Frustrating afternoon ends in goalless draw at Carrow Road
A FRUSTRATING afternoon for the Canaries saw them held to a goalless draw by Newcastle United at Carrow Road.
A very dull first half saw both sides short on quality in the final third with chances few and far between.
There was a slight improvement by City after the break, with Russ Martin hitting the post and Pilkington going close with the last action of the half.
After the game Chris Hughton said: "It was a frustrating game. That's what you get when you play these sort of games, we're up against a side that offensively are very good. They always score goals so we know we needed to be good defensively and I'm delighted with how good we were at the back.
"What's frustrating is that when you get into those good areas and don't get the delivery right it can be one of those games. There were just a few moments on the break when we were three versus two, or had a man over, that the final ball just needed to be that little bit better.
"They played quite a high line in that second half and on numerous occasions it looked like we'd got someone in behind the defence, but it just didn't happen for us today."
Before the match Hughton opted to play Simeon Jackson in the loan striker role, with Grant Holt taking up a place on the bench.
After a tentative start to the game by both sides the first real chance didn’t arrive until the 17th minute, when Obertan’s snapshot for the visitors was parried clear by Bunn.
At the other end three minutes later City had a four-on-two break, but Hoolahan elected to take a touch when played in by Jackson and Newcastle were able to get a vital foot in to clear the danger.
Neither side could find the quality in the final third to pose any kind of serious threat and after an uninspiring 45 minutes the sides went into the break all square.
Half-time: Norwich City 0, Newcastle United 0
The first ten minutes of the second half failed to produce any improvement in terms of goalmouth action and on 56 minutes Pardew made a change for United, bringing on Cabaye for Obertan.
As the game passed the hour-mark Pilkington blazed one over the bar for Norwich while Marveaux responded in kind at the other end for the visitors.
On 66 minutes we came the closest yet to a goal as Russell Martin tried his luck with a 25-yard half-volley which beat Krul but bounced off the upright and behind.
The Canaries made their first change on 67 minutes, Grant Holt replacing Jackson in a straight swap up front.
As we entered the last quarter-of-an-hour of the match Pilkington cut inside his marker and forced a smart reaction save from Krul and then Johnson lifted the rebound well over from the edge of the box.
City made their second change on 76 minutes as Elliott Bennett replaced Snodgrass on the right flank.
The game’s first booking arrived in the 83rd minute, Debuchy shown the yellow card for a foul on Pilkington.
Right at the death in the third minute of injury time Holt headed Bennett’s cross back towards the far post where Pilkington at full stretch could only head it over the bar.
Final score: Norwich City 0, Newcastle United 0
Norwich City: Bunn, Martin (c), Johnson, Bassong, Turner, Snodgrass (E.Bennett 76), Jackson (Holt 67), Pilkington, Hoolahan, Garrido, Tettey. Subs not used: Rudd, Fox, Barnett, R.Bennett, Kane.
Newcastle United: Krul, Coloccini (c), Santon, Williamson, Anita (Bigirimana 83), Cisse, Perch, Gutierrez, Marveaux, Obertan (Cabaye 56), Debuchy. Subs not used: Harper, Amalfitano, Ameobi, Ranger, Tavernier.
Referee: Anthony Taylor