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Match Reports

Norwich City v Brighton & Hove Albion

22 November 2014


NORWICH CITY and Brighton shared the spoils after a six-goal thriller finished 3-3 at Carrow Road.

Both teams led in an extraordinary game but it was Gary Hooper who earned the Canaries a point five minutes from time with his first goal of the season.

Bruno headed Brighton into a first-half lead shortly before Jonny Howson grabbed his second strike in as many games after an excellent interchange with Nathan Redmond.

Russell Martin's piledriver - on his 200th appearance for the Club - edged City in front but Brighton responded in gutsy fashion as Kazenga LuaLua levelled and Adrian Colunga gave them the lead from the spot.

City pushed everyone forward in a desperate attempt to earn a reward, and Hooper's expert control and finish yielded the equaliser.

Bradley Johnson was sent off in the final moments for picking up a second yellow card, and the result means Norwich have now picked up just one win in nine in the league.

Neil Adams made two changes from their late defeat at Nottingham Forest, as Jos Hooiveld returned for his first start since October 4, replacing Carlos Cuellar, and Redmond came in to the team at Gary O'Neil's expense.

Goalkeeper David Stockdale recovered from a finger injury to make Sami Hyypia's eleven in one of five alterations from their 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers prior to the international break.

Martin Olsson and Kazenga LuaLua ensured early work for Stockdale and John Ruddy, yet neither side took a grip on the game in the opening stages.

Progress was halted for treatment for City pair Alex Tettey and Hooiveld, and the hosts were struggling to gather momentum and Brighton punished them just after the half hour mark.

Moments after Gary Gardner had swung a free-kick narrowly wide, some excellent work from Adrian Colunga - a cut inside and a precise floated cross - saw full-back Bruno power a header beyond Ruddy.

Lewis Grabban's shot from distance signalled City's intent to peg their opponents back immediately, and they did just that on 38 minutes through Howson.

The stylish midfielder carried the ball into the final third and passed to Redmond on the right, and the winger skipped past Joe Bennett and crossed for Howson, who had charged into the box to meet the delivery and make a header that Stockdale got a hand to but couldn't keep out.

Neil Adams' men finished the half on the front foot and had a penalty appeal rejected when the influential Cameron Jerome was bundled over by Gordon Greer, a minute after the defender had blocked Jerome's shot.

There was still time for Howson to have another shot at goal, but this time he scooped his effort over the bar after the ball fell nicely to him on the edge of the box, and the whistle came to close an evenly-contested 45 minutes.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Neither the teams or the crowd had settled back into the game when, on 49 minutes, Martin marked his 200th appearance for the Canaries with a wonder strike to give them the lead.

Howson's corner spilled out to Martin 35 yards from goal, and the right-back unleased a first-time shot that flew into the top corner beyond Stockdale, stunning the home supporters and his teammates.

City were buoyed and Jerome should have added a third when he headed Redmond's cross over the bar after losing Greer, before Johnson charged through and forced a stop from Stockdale.

Brighton rallied and Sam Baldock should have done better when presented with a chance from Colunga's cross, but his header was straight at a grateful Ruddy.

Then, on 66 minutes, they were level through LuaLua. The impressive wideman was afforded too much space on the left side of the box, and he cut inside Howson before finishing into the far corner.

Norwich went back on the front foot with Martin and Redmond have attempts but Brighton were offered the chance of taking the lead 13 minutes from the end when they awarded a penalty.

Hooiveld was adjudged to have tripped Baldock, and Colunga calmly slotted the penalty home to the turn the contest around in favour of the Seagulls.

Hooiveld was immediately withdrawn so Gary Hooper could be added to the attacking line, but it was Howson who saw a half volley fly over the bar as the match entered the final ten minutes.

Hooper, however, wasn't to be kept out of the action and with five minutes left, he controlled expertly in the box and drilled the ball low, first-time into the net, leaving Stockdale no chance.

In the frenetic final moments, City saw Johnson sent off for a second bookable offence when he tripped a running Gardner, and the final whistle blew on an extraordinary second half.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 3-3 Brighton & Hove Albion

GOALS: Canaries: Jonny Howson (38), Russell Martin (49), Gary Hooper (85) - Seagulls: Bruno (33), Kazenga LuaLua (66), Adrian Colunga (pen 77)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Martin (c), Turner, Hooiveld (Hooper 78), Olsson; Redmond, Howson, Tettey, Johnson; Jerome (O'Neil 90), Grabban (Lafferty 82). Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Whittaker, Cuellar, Murphy.

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION: Stockdale; Bruno (Calderon 70), Greer (c), Hughes, J.Bennett; Ince, Forster-Caskey, LuaLua, Gardner; Colunga (Halford 84), Baldock. Subs not used: Walton (GK), Holla, Teixeira, McCourt, Mackail-Smith.

REFEREE: Mr G Eltringham


Reading - Saturday 29 November, 3pm

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