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16:45 3rd January 2015


NORWICH City were knocked out of the FA Cup at the Third Round stage after a 2-0 defeat to Preston North End at Deepdale.

Paul Gallagher struck twice in the second half to earn the home team a victory they deserved on the balance of play after a disappointing performance from the Canaries.

Neil Adams fielded a strong team before kick-off, making four changes from the 2-1 defeat at Reading on Sunday.

Wes Hoolahan returned for his first start since October, and there were also spots for Michael Turner, Ignasi Miquel and Nathan Redmond.

Cameron Jerome (illness) and Lewis Grabban (Achilles) missed out on the matchday squad, but Declan Rudd was on the bench against the team he excelled at on loan last season.

Josh Brownhill forced John Ruddy into his first work of the game on nine minutes, shooting well from range but straight at the Canaries' goalkeeper.

City were neat and tidy in possession but not threatening in the final third until Redmond darted inside from Ruddy's long pass, only to see his cross to the near post hooked away.

Preston threatened from set-pieces but City had their best move of the game on 34 minutes but Thorsten Stuckmann got a palm to Miquel's cross from the left.

The hosts then had two handball appeals, the second of which was successful against Hoolahan but this one was outside the area, and despite Jack King meeting Paul Gallagher's delivery, his header was well wide.

Jonny Howson missed a difficult chance up the other end after Redmond's chipped cross, and that was the last item to report from a quiet opening half of the cup tie.

HALF-TIME: Preston North End 0-0 Norwich City

Bradley Johnson curled a shot over the bar as City broke away five minutes into the second half and they were generally the side on the offensive in the early stages.

Last-ditch challenges from Bennett for Norwich and Bailey Wright for Preston saved their teams before Little nodded over Daniel Buchanan's cross in his last action before being substituted.

Redmond cut in off the right flank to power a left-footed shot just wide on 66 minutes, but the home team were now more than matching the Canaries and Adams introduced Kyle Lafferty for Hooper with 20 minutes left.

Soon after, however, Preston took the lead to the delight of the home crowd. Jack King nodded down a cross to Gallagher, who was free in the box to drill the ball underneath Ruddy and in.

Norwich needed to respond but they were struggling to gather any attacking momentum and Preston put the game to bed with five minutes left on the clock.

Substitute Jermain Beckford won the ball back in City's half, passed to Kyel Reid who in turn played in Gallagher, who was left free to pick his spot beyond Ruddy.

FULL-TIME: Preston North End 2-0 Norwich City

GOALS: Lilywhites: Paul Gallagher (71, 85)

PRESTON NORTH END: Stuckmann, Woods, Wright (c), Huntington, Buchanan, King, Brownhill (Humphrey 63), Browne, Gallagher, Reid (Ebanks-Blake 87), Little (Beckford 63). Subs not used: Jones (GK), Clarke, Kilkenny, K Davies.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, R Bennett, Turner, Miquel (Loza 84); Redmond, Howson, O'Neil, Johnson (c); Hoolahan (Josh Murphy 71); Hooper (Lafferty 69). Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Martin, Garrido, McGrandles.

REFEREE: Stuart Attwell



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