Two goals in the space of five first-half minutes gave Norwich City their first Premier League victory of the season – though yet another penalty conceded made for a tense second half against 10-man Bolton Wanderers.

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Summer signings Anthony Pilkington and Bradley Johnson were the scorers as City, showing six changes from the 1-0 defeat by West Bromwich Albion, inflicted Bolton’s third home defeat of the season.

Pilkington gave the Canaries the lead eight minutes before the interval, touching the ball home after Leon Barnett and Steve Morison had helped on a corner.

Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Johnson headed home powerfully from a David Fox free-kick.

In first-half stoppage time, Bolton were reduced to 10 men when Ivan Klasnic was sent off after appearing to head-butt Marc Tierney.

But Wanderers reduced the arrears in the 64th minute when Martin Petrov scored from the spot after Leon Barnett was adjudged by World Cup final referee Howard Webb to have brought down substitute David Ngog.

It looked another harsh award but it meant City had conceded a penalty in each of their first five Premier League fixtures, matching the record of Wimbledon at the start of the 1999-2000 season.

Petrov’s goal made for a tense final 25 minutes but with goalkeeper John Ruddy making a fine save from Ngog’s header in stoppage time, the Canaries held on for their first top-flight away win since December 1994.

Lambert made wholesale changes to the eleven that started the 1-0 defeat by Albion six days earlier.

While Ruddy’s return from suspension in place of Declan Rudd was anticipated, there were a further five changes with defender Ritchie de Laet, midfielders Andrew Crofts and Andrew Surman, skipper Grant Holt and striker Chris Martin all relegated to the substitutes’ bench.

There were recalls for Russell Martin in defence, David Fox and Anthony Pilkington in midfield, Wes Hoolahan – who was handed the captain’s armband – and striker Steve Morison.

Pilkington recovered from the back spasms that forced him to miss the Albion game, while striker James Vaughan was on the bench again after having stitches in a badly gashed lip, an injury inflicted by the elbow of Albion defender Gabriel Tamas.

The selection meant that full-back Marc Tierney was the only City player to have started all five Premier League games to date.

Bolton made two changes after the 5-0 home defeat by Manchester United, with Tuncay and Darren Pratley replacing Chris Eagles and Mark Davies.

As play got under way, Russell Martin was partnering Barnett in the centre of defence, with Fox and Johnson in a central midfield pairing, Bennett and Pilkington in wide positions, and Hoolahan supporting Morison in attack.

Bennett, looking for his first goal in Canary colours, almost provided it in the sixth minute when he struck a left-foot shot that Jaaskelainen had to tip over the bar.

City had another unexpected opening two minutes later when the assistant referee flagged for a foul on Bennett but referee Webb allowed play to continue and with most of the players stopping momentarily, Morison was left in a one-on-one with the keeper, but from a tight angle, and Jaaskelainen managed to block the striker’s attempt to poke the ball past him.

Jaaskelainen was shown the yellow card for protesting to the official.

A free-kick by Petrov posed problems for City and they conceded their first corner. Petrov’s kick was cleared by the Bulgarian was soon in possession again and Ruddy had to cut out his dangerous cross at the near post.

Jaaskelainen looked nervous and after rushing out to head into touch under pressure from Hoolahan, he sliced another clearance out for a corner.

The kick was cleared but Fox floated in a dangerous cross, Russell Martin getting in a header that Jaaskelainen was grateful to hold.

With 15 minutes gone, Klasnic was in trouble when he was knocked flat by the leaping Barnett. The collision was accidental and the Croatian was able to resume after treatment.

Johnson sent Hoolahan away on the left with a well-weighted pass but his attempt to pick out Morison with the cross was deflected into the arms of Jaaskelainen.

Boyata was lectured for a late challenge on Pilkington and, as City broke, Bennett’s cross into the six-yard box was cleared at the expense of a corner. Fox’s kick was a poor one, however, and was knocked behind for a goal-kick.

City were stretched after 33 minutes when excellent work by Reo-Coker enabled him to send Petrov free on the left and Ruddy had to claw away his cross one-handed with Kevin Davies coming in at the far post.

Barnett headed over from another Fox corner and as City continued to press, Bennett’s shot was deflected out for another corner – and this time it provided the breakthrough in the 37th minute with Pilkington’s first goal for the club.

Barnett got his head to the kick, Morison turned it back from beyond the far post and Pilkington turned it into the net, via the post and, it appeared, the heel of Tuncay.

With the home crowd becoming increasingly unhappy, the Canaries made it 2-0 three minutes before the break as Fox swung in a free-kick from the right and Johnson rose to score with a powerful header, also his first goal for City. A Petrov free-kick was deflected wide by Barnett as Bolton tried to find a way back, but as the corner came over, Cahill tangled with Russell Martin and appeared to kick out at the defender.

In first-half stoppage time, there was more drama when Klasnic was sent off. The Bolton man squared up to Tierney in the Norwich area, and the full-back went down clutching his face. Klasnic was surrounded by angry City players and when the hubbub died down, referee Webb produced the red card.

