Barnsley 1, Norwich City 3
David Cuffley Norwich City produced a storming second half comeback to sink Barnsley this afternoon and continue their climb away from the Championship relegation zone. A 3-1 victory at Oakwell stretched the Canaries’ unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions and they were well worth it after turning the match on its head after the interval.
NORWICH City produced a storming second half comeback to sink Barnsley this afternoon and continue their climb away from the Championship relegation zone.
A 3-1 victory at Oakwell stretched the Canaries' unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions and they were well worth it after turning the match on its head after the interval.
City fell behind after 18 minutes when Martin Devaney, recalled to the Barnsley side, scored with a long-range effort.
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But striker Ched Evans, starting his second loan spell from Manchester City, equalised three minutes after the break with a cool finish from a pass by skipper Mark Fotheringham.
Lee Croft could have put Norwich ahead on the hour when he struck a post, but it was Fotheringham who did the trick after 69 minutes when his shot took a huge deflection over goalkeeper Heinz Muller into the net.
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Five minutes later, Dion Dublin made it 3-1 when he headed home from a Fotheringham corner and Dublin could have made victory even more emphatic when he missed an excellent chance from a cross by substitute Darren Huckerby.
City showed four changes to the starting line-up form the FA Cup game against Bury.
Jason Shackell returned in the centre of defence after recovering from a calf injury, while Jon Otsemobor was restored at right-back.
Ryan Bertrand, just 18, was given his full debut on the left side of midfield, while Ched Evans, who re-signed on loan from Manchester City on Thursday, went straight into the attack alongside Dion Dublin, who was pushed forward again after his defensive duties last week.
Darren Huckerby and Jamie Cureton had to settle for places on the bench, and midfielder Matty Pattison was suspended for one match after picking up five yellow cards. Striker Chris Martin was left out of the 16.
Goalkeeper Matthew Gilks was back on the bench for the first time in two months after recovering from an ankle injury and was joined by defender Andrew Cave-Brown and striker Ryan Jarvis.
Barnsley showed one change to the starting line-up from their FA Cup win over Blackpool with Martin Devaney replacing Sam Togwell in midfield.
German goalkeeper Heinz Muller recovered from a groin injury which had forced him off at half-time last week and kept his place in the side.
Barnsley kicked off on a bright and chilly afternoon and immediately went on the attack with Odejayi bursting into the Norwich box, but they just did enough to crowd him out as Marshall safely gathered the ball.
City won an early free-kick but Fotheringham's ball into the box came to nothing.
In the third minute the Canaries won their first corner, Fotheringham taking it from the right flank, but Dublin being penalised for a foul as the ball came over.
The home side counter attacked and Mostto set up Campbell-Ryce, who let fly from just outside the area but sent his shot just over the top.
McCann was next to attempt a shot from the edge of the box but it flew high in the air off Russell and City were able to clear their lines.
With nine minutes gone, Van Homoet presented City with another free-kick when he brought down Bertrand wide on the left. Fotheringham took it but Muller made a clean catch despite the presence of Shackell.
At the other end, a cross from Van Homoet posed problems for Marshall and he had to palm it away for Barnsley's first corner. Devaney took the flag-kick but Foster was penalised for pushing despite getting his head to the ball.
A cross field ball by Van Homoet was only partially cleared by Doherty as Barnsley pressed again and Odejayi followed up with a powerful right-foot drive but it was well wide.
Campbell-Ryce gave City a scare after 15 minutes when his cross from the right flank ran along the six-yard line with nobody able to make contact. Devaney hooked it back across goal but this time Doherty was there to head clear.
City had not managed a shot at goal by this stage and Evans decided to test Muller from all of 35-yards but it was an ambitious effort and the keeper was right behind it.
With 18 minutes gone, the Canaries found themselves a goal down and it was Devaney, recalled to the side, who struck for Barnsley.
There seemed to be little immediate danger when Devaney took possession not far in from the left touchline but he cut inside and delivered a powerful right-foot shot which Marshall was able to get a hand to but could only help into the net off the inside of his left-hand post.
City tried the direct route in their search for a quick equaliser and as Evans chased a huge drop-kick from Marshall, he appeared to be shoved to the ground on the edge of the area by Foster, but referee Armstrong was unimpressed.
There was an opening for Norwich midway through the half when Camara found Evans and he forced Muller to dive low to his right to make an important save, with Camara just unable to get to the lose ball to follow up.
At least Norwich were showing a bit more urgency and Croft did extremely well to keep a clearance from Shackell in play and get in a centre which was met by a diving header from Fotheringham, just past the post.
Barnsley hit back and were awarded a free-kick five-yards outside the Norwich area, with McCann's effort taking a deflection off the wall and going out for a corner.
Howard's flag-kick was cleared by Camara, but straight back to him and he produced a teasing cross which Marshall did well to hold under pressure.
As Norwich switched to the attack, Croft found Evans in space but he was caught in possession. Moments later, the youngster did better when he moved on to an excellent pass from Croft and sent a right-foot shot just inches past the post from a tight angle.
City looked more shaky than usual at the back and Doherty almost got into trouble inside his own penalty area with a stumble before he recovered and just managed to scramble the ball clear.
Norwich had the jitters at times and Marshall was almost caught out by a short pass from Shackell which ran past him but the keeper was able to recover.
