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Match Reports

Millwall v Norwich City

7 March 2015


JONNY Howson's double helped Norwich City to a 4-1 win over struggling Millwall at The Den.

The midfielder struck in either half as the Canaries got straight back to winning ways, with their other goals coming from Gary Hooper and Wes Hoolahan.

Lee Gregory converted a late penalty for the hosts but City were convincing winners in the end, and will head into next week's clash with Derby County full of confidence.

The three points lifted Alex Neil's men to within a point of the top of the table, even though they stayed in fifth position at the close.

Carlos Cuellar returned to the team before kick-off, taking the place of Sebastien Bassong, while Wes Hoolahan stepped in for Nathan Redmond.

Jos Hooiveld, who played six times for the Canaries on loan earlier this season, started for Millwall as they began the game hoping to close a six-point gap to Sky Bet Championship survival.

The first half was a scrappy affair but a brilliant finish to the 45 minutes gave City a two-goal lead at the break.

Cameron Jerome wasted two opportunities to bear down on goal as the visitors started the better, but Millwall grew into the game.

Blocks denied efforts from Hooiveld and Diego Fabbrini and Neil's men were giving themselves plenty to do by conceding too many free-kicks around their own area.

This wasn't the easiest game on the eye, but it got a lot better for the 2,500-strong travelling support on 39 minutes when Howson broke the deadlock in fine fashion.

Exhibiting his propensity to drive from central midfield, Howson rode two challenges before steadying himself and firing a left-footed drive high into the net.

It was a brilliant strike from the former Leeds man, but things were to get even better for the Canaries in the final minute of the half.

Forde parried Graham Dorrans' long-range effort, and as Jerome chased the loose ball, he was tripped by Alan Dunne close to the byline.

Hooper stepped up and blasted his penalty down the middle to give City an unexpected but welcoming two-goal advantage at half-time.

HALF-TIME: Millwall 0-2 Norwich City

Three minutes into the second half, Martin Olsson delivered a ball from the left that Jerome met, but his header was straight at David Forde.

The confidence was flowing through the Canaries through and put the game beyond doubt on 57 minutes through Hoolahan.

The midfielder pounced after some loose Lions defending and advanced into the area before striking the ball beyond Forde and in.

Then, three minutes later another swift City move yielded their fourth to really mount the crowd pressure on home manager Ian Holloway.

Hooper picked out Jerome on the left, and his low cross was left by Dorrans for the onrushing Howson, who stroked it home for his second of the afternoon.

Dorrans saw a close-range effort rebound off the inside of the post as the Canaries continued to expose their opponents' weaknesses with an ever-fluid brand of attacking football.

Dan Harding retreated to prevent a fifth from Jerome on 76 minutes after the forward had beaten Forde to the ball, but after Hooiveld headed over they got the chance to get on the scoresheet on 82 minutes.

Fabbrini theatrically threw himself to the floor under substitute Gary O'Neil challenge in the area, and Gregory converted the penalty.

Millwall showed character to try and push for another in the final moments but the whistle eventually blew on a straightforward win for the Canaries.

FULL-TIME: Millwall 1-4 Norwich City

GOALS: Lions: Lee Gregory (pen 82) - Canaries: Jonny Howson (39, 60), Gary Hooper (pen 45), Wes Hoolahan (57)

MILLWALL: Forde; Dunne, Nelson, Hooiveld, Harding; Bailey (Tonge 45), Williams; Woolford (Gregory 60), Taylor-Fletcher, Fabbrini; Fuller (O'Brien 65). Subs not used: King (GK), Beevers, Abdou, Gueye.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Cuellar, Olsson; Hoolahan (Andreu 83), Howson, Dorrans (O'Neil 78), Johnson; Hooper (Redmond 78), Jerome. Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Turner, Morris, Odjidja-Ofoe.

REFEREE: Keith Stroud

Derby - March 14, 3pm
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