CITY progressed into Thursday night’s Capital Cup Third Round draw courtesy of a 2-1 victory over battling League One side Scunthorpe United at Carrow Road.
Simon Lappin blasted in his first Canary goal in around five years in the first half only for the strike to be almost instantly cancelled out by Mark Duffy for the visitors.
But in the second half stand-in skipper Wes Hoolahan fired City into the next round from the penalty spot after being brought down in the box by Niall Canavan.
Manager Chris Hughton told Canaries Player afterwards: “I think we made it a little hard for ourselves at times, but that’s not taking anything away from Scunthorpe.
“They played a really good brand of football and came here to get a result.
“I thought we were very good in patches, and I’m really disappointed that we conceded when we were 1-0 up, because I hoped that we’d go and make it a little bit more comfortable for ourselves.
“We still looked dangerous at certain times. I would have liked more goals, but you just want to go through to the next round, and that’s what we have done.”
As expected Hughton rang the changes – 11 of them to be precise - following Saturday’s improved performance in the 1-1 draw at home to QPR in the Barclays Premier League.
It was a chance for the youngsters like Declan Rudd in goal and George Francomb at right-back to impress, while other more senior players will also have been looking to catch the City manager’s eye with Saturday’s league clash away at Spurs looming.
It was Scunthorpe though who nearly made a shock start as Andy Barcham latched on to a bouncing ball in the City box and drove goalwards, Rudd equal to the shot with a smart diving parry to his left.
In the 13th minute Chris Martin tried his luck with an acrobatic overhead kick from Francomb’s first-time ball into the box, but his effort from 13 yards out dropped wide of the post.
Six minutes later Surman nearly scored directly from a corner, but Slocombe clawed the ball away from under the crossbar to keep his effort out.
The game slowed considerably for a period only to spring to life thanks to two goals in a minute after the half-hour.
First Simon Lappin smashed home his first goal for City in around five years with a belter from the edge of the area on 32 minutes to put City in front.
But the celebrations for a popular goal had barely died down when Scunthorpe levelled less than two minutes later, Duffy’s speculative effort bouncing in off the post to give the visitors an instant response.
Half-time: Norwich City 1, Scunthorpe United 1
Just three minutes into the second half Surman played Lappin in with a good chance on the edge of the area, but his shot was charged down and he picked up a knock in the process.
Lappin was unable to continue, the Canary stalwart receiving a warm ovation as he was replaced in the 52nd minute by Pilkington.
Within two minutes however the mood was lifted again as Hoolahan was scythed down in the box by Canavan after a neat City move and referee Phil Gibbs pointed to the spot.
The Irishman dusted himself down to step up and ram an unstoppable spot-kick past Slocombe to put City in front.
In the Canaries’ next attack they nearly made it 3-1 as Surman’s well-placed effort from the left-hand corner of the box produced a great save from Slocombe to turn it away.
On 63 minutes Rudd came off his line to make a good and brave save to block a drive from Mike Grella after a neat Scunthorpe move sent him clear into the box.
City were passing it around very nicely but still needed to be wary of Scunthorpe on the break, epitomised by a stunning 25-yard volley from Prutton which Rudd did well to tip over his bar.
In the 89th minute Chris Martin thought he had earned another penalty when he appeared to go down under a challenge from an Iron defender, but the referee was well-placed and waved play on.
Final score: Norwich City 2, Scunthorpe United 1
Norwich City: Rudd, Turner, Surman, Hoolahan (c), Fox, Morison (Jackson 80), Tierney, Bennett, C.Martin, Lappin (Pilkington 52), Francomb.
Subs not used: Ruddy, R.Martin, Johnson, Holt, Barnett.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Walker (Prutton 66), Mirfin (c), Ryan, Grella (Jennings 79), Barcham (Grant 79), Gibbons, Canavan, Duffy, Newey.
Subs not used: Severn, Hughes, Howe, Keegan.
Referee: Mr Phil Gibbs