• Half-time: Bolton Wanderers 0, Norwich City 2

Bolton made a double change at the break with Eagles and Ngog replacing Tuncay and skipper Kevin Davies.

Reo-Coker was shown the yellow card nine minutes into the second period for a foul on Hoolahan.

Morison needed to go to the touchline for attention after a bang in the mouth when he collided with Knight, but he was soon back in the action.

Ngog won a free-kick when he was fouled by Russell Martin but there was a delay before it could be taken when Webb spoke to Barnett for wrestling in the penalty area. Petrov stepped up but Ruddy, diving to his left, saved fairly comfortably.

At the other end, Morison’s cross whistled across the edge of the six-yard but both Boyata and Pilkington failed to connect.

With City looking well in control, they were rocked in the 64th minute by the fifth penalty award against them in successive Premier League games.

There seemed minimal contact as Barnett challenged Ngog after Boyata squeezed in a cross from the right, but Webb pointed straight to the spot as Ngog went down.

Petrov stepped up to tuck his shot low to Ruddy’s right and suddenly the fairly subdued home crowd were in full voice.

Barnett got back to block a shot by Reo-Coker as the hosts pressed for an equaliser.

Morison almost made it 3-1 as he turned neatly on to a cross by Hoolahan, under pressure from Knight, but after doing the tricky bit he fired over the top.

With 13 minutes to go, Lambert made a double change with Holt and Vaughan replacing Morison and Pilkington.

A foul by Robinson on Vaughan, with 10 minutes left, earned him a yellow card and gave City a free-kick on the edge of the Bolton area. Fox and Johnson stood over the ball, but Johnson fired his shot high and wide.

Hoolahan went down five minutes from time after a collision with Reo-Coker and as he hobbled off, he was replaced by Crofts.

Four minutes of additional time were signalled by the fourth official, during which Holt was booked for kicking the ball away, and Ruddy made a fine save from Ngog’s header to guarantee three points for the Canaries.

• Bolton Wanderers :Jaaskelainen; Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Robinson; Tuncay (Eagles, 45), Pratley (Mark Davies, 74), Reo-Coker, Petrov; Kevin Davies (Ngog, 45), Klasnic. Subs (not used): Bogdan, Muamba, Wheater, Kakuta.

• Norwich City: Ruddy; Naughton, Barnett, Russell Martin, Tierney; Bennett, Fox, Bradley Johnson, Pilkington (Vaughan, 77); Hoolahan (Crofts, 87); Morison (Holt, 77). Subs: Rudd, De Laet, Surman, Chris Martin.

• Referee: Howard Webb (Yorkshire)

• Attendance: 21,223

• Goals: Bolton: Petrov pen (64). City: Pilkington (37), Johnson (42)

• Red card: Bolton: Klasnic (45)

• Bookings: Bolton: Jaaskelainen (9), Reo-Coker (54), Robinson (80). City: Holt (90)

34 comments

  • Why did moderators reject this?? Read on. A while back I pondered on the versatility of Russell Martin and whether he would serve in Central Defence. Today he is and so far we`re doing ok. Does PL want a geriatric technical advisor? I`m free(well, a season ticket will be payment enough). I wonder if that Bolton red card would have happened had it been in their penalty area? We should be grateful for the scraps from the table I suppose. But it is only half-time! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • Great team selection at last PL. Please stick with it this time. Defence looked so much better. Forward line too. Holt and Martin capable subs but that is all. We were tighter all over the pitch.

    Report this comment

    Gazza

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • Aha, aha, aha. Can't wait to see this on the telly tonight, even though I watched it online this afternoon. The rest of the nation will be able to see us in all our glory. And Ged Steroo seen leaving for the coast , the day we won away. We were singing, Kick it off throw it in

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

  • Or 'See dog rot'

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

  • hI Mad B.can you tell me how robotstc described Ged Steroo. It seems to have disappeared from sight. Also how are NCFC Fans watching online. PERLEASE

    Report this comment

    Rodders

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

  • How do you know how many were there Ged? Did you count them? You must have run out of fingers when you got to 12. I was there and the South Stand was full of our lot - and we certainly made more noise than the home fans!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

  • So 5 consecutive penalties only equals Wimbledon`s record. Come on you refs-we deserve to be better than them. And they were truly dirty *******s. We`ve equalled them without being that way! Next week`s ref will probably already have sold his interview to the Sun or suchlike and his soul to the Devil. What is a Ged Steroo?? Small prize for the best answer. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

  • Or 'Got sore ed'

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

  • Could Leon Barnett's "collision" with Klasnic be termed an arseassination?

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

  • It's really irritating isn't it MB. I've had several disappear recently, for no apparent reason. Sometimers they do arrive later - but by then the point has long been overtaken. And yet pill***s like Ged seem to have the freedom of the ether! Must say I agree with with your award of the Ged prize to Budgie - his definition was hilarious - I'm still laughing! :-D

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • Sounded like a great save by Ruddy at the end. C'mon you Yellows !!

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

  • Wow, Robotstc! I must get an upgrade for my OED. I had a tentative theory that Ged is short for Geraldine and the whole is an anagram of something, ie Stool Deranger. How did you dodge the Moderators with that one??

