NEVER-SAY DIE Norwich snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they bounced back from behind to clinch a dramatic Barclays Premier League triumph over Everton at Carrow Road.
The Toffees looked to be home and hosed as they led 1-0 with just six minutes of the game remaining, thanks to Leon Osman’s first-half header.
But the introduction of Kei Kamara into the Norwich attack in the second half was to prove a pivotal moment in the match.
Kamara’s arrival injected energy into the home crowd and team alike – and it was the on-loan Sporting Kansas City striker who equalised for City in the 84th minute.
It was Kamara’s first goal for Norwich and the first scored by a player from Sierra Leone in the history of the Premier League.
City may have been forgiven for settling for a point at that stage but the players were having none of it – and skipper Grant Holt claimed three precious points with virtually the last kick of the game, stabbing home from close range to raise the roof at Carrow Road.
After the game City boss Chris Huhgton told Canaries Player: "The adrenaline is still flowing at the moment but that's only normal when you win it so late in the game. I don't think it was anything short of what we deserved. We certainly didn't deserve to be one down at half-time.
"I thought their first was a bit unjust on us and we had to make sure that we came out in the second half still with that belief in our game. I thought we did, Everton are a very good side and to get the late winner is always a bit special."
On Holt's winner he added: "I'm pleased for him. He is our captain, he drives this team on. In that type of atmosphere there is no-one better to lead your line than Holty."
City carved out the game’s first chance, Snodgrass with a shot on the turn from nine yards out which deflected off Distin and inches over the Everton bar in the fifth minute.
Everton responded with two moments of threat in the next two attacks, first Bunn tipping away a dangerous ball into the box from Coleman and then the City ‘keeper saving well from Jelavic.
The game settled into a less lively pace, although Turner had to produce an excellent sliding block to deny Fellaini on the edge of the area.
On the half-hour Fellaini and Johnson were involved in a tussle which ended up with Norwich being awarded a free-kick and Fellaini leaving the field with a cut leg and a sense of injustice.
City had a half-chance a few minutes later when Holt powered through the defence only to see his low shot gathered at the second attempt by Howard in the Everton goal.
But it was the visitors who were celebrating in the 40th minute, when slightly against the run of play they took the lead. As Baines sent in a cross from the left the City defence seemed to be concentrating their efforts on denying Jelavic – allowing Osman to sneak in and head home unmarked.
The Canaries tried to respond before the break, but Howson’s half-volley was deflected behind and the Toffees held on to go into half-time leading 1-0.
: Norwich City 0, Everton 1
Play started evenly after the break although Everton were looking increasingly comfortable in possession.
In the 54th minute City skipper Holt was somewhat harshly booked for a tug on Coleman on the right touchline.
Three minutes later and with City increasingly on the back foot, Hughton made a change, bringing on Kei Kamara for Becchio in attack.
And the on-loan striker nearly made an instant impact, forcing Howard into a diving save with an acrobatic half-volley in the 59th minute.
Kamara’s arrival had lifted both the team and the home crowd and he went close again in the 67th minute, heading inches wide of the post from Hoolahan’s cross.
At the other end Gibson curled an effort narrowly over the bar from 16 yards as the visitors looked to kill the game with a second goal.
Norwich made another change in the 72nd minute, Anthony Pilkington coming on for Wes Hoolahan. Five minutes later Everton made their first change as Mirallis came on for Jelavic.
But the substitute who had made the biggest difference to the game so far made an even bigger one in the 84th minute, as Kamara powered home an unstoppable header from a Snodgrass corner to equalise for City.
City thought their chances of snatching a winner in injury time had been thwarted when Distin prioduced another great block to deny Grant Holt from close range.
But in the dying seconds of the game Carrow Road erupted as Holt stabbed home the all-important goal from close range after Bassong nodded down a cross from Snodgrass.
: Norwich City 2, Everton 1
: Bunn, Martin, Johnson, Bassong, Turner, Snodgrass, Howson, Holt (c), Hoolahan (Pilkington 72), Garrido, Becchio (Kamara 57). Subs not used: Camp, Whittaker, Fox, E.Bennett, R.Bennett.
: Howard, Baines, Gibson, Jagielka (c), Jelavic (Mirallis 77), Naismith, Distin, Osman, Pienaar, Coleman, Fellaini. Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Neville, Duffy.
Referee: Lee Mason