Croft earned a ticking off from the referee after a foul on Odejayi but there was no yellow card.
Russell was next to be penalised for a foul on Odejayi, but Shackell was in the right place to head clear from the free-kick by Howard.
There was danger for a moment when Devaney gave Otsemobor the slip with a neat turn of speed, but Russell came to the rescue with a timely interception.
Evans was looking Norwich's liveliest forward and he latched on to a poor headed clearance by Foster before firing a low right-foot shot just off target.
City were awarded a free-kick just inside the Barnsley half when Evans was fouled by Howard. There was a delay before the kick could be taken when Souza was sent off to change his shirt because he was bleeding and Norwich were allowed to take it while their opponents were a man short. The opportunity was wasted, however, when Camara's kick was easily headed clear by Odejayi.
In the final minute of the half, there was an angry reaction to Dublin's challenge on Foster when he jumped for a header and the City man was shown the yellow card.
In the two minutes of stoppage time that were allowed, Souza returned to the field wearing a shirt with no number at all.
In the last action of the half, a Howard free-kick led to a game of head tennis in the Norwich area before they were able to clear and then Van Homoet tried a shot from an acute angle which Marshall saved easily.
Camara was also shown the yellow card seconds before the teams left the field, though it was not clear why.
t Half-time: Barnsley 1, Norwich City 0
There were no changes to either side at the interval and City attacked first through Croft but he managed to run the ball out of play. He was involved again moments later but was just unable to get on the end of a cross from Evans.
Less than three minutes into the second half, the Canaries were back on terms thanks to the lively Evans, scoring his third goal for the club.
It was beautifully worked as Dublin teed up Fotheringham with a short pass and the skipper moved forward before playing a slide rule pass into the path of Evans, who coolly tucked a left-foot shot under Muller from a narrow angle.
Barnsley tried to retaliate with skipper Howard testing Marshall from long-range and Campbell-Ryce firing wildly over the top.
But Evans was still looking lively and another powerful shot took a deflection on the edge of the area and had Muller scrambling across his six-yard box to gather the spinning ball.
As Norwich continued to press, Fotheringham played a corner short to Croft, who fired over left-footed from a tight angle.
There were appeals for hand-ball from the visiting fans moments later when it appeared that Foster had handled to prevent Croft getting a pass from Evans under control.
Russell then tried a volley from a Croft centre but it was a miscue and gave Muller no trouble.
City were looking much more lively since the break and Croft set off on a mazy run before shooting wide from just outside the box when a pass to Evans may have been more profitable.
Norwich were on top at this stage and Dublin had two shots blocked by Souza as they tried to snatch the lead.
There were nearly 1,200 travelling fans at Oakwell and they were in very good voice after having very little to shout about in the first half.
The Canaries missed a golden chance to go ahead on the hour when they broke through Fotheringham. He found Evans and the young striker supplied the perfect pass to Croft, who seemed certain to score but rolled his right-foot shot against the foot of the post.
It was a narrow escape for Barnsley and a driving run by Otsemobor earned a corner, Russell heading it into the side netting from Fotheringham's kick.
Barnsley's Foster was shown the yellow card for a tackle from behind on Evans in which he actually came off worse and, midway through the half, the hosts made their first change when Coulson replaced Mostto.
The Canaries were awarded a free-kick when Campbell-Ryce fouled Camara but rather wasted it when Fotheringham's attempted pass ran straight out of play for a goal-kick.
Fotheringham did much better after 69 minutes, however, when his deflected shot gave his side the lead.
The City skipper let fly with a right-foot effort that appeared to strike Souza and it took a huge deflection, looping over keeper Muller and giving him no chance on its way into the net.
After that goal, there was a double change as Huckerby replaced Croft for Norwich and Leon replaced Campbell-Ryce for the hosts.
It was all happening now and after 74 minutes, the Canaries stretched their lead through Dublin. Fotheringham swung in a corner from the left and the veteran scored with a simple header to send the visiting fans into rapture.
Barnsley had a rare opportunity with 13 minutes to go when Russell fouled Howard to give them a free-kick midway into the Norwich half.
McCann took it and it brushed off the head of Doherty before Marshall gratefully grabbed the ball.
Norwich should have gone 4-1 ahead when a superb run by Huckerby let to a golden chance for Dublin, but he side-footed over the bar from close-range.
With 12 minutes to go there was another double change when Devaney was replaced by Ferenczi and City introduced Cureton in place of Evans.
The home crowd and bench were clearly unhappy with a strong challenge by Fotheringham on substitute Leon, but despite the award of a free-kick, there was no yellow card.
Shackell was in the wars when he took a bang in the face in a challenge from Ferenczi but he was able to continue.
An excellent pass from Leon set up Coulson on the Barnsley right but his low centre was cut out at the near post by Marshall.
With three minutes left, Russell tried to extend his side's lead with a powerful shot from a narrow angle which Muller did well to hold.
Dublin was off the field getting treatment for a bang on the nose, but still his team-mates pressed forward and it took a timely interception by Souza to cut out a cross from Cureton and prevent further damage.
In the final minute Dublin was replaced by Ryan Jarvis.
Dublin continued to receive treatment on the bench as the game entered four minutes of added time.
Jarvis was left hobbling by a bad tackle soon after arriving on the field and then Russell was inches away from getting on the end of a Huckerby cross.
t Full-time: Barnsley 1, Norwich City 3