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Club News


9 May 2015

Anderson's close range finish sets up titanic battle at Carrow Road next weekend

Town will go to Carrow Road next week on level terms after Paul Anderson’s second goal of the season gave Blues a share of the spoils in this Championship Play-Off semi-final first-leg. 

The biggest gate of the season at Portman Road watched Norwich take the lead through Jonny Howson’s expert finish but Anderson was in the right place soon after to lift the roof off the stadium with a close range finish after John Ruddy had kept out Freddie Sears’ effort

Nathan Redmond and Sears had chances to find a winner but the draw sets up an even bigger East Anglia derby at Carrow Road next weekend, with a Wembley prize at stake.

Mick McCarthy made two changes to the side that went down against Blackburn last weekend, Luke Varney and Kevin Bru coming in for Jonathan Parr and Jay Tabb. 

Town almost got off to the perfect start in front of a packed Portman Road crowd, Daryl Murphy getting behind the Norwich defence and from his cross Sears brought a superb save out of Ruddy, the Norwich ‘keeper then doing even better to beat out Varney’s follow up header, Steven Whittaker clearing the loose ball off the line.

Norwich responded with Alex Tettey firing wide, then Redmond escaped down the flank and from his cross, Luke Chambers did well to force Cameron Jerome’s header wide. 

Jerome headed wide before Town were forced to make a change when Varney was stretchered off just short of the half hour with an Achilles injury, Anderson his replacement. 

The wide man was instantly in the action, heading over from Teddy Bishop’s terrific cross as Town searched for that breakthrough. 

Murphy was crowded out as Tyrone Mings crossed from the left, the busy Anderson then feeding another delivery into the Norwich box that was cleared by Russell Martin. 

Bart Bialkowski was quick off his line to smother the danger from Jerome as he looked to get on the end of Howson’s pass.

Murphy flashed a header wide from Chambers’ first time delivery, Sebastien Bassong heading behind from Bru’s cross as Anderson challenged at the near post, then Anderson dragged his shot past the far post from 30 yards. 

It was the Canaries who opened the scoring though on 40 minutes, Jerome crossed from the left and Howson finished first time from 15 yards. 

Bishop won a free-kick on the edge of the box as Blues looked for an instant response and it came via the lively Anderson, who smashed his shot into the net from close range after Sears’ shot had been half saved by Ruddy. 

Christophe Berra headed over as Town pressed for a half-time lead but it needed Bialkowski to keep out Redmond with the last action of the half after he had danced through the Town defence. 

The Polish ‘keeper had to make the first save of the second-half when Bradley Johnson tested him from the edge of the box.

Sears almost got on the end of a ball over the top, Bassong clearing for a corner, Bishop’s shot from the flag kick smothered by the Canaries. 

Chambers blocked Johnson’s effort at the other end, then Sears headed over the bar from Bru’s cross as the destiny of the game hung in the balance. 

It needed a deflection off Chambers to take Johnson’s effort behind for a corner before the Canaries introduced Wes Hoolahan for Dorrans. Tabb coming on for Bru soon after. 

Berra cleared from Howson’s cross before Town made a final change with Jonathan Parr replacing Bishop for the last 20 minutes. 

Murphy’s shot was blocked by Russell Martin as Blues broke, Johnson heading over for the Canaries. 

Murphy was denied by Bassong on the right flank as he cut inside to shoot, Redmond’s header tipped over by Bialkowski in the last action, leaving a massive game to come in a week’s time.   

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings, Skuse, Bru (Tabb 71), Bishop (Parr 72), Varney (Anderson 28), Sears, Murphy. Subs not used: Gerken, S.Hunt, N.Hunt, McGoldrick. Booked: Anderson.

Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Bassong, Martin, Olsson, Tettey, Johnson, Redmond, Dorrans (Hoolahan 69), Howson, Jerome (Hooper 85). Subs not used: Rudd, R.Bennett, O'Neil, E.Bennett, Odjidja-Ofoe. Booked: Dorrans, Jerome.

Att: 29,166 






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