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17:01 13th March 2010


Town finally lost their proud unbeaten home record in the League at the hands of League leaders Norwich City, with substitute Stephen Elliott's goals sealing the win for Paul Lambert's side.

After an impressive first-half performance Lee Clark's men deserved to lead at the interval through Neal Trotman's first goal on home soil for the Club, but an equaliser from Norwich top scorer Grant Holt setup the win for the visitors and Elliott's brace.

GOAL - Town took the lead just inside the third minute of the game when Neal Trotman netted his second goal in the blue and white stripes and his first on home soil. Gary Roberts forced an early corner down the left flank after running at full-back Russell Martin and when Anthony Pilkington whipped a vicious cross into the near post, the big centre-half rose unopposed to nod the ball home from close range.

'Robbo' looked on fire in the early stages and it was his cheeky prod around Martin that led to another swift break in the 7th minute. Gary raced around the other side of the defender to collect the ball before sliding a low cross towards the near post for Jordan Rhodes, but centre-back Nelson did well to get a vital block in as the striker looked to shoot.

Norwich's first shot on goal came in the 10th minute when striker Grant Holt tried to turn Simon Lappin's left-sided corner home, but Dean Heffernan got in a vital block before clearing the ball to safety.

The Canaries survived a penalty claim just a minute later when Town's players felt that Nelson had upended Rhodes inside the area and just a minute later 'keeper Forster was needed to smother Roberts' shot from 25 yards out.

Town were on the front foot and created another golden opportunity to extend their lead in the 16th minute. Heffernan and Collins exchanged a neat one-two inside the Norwich half before the latter played a clever slide-rule pass to Novak inside the area; the striker bustled his way past defender Doherty, but could only place his left-foot shot wide of the right-hand post from 15 yards out.

A clever one-two between the left-sided pairing of Heffernan and Pilkington gave the latter the opportunity to shoot from the edge of the box in the 20th minute, but 'keeper Forster punched the ball clear as Rhodes lurked to tap home any rebound.

A lovely passing move involving the impressive central midfield pairing of Drinkwater and Collins ended with Novak collecting the ball inside the Norwich area barely a minute later, but the striker chose to cross when he had the chance to pull the trigger - much to Lee Clark's frustration on the touchline.

Novak didn't hesitate when his next chance came in the 25th minute, but he curled a speculative effort wide of the far post after nicking the ball off a Norwich midfielder.

Trotman almost scored the goal of the season in the 33rd minute; after Peter Clarke's long free-kick was cleared to the edge of the area by the Norwich defence, the big defender watched the ball drop out of the sky before hitting a superb first-time volley towards goal. The ball looked to be arrowing into the net, but a defender managed to deflect the ball behind for a corner.

Norwich then created their best chance of the game after quickly breaking from Town's corner. The ball broke down the right side through Grant Holt, but his cross towards strike partner Chris Martin was excellently shadowed to safety by Peter Clarke. Norwich retained possession and worked the ball back to winger Lappin who crossed towards the unmarked Holt at the back post - but their top scorer could only divert a free header wide of Smithies' right-hand post.

Drinkwater was on fire and after cleverly side-stepping opposing midfielder Russell 25 yards from goal he pulled the trigger; unfortunately for the home side, his effort was always going wide of the 'keeper's left-hand post.

The half ended with Norwich trying to apply some pressure to the Town defence, but the home side held firm to lead at the interval. After referee Miller had blown his whistle to end the first 45 minutes, visiting striker Martin seemed to take exception to Neal Trotman but to credit the official he soon quashed any potential problems.


A quick free-kick taken by Anthony Pilkington within the first two minutes of the second-half gave Novak a chance to shoot from inside the area, but the goalkeeper turned the ball around the post.

At the other end a tame volley from Lappin was easily gathered in by Smithies.

BOOKING - Norwich midfielder Darel Russell picked up the first yellow card of the game in the 48th minute for a cynical trip on Gary Roberts down the right channel.

The game was turning into a real battle with only a few chances at either end, but one fell Town's way in the 58th minute. Drinkwater played the ball out to Roberts on the left and the winger crossed low into the box, but the goalkeeper gathered the ball in just ahead of the lurking Novak at the near post.

SUB - Norwich made their first change in the 62nd minute, with Stephen Elliott replacing striker Martin.

BOOKING - Referee Miller booked Gary Roberts two minutes later after he knocked Hoolahan off the ball down Town's left side - it was the winger's fourth booking of the season.

Collins sent a first time volley miles over the bar from fully thirty yards out in the 65th minute as the Terriers continued to search for a second goal.

GOAL - Norwich equalised in the 69th minute through their top scorer Grant Holt. Full-back Michael Rose advanced with the ball down the Town right before slipping the ball up the flank for Hoolahan; he pulled the ball back cleverly to the edge of the six yard box where Holt had positioned himself to place his shot to Smithies' right side and into the goal.

Town fought back immediately, with Novak's clever flick releasing Collins into the area with the ball; however, the midfielder was being closely watched by a defender and could only slip his shot wide of the far post.

SUB - Town made their first substitution in the 72nd minute when Theo Robinson replaced Jordan Rhodes.

GOAL - Norwich scored their second of the game just two minutes later through substitute Stephen Elliott. The ball broke down the Town left for Grant Holt to chase and after outmuscling Dean Heffernan, he slid an excellent ball across the face of goal for his new strike partner to tap home at the back stick.

Norwich 'keeper Forster was forced to tip Theo Robinson's speculative shot from 35 yards over the crossbar two minutes after the visitor's second goal, but the resulting corner flashed across the face of goal before dropping harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

Pilkington's curling effort from eighteen yards out was pushed away well by Forster in the 78th minute before Lee Novak seized upon a terrible back-pass from left-back Rose; however, the goalkeeper did well to force the striker wide of goal and the chance came to nothing.

GOAL - Norwich scored a third goal in the 85th minute to effectively kill off the tie, with substitute Stephen Elliott netting his second goal of the game. The Canaries were afforded too much space down their left side and Lappin found the ball in that area before squaring for the striker to fire into the top corner.

SUB - Lee Novak had picked up an injury when making a tackle in the build-up to that goal and was replaced by James Berrett, with Pilkington joining Robinson in attack.

Peter Clarke fired wide from range as the game drew to a close and Town could not threaten Fraser Forster's goal.


Town's Team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Dean Heffernan, Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman, Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts, Michael Collins, Danny Drinkwater, Anthony Pilkington; Lee Novak (James Berrett 87), Jordan Rhodes (Theo Robinson 72)

Unused Subs: Simon Eastwood, Nathan Clarke, Antony Kay, Tom Clarke, Robbie Williams

Town Booking: Gary Roberts (64)

Norwich Booking: Darel Russell (48)

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    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.