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

  • My apologies lads- I just flushed the toilet down @ Portman Rd + Steroo came floating back to the surface..

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

  • Mad Brewer: A 'Ged Steroo' is a small spineless creature that makes an irritating whining noise. It's blue in colour, has webbed toes and fingers and mates with it's sister. Most commonly found in Suffolk.

    Report this comment

    Premier League Budgie

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

  • Where are all the knockers now, hey?

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

  • Or 'Sore todge'

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

  • How do you know how many were there Ged? Did you count them? You must have run out of fingers when you got to 12. I was there and the South Stand was full of our lot - and we certainly made more noise than the home fans!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

  • Or 'Sedge root'

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

  • An excellent result!! Shame more of us weren't there to see it, a disappointing turnout to be honest. I'm a bit worried that we have had to resort to continental style diving to secure 3 points, but needs must when you are in our situation I guess. At least we are taking a break from whinging about the referee for a week, he was certainly very much on our side yesterday. COYYs!!

    Report this comment

    Ged Steroo

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

  • The Tierney incident was very disappointing - if it were me I'd have felt a right tw@t having later watched it on MOTD; however lets not let that distract away from the fact that it was an all round brilliant performance by the Boys in Yellow. Tac-tics spot-on, team selection spot-on, substitutions spot-on. If we cut-out the penalties then we can get the results we need. OTBC!

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • Tried to award Budgie the "prize" but two attempted messages have now disappeared into the ether. Is there some sort of hack censor up there, appointed by Archant (Ipswich)?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • Sorry - no idea how the previous comment got posted a second time!! Anyway Timbo - what were you doing at Portaloo Road when you flushed the toilet - it's a long way to go for a cr*p. Did you need the laxative?

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

  • Fair call MB. After all, I don't want to waste all my best work on one post do I?

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

  • You do not deserve erudite contributions.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • Paul Lambert's selection was bang on apart from one player. Whenever R Martin and David Fox play we invariably don't lose. The last time they played was at Wigan. Fox is able to pass the ball with laser-sighted precision. His passing on Saturday was imperious. Short to long. They were all impeccably placed in feet. Plus his interception vision was truly focused. It allowed Bradley Johnson to concentrate on his own game and not have to worry about making the passes out from the back. In short, it was his best agame so far. R Martin has never let City down. He is highly dependable and I though he played extremely well. And then there was Morison. The stats speak for themselves. In 77 minutes of play, he made 6 passes and had 2 shots off target. He most singularly failed to grab his chance in the most disappointing of manners. So up front there is still is a question mark as to what is the best solution. And with much regret Simeon Jackson didn't even make the bench.

    Report this comment

    cantleyyellow

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • welll done lads, great result.what price another penalty against city next week ? I think the referees are conspireing together to give n c f club a new record for conceding the most consecutive penalties.

    Report this comment

    norwichcanary

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

  • RTC has a severe case of Anagramarrhoea! Like `em though. I`ve already offered Stereo DogGod but they are poor tackle compared to yours, RTC. I don`t suppose it will go away, though, so shall we go back to ignoring it?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

  • @ iceni 1961 - Agreed Tierney's reaction was over the top, but it wasn't a "so-called headbut" it was an actual head butt. There was a definite movement of Klasnic's head towards Tierney's head. TV evidence does not prove there was actual contact, though the ref was better placed to judge that. However there does not need to be actual contact - the movement itself is enough for a red card. I do not condone Tierney's reaction either, but I can understand it, after the decisions City players have had to suffer from refs in the first four matches. He probably felt that if he just recoiled the ref would have taken no action.

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • As much as I enjoy the banter with other folk, specially NCFC supporters, since these "moderators" persist in taking out my contributions there seems to be little point. "Moderator" is a rather grand title for tiny people. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • Rodders,MB, I too was surprised the comment made it onto the site and that it took 12 hours to disappear. Somehow, I don't think any part of it will be reappearing any time soon. I'm sure there are a number of anagrams that can be made from Ged Steroo, how about "Red Stooge"

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

  • The knockers? On yer Mrs's chest mate ..Great performance + good 3 points. Unfortunately, Holty might have to get used to the bench. My entry for Steroo competition..he's hiding in the toilet bowl @ Portaloo Road where he belongs !

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

  • Thanks Crab. Just trying, like you, to generate a bit of civilized fun. Clearly not acceptable to somebody somewhere somehow. I could have been a jounalist but I messed up by passing `O` Level English. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, September 19, 2011

  • Good to get the first win and get a long awaited away win in the Prem. We were in control until their penalty and held on for a deserved victory. All three promoted teams won. Some established teams are struggling. All to play for. If the strikers start scoring and we can hold onto leads and keep it tight at the back there is no reason why City won't stay up.

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

  • great win at bolton but i am very disappointed in marc tierney and his over the top acting from a so called headbut it was very embarrassing for a city player to go down holding his face and rolling around on the ground like he had been shot he should hang his head in shame.

    Report this comment

    iceni 1961

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

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