Canaries back to winning ways in FA Cup
GOALS from Elliott Bennett, Simeon Jackson and Robert Snodgrass saw the Canaries comfortably through to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 victory over Peterborough United at London Road.
Bennett registered his first of the season on 30 minutes after good work by Snodgrass saw him cut inside the area. And the Canaries were 2-0 up four minutes before the break when Jackson raced on to a David Fox pass to loft it over Posh ‘keeper Bobby Olejnik.
Snodgrass capped off a great performance and effectively put City in the next round of the competition with his 70th minute goal.
City boss Chris Hughton said: “We approached the game in the right manner having made quite a few changes. All of those changes were excellent for us today.
“I felt that if we got that first goal we’d make things comfortable for ourselves after that and we did. Irrespective of their league position, Peterborough are a club that do exceptionally well, and they’re on a really good run at the moment. They’re a team playing with confidence.
“We set out stall out well and I was really delighted with that. We look for a home tie next or somewhere as local as here, it was like a home game for us today and we gave the fans something to cheer about.”
Hughton made eight changes from the New Year’s Day trip to West Ham. Former Posh players Russell Martin and Ryan Bennett were the only remaining members of City’s back four from Tuesday’s game, with Declan Rudd, Leon Barnett and Marc Tierney coming in.
Returning from a loan spell with Cardiff City Simon Lappin started in midfield with David Fox and Bradley Johnson - the midfielder having served his one-game suspension.
With Grant Holt and Steve Morison still absent with injury, Simeon Jackson was preferred over young Spurs’ striker Harry Kane who was named on the bench.
In the opening two minutes City worked themselves an opportunity down the right - Russell Martin playing the ball down the line and Jackson getting ahead of his marker to play the ball across the area, unfortunately Elliott Bennett wasn’t quite far enough forward to connect - and it ran out to the far side.
However, Posh responded with a shot from Joe Newell just deflecting off Ryan Bennett and whistling past the post for a corner.
In the eighth minute the Canaries won a flag-kick - Barnett rising to head Snodgrass’ delivery but it was too high over the bar.
Three minutes later City had another set-piece opportunity when they were awarded a free-kick far left - Snodgrass whipped the ball in and found Johnson but he couldn’t keep his header down.
Posh goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik had to be alert to prevent Snodgrass capitalising on a good Elliott Bennett cross from the left.
The first booking of the game came on 16 minutes for Michael Bostwick who clipped Jackson preventing the Canadian from evading him and escaping down the wing.
Olejnik was forced to tip over Elliott Bennett’s drive after the City man turned inside and had a go from just outside the area.
On the half hour though the Canaries did take the lead through Elliott Bennett after some good work by Snodgrass - the Scot gathering the ball on the right and cutting inside the penalty area to lay the ball off in the danger zone, Bennett digging it out and hitting it past Olejnik for 1-0.
With four minutes of the half to play the visitors extended their lead through Jackson. David Fox played in the Canadian with a great ball which took out the Posh defence and with only the ‘keeper to beat he lobbed the ball over the advancing Olejnik to double City’s advantage.
Snodgrass also had a free-kick tipped over the bar in first-half injury time just as the whistle blew.
Half-time: Peterborough United 0, Norwich City 2
No change for the Canaries at the break, with Posh bringing on Nicky Ajose for Knight-Percival.
Five minutes in and Russ Martin made a strong run down the right putting the ball into the box, which Posh could only clear to Snodgrass who placed his shot just wide of the post.
Darren Ferguson made his final change after 54 minutes, Danny Swanson replaced by Grant McCann.
City were finding space down the right - Martin looking to turn provider again with a cross for Elliott Bennett in the box - the winger just unable to connect enough to steer it past the ‘keeper.
A rare Posh opportunity came on 57 minutes Jaanai Gordon with a wayward shot over Declan Rudd’s goal.
Johnson had a dig from distance on 62 minutes which unfortunately he placed just the wrong side of the post.
On 70 minutes Snodgrass made it 3-0 when he took hold of an Elliott Bennett through pass and placed his low shot under Olejnik to the delight of the large travelling army in the terrace behind.
Two minutes later came City’s first change, Snodgrass replaced by Jacob Butterfield having returned from his loan spell with Bolton Wanderers.
The third goal effectively ended the game as a contest with little created by either side for the remainder of the game - Martin seeing out a searching Ajose cross and the Posh defence keeping it tight.
A challenge on fellow skipper Tommy Rowe far right saw Russell Martin in the referee’s notebook with four minutes left. The resulting free-kick saw Rudd have to make his first save of the game - a comfortable collect from a Bostwick header.
Final score: Peterborough United 0, Norwich City 3
Peterborough United: Olejnik, Alcock (Gordon 34), Brisley, Bostwick, Swanson (McCann 54), Boyd, Rowe (c), Newell, Ferdinand, Little, Knight-Percival (Ajose 46). Subs not used: Day, Clarke-Harris, Sage, Richens.
Norwich City: Rudd, R. Martin, Johnson, Snodgrass (Butterfield 72), Jackson, Fox, E. Bennett, Barnett, Tierney, R. Bennett, Lappin. Subs not used: Steer, Pilkington, Garrido, Ward, Tettey, Kane.