CITY 1, DONCASTER 0
A CLASSY debut strike from Norwegian international Alexander Tettey proved enough for City to ease past Doncaster Rovers and book a Capital One Cup Fourth Round clash at home to Tottenham.
Man-of-the-match Tettey controlled the ball outside the area and fired home in off the post to mark an impressive first City appearance with the winner in the 26th minute.
City will now face manager Chris Hughton’s former Club Spurs at Carrow Road in the fourth round, with the game to be played during the week commencing October 29.
Hughton told Canaries Player: "I’m delighted. I thought we made a little bit hard work of it because we had some good chances in that first half period, but we were up against a very determined Doncaster Rovers side that wanted to come away with something.
"They made it difficult for us, got bodies back behind the ball, and maybe we needed to get in to a few better positions. We had a few chances before half time, that if converted would have given us a real lift, but the objective was to give players valuable time on the football pitch, and to come away winners, and we’ve managed to do both of them."
Tettey's impressive strike broke the deadlock and Hughton was pleased with the Norwegian international's debut: "At that stage it was going to need something special, because they put bodies behind the ball and they defended well. It has been difficult for him because he’s been away on international duty. To get 90 minutes was important for him, and to get the goal was nice."
As expected Hughton rang the changes before the game, with no less than four new signings in the side and three of them making their Canary debuts since joining in the summer transfer window.
Mark Bunn started in goal, with a back four in front of him of Marc Tierney on the left, Elliott Ward and Ryan Bennett in the middle and Elliott Bennett filling in at right-back.
In the centre of the park Norwegian international Alex Tettey made his first start as did attacking midfielder Jacob Butterfield. Also in an attacking midfield was Chris Martin, with David Fox completing the quartet.
Finally up front there was a first outing as a strike partnership for Grant Holt and on-loan Spurs youngster Harry Kane.
Before the game kicked off both sets of supporters stood for an impeccably-observed minute’s silence in memory of former Canary manager John Bond, who died earlier in the day at the age of 79.
Once the game got underway City started brightly and went close after just two minutes when Kane controlled well before drilling an angled shot just wide of the far post.
Ten minutes later Rovers went close at the other end, Blake’s bouncing shot forcing Bunn into a smart save to his right to tip the ball behind.
The Canaries then had two great chances as the game reached the quarter-hour, first Kane’s effort blocked after Woods made a weak punch and then Tierney’s dipping effort touched on to the bar as the Rovers ‘keeper redeemed himself.
In the 21st minute Cotterill fired just wide for the visitors while two minutes later a flowing City move involving Kane and Butterfield ended when Holt cut back on to his left foot and hit a low shot just wide of the post.
But City did take the lead with an emphatic strike on his debut from Tettey in the 26th minute, great work from Holt on the left-hand touchline freeing up the Norwegian international to take a touch before crashing a great effort in off the post from 22 yards.
Right on the stroke of half-time City could and perhaps should have doubled their lead when Chris Martin’s excellent chip gave Ward a free header, only for McCombe to block it on the line for Rovers.
Half-time: Norwich City 1, Doncaster Rovers 0
Within minutes of the restart there was a blow for City as Harry Kane went down in the Rovers box and was stretchered off, to be replaced by Simeon Jackson.
In the 53rd minute Rovers ‘keeper Woods made a fine double save to deny first Holt and then Jackson on the follow-up.
Rovers made their second change three minutes later as former Canary striker Chris Brown replaced Robbie Blake. And on the hour-mark Kyle Bennett came on to oppose his brother Elliott as he replaced Spurr for the visitors.
With 20 minutes left City made their second substitution, Hoolahan coming on for Chris Martin.
Two minutes later a looping cross from Elliott Ward bounced to Holt but his diving header was clawed away brilliantly by Woods.
In the 75th minute a classy Norwich break saw Hoolahan control the ball and beat his markers superbly to find Holt, who in turn played a clever ball in behind the defence for Jackson to run on to. The Canadian striker managed to round Woods but fired into the side-netting from a tight angle.
City looked in control but were nearly caught out in the 88th minute when an excellent low ball into the six-yard box from Husband found Cotterill but he couldn’t connect cleanly with the goal at his mercy.
Final score: Norwich City 1, Doncaster Rovers 0
City: Bunn, Holt (c), Fox, E.Bennett, Butterfield, Ward, Tierney, R.Bennett, Martin (Hoolahan 70), Tettey, Kane (Jackson 49). Subs not used: Rudd, Turner, Morison, Barnett, Murphy.
Rovers: G.Woods, Quinn, Husband, Martis, M.Woods (Syers 50), Blake (Brown 56), Cotterill, Spurr (K.Bennett 61), McCombe (c), Hume, Harper. Subs not used: Maxted, Jones, Middleton, Keegan.
Referee: Darren Deadman