levelled the game in the 22nd minute. A high looping ball was dropping into the Leicester box and Foxes 'keeper Kasper Schmeichel pushed Bennett in the back.

Referee Mike Dean had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and although skipper-for the day Wes Hoolahan's first effort was brilliantly saved by Schmeichel, the rebound fell straight to the Irishman and he calmly side-footed home.

Just after the half-hour Norwich were counting themselves fortunate not to behind again however, Morgan's backheel from Marshall's corner striking Elliott Ward on the goal-line. Leicester were convinced Ward had been standing behind the line and that the ball had crossed - the referee did not agree.

As the half drew to a close the tempo increased, Norwich carving out two good chances in quick succession as first Barnett's header was saved and then Morison nodded Martin's cross over the bar.

Norwich City 1, Leicester City 1

After the break both sides made a lively start and it was Norwich who came close to taking the lead when Barnett's effort from Fox's corner was hacked off the line by Kennedy in the 53rd minute.

Just after the hour Barnett went close again for the Canaries, heading just wide of the post from a corner by Fox.

In the 63rd minute Lambert made a double substitution, Wilbraham coming on for Morison and James Vaughan getting a warm ovation as he made his return to first team action, replacing Jackson. Leicester responded with a double change of their own, Delfouneso and Konchesky coming on for Marshall and Kennedy.

It was the Foxes who regained the initiative in the 71st minute, Nugent collecting Beckford's nod down and then beating Barnett on the edge of the area before calmly slotting past Steer to make it 2-1.

Lambert made his final substitution with 12 minutes left, Bradley Johnson coming on for David Fox in midfield.

As the game ticked into the final minutes Beckford thundered a shot against the angle of post and bar for the visitors, while at the other end Wilbraham jinked his way into the box and his low shot was palmed away at full stretch by Schmeichel, Vaughan just unable to turn the rebound home.

Norwich City 1, Leicester City 2

Norwich City:
Steer, Martin, Drury, Morison (Wilbraham 63), Jackson (Vaughan 63), Pilkington, Hoolahan (c), Fox (Johnson 78), Bennett, Barnett, Ward.
Subs not used:
Ruddy, Crofts, Surman, Lappin.
Leicester City:
Schmeichel, Peltier, Dyer, St Ledger, Wellens (c), Beckford, Marshall (Delfouneso 66), Danns, Morgan, Kennedy (Konchesky 66), Nugent.
Subs not used:
Smith, Mills, Howard, Moussa, Hopper.

Mike Dean

    Data provided by Press Association


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