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19 December 2016

City beaten by Blackburn in the Premier League 2

CONNOR Mahoney netted twice late on to deny City a share of the spoils against Blackburn Rovers on Monday afternoon.

The Canaries looked to have seized control of the tie following Carlton Morris' equaliser shortly after the interval, but Mahoney's late salvo meant that it was the visitors who would leave Norfolk with all three points after a 3-1 win.

City manager Dmitri Halajko named a strong-looking side, with Michael Turner selected at the heart of defence and Matt Jarvis on the left-hand side of midfield. Conor McGrandles retained his place in the starting eleven having recently returned from a long spell on the sidelines.

It was Blackburn who registered the first shot on goal within the opening three minutes, but Joseph Rankin-Costello's effort from the edge of the area was comfortably held by Ben Killip.

Rankin-Costello had looked lively during the opening exchanges, and it was the midfielder who broke the deadlock shortly before the quarter-hour mark. Mahoney's corner to the back post was cushioned back across goal by Connor Thompson, and it was Rankin-Costello who was in the right place at the right time to head home from close range.

Jarvis had provided City's main attacking outlet during a hard-fought first half, linking up well with Jamal Lewis on the left-hand side.

It was the former Wolves man's persistence which worked City their first clear cut chance of the afternoon with 34 minutes played. After a foray down the flank his low cross was helped on by Morris, but Louis McIntosh lifted his effort over the crossbar.

Halajko's side looked invigorated after the break and were level within six minutes of the restart.

After storming into the area, Morris was brought down by Blackburn skipper Scott Wharton and, following a few seconds of deliberation, referee Constantine Hatzidakis pointed to the spot.

Having dusted himself down it was left to Morris to convert from 12 yards and he duly obliged, sending Andrew Fisher the wrong way to restore parity.

The second half continued in a similar vein to the first as neither side looked content to dig in for a point.

Jarvis was proving difficult to handle having switched over to the right flank and he could have put City ahead with 72 minutes played. A neat one-two with Jaiyesimi had Rovers at sixes and sevens, but Fisher advanced quickly to smother the strike.

Morris was a whisker away from doubling his and City's tally for the afternoon moments later but saw his strike rattle the crossbar from eight yards out.

Against the run of play, it was Rovers who re-established their lead in the dying stages; Mahoney converting from the spot having been tripped in the area by a City defender.
There was still time for the visitors to add another in stoppage time, as Mahoney rounded Killip in the City goal and tapped over the line for a quickfire double.

FULL-TIME:Norwich City 1-3 Blackburn Rovers

GOALS:Canaries: Carlton Morris (pen 51) - Rovers: Joe Rankin-Costello (13), Connor Mahoney (pen 85, 90)

NORWICH CITY: Killip (c); Efete, Godfrey, Turner, Lewis (Ashley-Seal 86); McGrandles, Grant; Jaiyesimi, McIntosh (Middleton 45), Jarvis; Morris. Subs not used: Hallett (GK), Crowe, Odusina.

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