Capital One Cup: Norwich City 2, Scunthorpe United 1
22:04 28 August 2012
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Simon Lappin’s first Norwich City goal for five years and a Wes Hoolahan penalty were enough to book their side a place in the third round of the Capital One Cup at the expense of League One’s bottom team, Scunthorpe United.
But the Canaries did not have things all their own way at a half-full Carrow Road against opponents who had disposed of Derby in dramatic fashion in the previous round.
Recalled midfielder Lappin gave the hosts a 32nd-minute lead in the second round tie with a splendid 20-yard drive, but the Iron levelled inside two minutes with a superb long-range effort from midfielder Mark Duffy that flew in off the post.
After Lappin had departed through injury, skipper for the night Hoolahan sealed victory from the spot 10 minutes into the second period after he was brought down by Niall Canavan and got up to beat goalkeeper Sam Slocombe from 12 yards.
Scunthorpe had their moments, however, and goalkeeper Declan Rudd had to make three important saves to ensure City went safely into tomorrow’s draw.
Manager Chris Hughton was as good as his word – and “significant changes” meant a completely different eleven from the team that started the 1-1 Premier League draw against Queens Park Rangers three days earlier.
Midfielder David Fox made his first senior appearance since April after suffering a knee injury in pre-season training and there were rare outings for Rudd and defender George Francomb.
Scunthorpe almost drew first blood in the third minute when Rudd, immediately in the firing line, made an important save from Andy Barcham after Duffy had put him clear of the home defence.
City’s first corner, by Fox, was nearly a profitable one as Michael Turner slid into the six-yard box but just failed to make clean contact.
With 13 minutes gone, Chris Martin, making his first start for the Canaries for nearly 12 months, was narrowly off target but it was a rare moment of alarm for the League One side in a fairly low-key start.
Midway through the half, there was an unscheduled drinks break as defender Marc Tierney received attention for a knock, and there had been little to set the pulses racing in the opening quarter.
The stadium, with 13,116 inside, was exceptionally quiet, with the players’ shouts clearly audible above the odd ripple of applause, but in the 32nd minute Lappin changed all that when Andrew Surman set him up for a powerful left-foot drive from 20 yards that ’keeper Slocombe got a hand on but could not keep out.
It was Lappin’s first senior goal for City since September 2007, when he scored from all of 40 yards in the 2-1 Championship home defeat at the hands of Cardiff, and he celebrated accordingly.
Within two minutes, however, the Iron were level with an even more impressive goal from Duffy, who struck a curling left-foot shot from 25 yards that flew in off the inside of the post.
Ryan Bennett headed narrowly wide from Surman’s corner five minutes before the break as City looked for a quick reply.
In first-half stoppage time, there was a lucky escape for Slocombe when Steve Morison did well to keep the ball in play and set up Surman for a cross that had the ’keeper caught in two minds, the ball rebounding off him for a corner as Hoolahan waited to pounce.
• Half-time: Norwich City 1, Scunthorpe United 1
Lappin, eager to add to his tally, let fly again from Surman’s pass three minutes after the break, but after Christian Ribeiro had blocked his powerful drive, the midfielder immediately went down in need of attention. It was the end of his evening as he hobbled off to be replaced by Anthony Pilkington.
Within 10 minutes of the restart, City regained the lead as Hoolahan scored from the penalty spot after being upended in the Scunthorpe area.
Morison played the Irishman into a clear shooting position but he was sent crashing by defender Canavan, before getting up to beat Slocombe confidently, firing left-footed to the keeper’s left.
Instantly City upped the tempo and Slocombe had to claw away a cross by Surman, before a Chris Martin centre was sliced over the bar.
Scunthorpe were not finished, however, and Rudd saved again from Mike Grella after Duffy sliced open the home defence, and the young ’keeper was busy once more, diving to gather Barcham’s shot.
Josh Walker fired over the top from long range before making way for the Iron’s new loan signing, David Prutton, midway through the second half.
As City sought to exert more control, Francomb was close to his first senior goal when he shot across goal, then Surman headed straight at the ’keeper from Tierney’s cross after some wizardry by Hoolahan.
The Iron almost grabbed a stunning equaliser on 77 minutes when Duffy did splendidly before crossing into the path of substitute Prutton, who struck a brute of a volley that Rudd did well to divert over the bar.
With less than 10 minutes left, Morison made way for Saturday’s goalscorer, Simeon Jackson, and headed straight down the tunnel.
Despite five additional minutes, Scunthorpe did not seriously threaten in the closing stages and the Canaries were into round three for the first time in five years.
• Norwich City: Rudd, Francomb, R Bennett, Turner, Tierney, Fox, Surman, Lappin (Pilkington, 52), Hoolahan, Morison (Jackson, 81), C Martin. Subs not used: Ruddy, R Martin, Barnett, Johnson, Holt.
• Scunthorpe: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Mirfin, Canavan, Newey, Walker (Prutton, 67), Ryan, Duffy, Gibbons, Barcham (Grant, 80), Grella (Jennings, 80). Subs not used: Severn, Hughes, Howe, Keegan.
• Goals: Norwich City: Lappin (32), Hoolahan (pen, 55)
• Bookings: None
• Referee: Philip Gibbs (West Midlands)
• Attendance: 13,116