Can you hear us? Fans back winning City
PUBLISHED: 22:05 28 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:52 14 September 2010
Norwich City 3, Leicester City 1: Can you hear us, Peter Grant? Simple, effective - and probably a signal that a truce has been called in the three-day war between City boss Peter Grant and Norwich City fans.
Norwich City 3, Leicester City 1
Can you hear us, Peter Grant? Simple, effective - and probably a signal that a truce has been called in the three-day war between City boss Peter Grant and Norwich City fans.
Having controversially panned the Canaries followers for their silence in the closing stages of the weekend draw against Hull, Grant got the reaction he demanded Instead of groans and boos, the crowd - the lowest of the season - applauded the side off the pitch.
Grant had responded with applause of his own to the supporters - and there was no doubt that both parties deserved their moment in the spotlight.
Everyone's a winner - Grant's words seem to have had the desired effect and the fans won't be complaining at the lack of entertainment in a game they bossed in the second half.
Again it was Robert Earnshaw who was tormentor in chief, scoring one and having more than a hand in the third - but it was that man Darren Huckerby who stole the show. He left Leicester's defenders chasing shadows, he flicked and fannied with an almost zero failure rate - and left the pitch to a deserved standing ovation.
Clearly, there are still a few bridges to be mended but the signs are that it won't be a long-winded task.
City fans didn't have to wait long to turn up the volume, Huckerby just failing to find Earnshaw after Richard Stearman's mistake.
That earned City a corner which caused havoc in the Foxes defence which was relieved to see Dion Dublin fire just over from 18 yards. It may not have produced a goal but it served to get the crowd singing.
Leicester, though, were clearly not getting to let themselves be railroaded by a vocal crowd and silenced the fans with a good period of possession during which former City loan player Elvis Hammond slammed a shot into the side netting.
Huckerby, enjoying his return to the left flank, and Etuhu combined well to earn another corner as City tried to give their fans what they wanted - an early goal to settle nerves all round.
Leicester were managing to get behind the City full-backs, and when Hammond chipped in Iain Hume was unlucky with a header that went inches over Lee Camp's crossbar. Levi Porter half-volleyed just wide on 17 minutes when City failed to clear Josh Low's cross from the right.
But the biggest cheer of the night so far was reserved for the introduction of popular midfielder Youssef Safri - unfortunately at the expense of injury victim Adam Drury, who went off with a back injury.
A Huckerby volley almost raised the roof, but was a couple of inches too high, but disaster struck for Norwich on 23 minutes, when Patrick McCarthy outjumped the City defence to head home Danny Tiatto's free kick. City will feel aggrieved that a free-kick was conceded in the first place, with Jason Shackell's nudge on Hammond fairly innocuous, but it was the last thing the Canaries needed.
Norwich, and their fans, began to feel events conspiring against them, with ref Darren Deadman pulling back Earnshaw when he was clean through because of a foul by Robinson and then Safri stopped for a 'foul' on Hammond and then booked for a foul on Hume.
As half-time approached, Leicester had their moments, but it was City who began to trakle a grip on the game.
Robinson headed wide after a series of crosses into the area, with Andy Hughes, moved to left-back, being the main provider, while Huckerby was looking dangerous ahead of him.
Huckerby found himself in the referee's notebook for dissent and moments later referee Deadman lectured the City man after a tangle with Tiatto as temperatures rose inside Carrow Road.
City began to worry the visiting defence, but Thorne wasted a good chance to level matters in time added on when he headed wide after a Robinson corner was headed on by Etuhu.
However, with everyone looking at their watches, up popped Robinson at the far post, nodding home a terrific header from a perfect cross by Huckerby deep on the left flank.
It was a goal City deserved after the previous 15 minutes when they had started to show the fighting spirit that some fans believe has been lacking in their last two matches.
However, as Grant made clear on Saturday, it was during the second half that he wanted them on City's side -although that would clearly depend on how the Canaries performed.
The signs were good in the opening stages, with Hughes and Huckerby teasing their way down Leicester's right flank and Safri biting in midfield, but it wasn't until 55 minute when Earnshaw teed up a shot form the edge of the area which was a yard too wide that City had a good sight of goal.
A minute later and Earnshaw was at it again, Huckerby's back-heel setting him up only for keeper Conrad Logan to save and then Thorne to put the rebound wide.
But Earnshaw made no mistake on 58 minutes with a quality finish. Safri was the creator, robbing Kisnorbo just inside the City half and, with Earnshaw on the run, the Moroccan put the ball into his path: the rest was academic, as Earnshaw chipped it over Logan to make it 13 for the season.
While City weren't exactly rampant they were clearly on top and threatening to pull Leicester apart, with Huckerby at his lightning best down the left to send in a cross which Earnshaw flicked on - and Logan saved.
Ryan Jarvis replaced Thorne on 65 minutes and after a brief dalliance with 4-3-3, the Fakenham youngster was soon pushed up alongside Earnshaw as City reverted to the formation which had formation which had served them well.
The 75-minute mark arrived with Leicester on the attack - and presumably Norwich needing some help from the crowd to take the over the finishing line.
It could have been a task undertaken against 10 men, had Earnshaw not jumped out of the way of Tiatto's two-footed leap, which in itself was enough to earn the Aussie a yellow card.
But City were doing well to keep Leicester just far enough away from Camp's goal and the crowd, sensing a much-needed win, began to respond. At 2-1, the nerves were beginning to fray given the way City allowed Hull back in at the death on Saturday Jarvis almost solved that problem, but Logan got down well to save, while Tiatto had the Foxes' first sight of goal with an off-target effort with six minutes left on the clock.
Stephen Hughes skidded one just wide soon after as City were given a reminder of what could go wrong if they lost concentration - with a stark reminder coming when the fourth official signalled four minutes of time added on.
But that was all forgotten when Earnshaw struck for the second time - with a big helping hand from Leicester sub Chris O'Grady. Eagle's cross from the left set up the chance, but when Earnshaw's shot was parried, O'Grady couldn't get away from the rebound in time - and it was game over.
Norwich: Camp 7, Colin 6, Dublin 7, Shackell 7, Drury 6 (Safri 19, 7),
Hughes 7, Robinson 7, Etuhu 6, Huckerby 8 (Eagle 87), Thorne 6 (Ryan Jarvis
65), Earnshaw 7. Subs: Lewis, McVeigh.
Leicester: Logan, Stearman (O'Grady 86), McCarthy (McAuley 78), Kisnorbo,
Low, Maybury, Hughes, Tiatto, Porter, Hammond, Hume (Fryatt 81). Subs:
Time added on: 3mins/4 mins.
EDP Man of the Match: Darren Huckerby. Plenty of candidates, but Hucks was
Referee: Darren Deadman 4/10. Average would be too kind.
Norwich 3, Leicester 1
Norwich 4, Leicester 6
Norwich 14, Leicester 7
Norwich 4, Leicester 2
Norwich 2, Leicester 6
Bookings: Norwich - Robinson, 25, foul on Tiatto; Safri, 32, foul on Hume;
Huckerby, 41, dissent. Leicester - McCarthy, 31, dissent, Stearman, 50, foul
on Huckerby; Tiatto, 80, foul on Earnshaw.