Norwich City 1, Burnley 1
David Cuffley Norwich City missed the chance to move out of the bottom three in the Championship when they were held to a draw by promotion chasing Burnley at Carrow Road.
Norwich City missed the chance to move out of the bottom three in the Championship when they were held to a draw by promotion chasing Burnley at Carrow Road.
Striker Jamie Cureton, recalled in place of Alan Gow, gave the Canaries the lead after 20 minutes when he fired home after good work by Wes Hoolahan and skipper Mark Fotheringham.
City enjoyed a purple patch for the next 15 minutes but failed to build on their lead and Burnley drew level nine minutes before the break when Steven Thompson scored from close range after goalkeeper David Marshall had parried a shot by Robbie Blake.
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There were few clear-cut chances in the second half with Burnley keeper Brian Jensen saving from Jason Shackell at one end and substitute Chris Eagles missing a golden opportunity to wrap up victory when he fired over the bar in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
But it was two more points dropped by the Canaries, who have now gone six matches without a win under new manager Bryan Gunn and simply must to better when Coventry visit Carrow Road next Saturday.
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City, without a win in five matches, showed two changes to the team which started last week's 1-0 defeat at Preston.
Sammy Clingan returned in midfield after recovering from a thigh injury, with Darel Russell dropping to the bench.
And there was a recall in attack for Jamie Cureton, with on-loan forward Alan Gow ruled out by a thigh strain.
Jason Shackell was making his first home appearance since returning on loan from Wolves. Ryan Bertrand, fit again after missing two games with an ankle ligament problem, was named among the substitutes and there was one surprise on the bench with the inclusion of 19-year-old striker Luke Daley.
Burnley boss Owen Coyle named the same starting 11 and five substitutes as in the 1-1 draw at home to Coventry on Tuesday.
Winger Chris Eagles, who scored a last minute equaliser after coming on as a substitute against the Sky Blues, was on the bench again, having struggled to shake off the effects of a chest infection which aggravated his asthma.
City kicked off attacking the Barclay goal on a spring like afternoon and Williams, in the Burnley defence, made a couple of early interceptions as the home side looked to make a lively start.
Cort tried to find striking partner Cureton with a through ball in the second minute, but goalkeeper Jensen was out smartly to collect.
A long throw from Williams reached the six-yard box as Burnley pushed forward for the first time, but Thompson was adjudged to have impeded Shackell and a free-kick was given.
Burnley won a free-kick just inside the Norwich half when Shackell was penalised for tugging the shirt of Paterson. Alexander tried to find Paterson from the dead ball kick, but the striker was unable to keep the ball in play.
Another free-kick by Duff posed a few problems when Doherty failed to head clear, giving Paterson room for a shot which took a deflection off Grounds and rolled wide.
The Canaries had not really threatened so far and after a Croft centre was headed clear by Caldwell, an attempted one-two between Otsemobor and Croft failed when the fullback was just unable to keep the ball in play.
Hoolahan and Clingan exchanged passes as Norwich broke quickly, but Hoolahan's cross was a poor one and was cut out by McCann and, with 12 minutes gone, it had been fairly uninspiring stuff from both sides.
There were a few more groans when Otsemobor played a free-kick from halfway straight into Jensen's hands.
The temperature was raised briefly after a quarter of an hour when Clingan took a free-kick from the halfway line and found Hoolahan, who played a neat one-two with Cureton, but Hoolahan was crowded out by keeper Jensen and a couple of defenders when he tried to get in a shot from close range.
Shackell took a bang in the face from the arm of Thompson and was in some discomfort, but carried on without treatment.
Thompson was the offender again when he tripped Hoolahan close to the left touchline to give City another free-kick. Clingan aimed it towards Doherty, who won the header, but it was straight at Jensen.
The Canaries got just the lift that they needed after 20 minutes when Cureton gave them the lead with his second goal since returning from a loan spell at Barnsley. Hoolahan created the opening with an excellent pass to Fotheringham and the City skipper pulled the ball back perfectly for Cureton to beat Jensen with a first time right foot shot.
It was Cureton's second goal against Burnley this season after scoring against them for Barnsley on Boxing Day.
City were soon on the attack again and Duff was shown the yellow card for tripping Hoolahan.
Moments later, Cureton flashed a right foot drive just wide from long range.
With 24 minutes gone, Norwich almost had a second when Cort was denied by an excellent save by Jensen. Cort played the ball wide to Croft on the right and then jumped at the far post to meet the winger's cross with a powerful header, but Jensen managed to palm the ball away.
The home crowd were in good voice now and City won a free-kick on the edge of the area when Williams fouled Hoolahan he was lectured by the referee. While Clingan waited to take the kick, Alexander and Blake were both spoken to by the official and Clingan eventually curled the cross into the arms of Jensen.
It was all Norwich now and Otsemobor brought Jensen into action when he rounded off a powerful run with a cracking right foot shot.
Croft's determination then won a corner and when Clingan swung the kick over, Hoolahan met it with a left foot volley, but it was too high to trouble the keeper.
Burnley forced their first corner after 32 minutes, Blake playing it short to Elliott, but when Elliott crossed, Otsemobor was there to head clear. City counterattacked quickly through Croft and when the ball reached Hoolahan, he had a powerful shot charged down.
Some good work by Elliott almost put Paterson through, but the striker was unable to control the pass and Marshall nipped out to dispossess him.
