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Match Reports

Norwich City v Sheffield Wednesday

6 April 2015


NORWICH City moved into the Sky Bet Championship automatic promotion places with a convincing 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road.

Bradley Johnson's first half brace, his 12th and 13th goals of the campaign, completed a perfect Easter weekend for Alex Neil's men as they kept on track for an immediate return to the Premier League.

The Canaries' performance, especially in the first half, was one befitting of a promotion-chasing team as they dominated their opponents.

With five matches left, they occupy second place in the division, ahead of Watford on goal difference and one point behind leaders Bournemouth.

Neil named the same team for the third match in a row as City chased their third victory on the spin.

Ryan Bennett returned to the bench in place of Carlos Cuellar. Nathan Redmond, who created the winning goal at Brighton on Good Friday, had to settle for a place alongside him, while Luciano Becchio also took his place among the substitutes at the expense of Jamar Loza.

Wednesday made three changes from their 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

With stakes high in the Sky Bet Championship promotion race, City produced one of their best 45 minute spells of the season in the first half.

After an even start to the contest, appeals for a penalty after Cameron Jerome's tumble seemed to increase the atmosphere around Carrow Road and the team responded.

Following a run of three corners in three minutes, Keiren Westwood was called into action for the first time when he pushed Alex Tettey's half volley away on 11 minutes.

Wednesday then had a five-minute spell of their own that yielded two chances - first Lloyd Isgrove flashed a shot across John Ruddy's goal, then Caolan Lavery guided a header wide from Chris Maguire's cross.

From then on, however, City took complete control with a brand of aggressive yet easy-on-the-eye football which overrode their opponents.

The impressive Steven Whittaker fired over under pressure, but it wasn't to be long before a familiar scorer broke the deadlock.

Whittaker battled for possession on the right-side of the area, and the ball looped up towards the back-post where Johnson was waiting to challenge Marnick Vermijl.

There was no contest as Johnson leapt a foot above his marker to nod the ball beyond Westwood and in off the post for his 12th goal of a magnificent season.

The Canaries were relentless, and although Westwood got a strong hand to Graham Dorrans' effort on 38 minutes, the second goal before half-time seemed inevitable.

Johnson was the man in the right place again, firing home the loose ball in the box after the visitors had only partially defended Dorrans' corner, and City took a comfortable lead into the break.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Owls' boss Stuart Gray responded at half-time by making a double change, with Atdhe Nuhiu and Lewis Buxton taking to the field.

City earned a free-kick 25 yards from goal four minutes into the second half, yet this time Westwood was equal to Johnson's deflected strike.

Johnson was then centre of attention once again, but this time for the wrong reasons.

The midfielder had received some treatment off the pitch for a facial injury, but then returned to the pitch without the referee's permission. It resulted in him picking up his tenth booking of the season.

That moment took to the sting out of City's play and Kieran Lee had a sight of goal for Wednesday, but Ruddy saw it comfortably past his right-hand post.

Nathan Redmond replaced Hoolahan with ten minutes left on the clock, just before the Owls saw their numbers reduced to ten as Claude Dielna limped off injured after they had made all three changes.

Redmond then pushed a shot wide after picking up Howson's pass on the counter-attack, and the final whistle concluded a professional performance from City.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

GOALS: Canaries: Bradley Johnson (33, 45)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Bassong, Olsson; Howson, Tettey, Dorrans (Hooper 88), Johnson (Odjidja-Ofoe 90); Hoolahan (Redmond 79); Jerome. Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Becchio, R Bennett, O'Neil.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Westwood, Vermijl (Buxton 45), Lees (c), Dielna, Mattock, Melo, McGugan, Lee, Isgrove (Nuhiu 45), Maguire, Lavery (Bus 78). Subs not used: Kirkland (GK), Hutchinson, May, Zayatte.

REFEREE: Mr C Boyeson


GOLDEN GOAL TIMES brought to you with Richard Pike Associates:


Middlesbrough, Friday April 17, 7.45pm


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