Burnley got back on terms nine minutes before the interval with a goal by Thompson.
Blake created the initial opening when he played a one-two with Paterson and struck a powerful right foot shot which Marshall managed to parry, but Thompson reacted quickly to fire home the rebound from six-yards.
The goal was an untimely blow for City, who had enjoyed a purple patch for 10 minutes after Cureton's goal and might have been further ahead.
The visitors had come more into the game and went in search of a second goal but when Paterson found McCann, his cross dropped behind the goal and City could breathe again.
Otsemobor tried to find Cureton with a long through ball as Norwich pushed forward again, but it was just too strong and Jensen got there first.
Shackell cut out a cross from McCann as Burnley threatened again and with three minutes left of the half, Grounds was forced to concede another corner. Blake again took it short, but Hoolahan was alert enough to dispossess Elliott before he could get a shot in.
As the interval approached, Carrow Road had gone very quiet and City had lost the fluency they had enjoyed immediately after taking the lead.
A foul by Caldwell on Cort gave Norwich a free-kick on halfway but as Clingan again found Doherty, the defender's header lacked direction and Burnley were able to get the ball away.
t Half-time: Norwich City 1, Burnley 1
There were no changes to either side at the interval and City pushed forward first, but Hoolahan's ball was just too strong for Cureton.
Shackell conceded a corner moments later, Blake taking an in-swinging kick straight into Marshall's hands.
City won a free-kick just into the Burnley half when Alexander was penalised for handball. Clingan aimed the kick towards Grounds and the defender managed to make contact, but his cross, made at full stretch, rolled out for a goal kick.
Six minutes into the half, Hoolahan managed to find enough space to let fly left-footed from long range, but his powerful effort had cleared the crossbar.
There was a delay while goalscorer Thompson needed attention after appearing to take a bang in the face after a challenge from Doherty, but he was fairly quickly back into the action.
City were winning their fair share of free-kicks and after Clingan wasted one, he had another opportunity when Croft was fouled by Elliott. This time, he curled the ball into the six-yard box, where Duff headed clear.
A neat turn by Hoolahan enabled him to find Croft on the right and the winger attempted to pick out Cort at the far post with a first-time cross but Jensen made a clean catch.
City were enjoying plenty of possession and had the crowd right behind them but too often the final ball was not accurate enough.
Croft won applause for charging back to the edge of his own area to tackle Elliott as Burnley threatened on the counter-attack.
Then Blake was given too much time to make room for a long-range shot, which was not too far off target.
The visitors made a double change after 62 minutes when Eagles replaced Elliott and, rather surprisingly, Blake made way for McDonald.
City produced a better move when Croft's centre was nodded back by Cort and then touched backwards by Hoolahan for Fotheringham to test Jensen with a right-foot shot which the keeper grabbed at the second attempt as Cureton waited to pounce.
Midway through the second half, City made their first change when Killen was sent on in place of Cort, who looked a little disappointed to be withdrawn and was given a good ovation by the home crowd.
Killen quickly won a free-kick 10-yards into the Burnley half when he was pushed in the back by Caldwell. Clingan's kick was cleared as far as Hoolahan and he eventually found Doherty, who tried to float a cross into the six-yard box but it drifted across the face of goal.
The game was littered with free-kicks and Clingan took another one from the right touchline after 73 minutes, which almost produced a goal. Clingan's kick was nodded down by Doherty and Shackell struck a left-foot shot from close range, but it lacked the power to beat Jensen. It was probably City's one real opportunity of the second half.
Burnley were taking no prisoners and Alexander brought down Hoolahan on the halfway line to concede another free-kick. Fotheringham was unhappy at the absence of a yellow card for the Burnley man and the City captain was lectured by the referee for protesting too much.
Norwich won another corner when Jordan headed behind from a Hoolahan cross and Clingan's kick was cleared as far as Hoolahan, but his cross was headed away by Thompson, helping out in defence.
With 12 minutes to go, City boss Gunn made another change by sending 19-year-old Daley on for his debut in place of goal scorer Cureton. The Canaries now had a very unfamiliar attacking pair in the New Zealander, Killen, and the debutant.
Grounds was also getting forward much more as City tried to find the impetus to summon up a winner in the closing stages. The game's other goalscorer, Thompson, departed eight minutes from the end when he made way for Rodriguez and Norwich made their final change a minute later when Bertrand replaced Hoolahan.
Clear-cut chances had been few and far between in the second period and as the minutes ticked away, the Canaries appeared as if they were going to miss out on the chance to move out of the bottom three.
Eagles angered the home crowd when he kicked the ball away after City had been awarded a free-kick on the edge of their own penalty area, but escaped with just a quiet word from the official.
With two minutes to go, McDonald worked his way into a shooting position for Burnley but struck a feeble left-foot shot straight at Marshall.
The game appeared to be drifting towards an uninspiring draw, but when the fourth official signalled four additional minutes, both sides clearly had time to snatch three points.
Burnley came dangerously close to doing so when a cross by Eagles was allowed to run across the six-yard box, but Grounds made a timely clearance.
A foul by Doherty on Rodriguez then gave the visitors a free-kick close to the penalty area, but the decision was overturned because the free-kick which led to it had been taken with a rolling ball and Burnley had to take play back to the halfway line to retake it.
Eagles missed a golden chance to win the game for Burnley in the fourth minute of stoppage time when he fired over the bar.
t Result: Norwich City 1, Burnley 1