Norwich City 1, Derby County 2
David Cuffley Norwich City conceded a disastrous goal six minutes from time to crash to defeat at the hands of 10-man Derby at Carrow Road. Substitute Nathan Ellington scored the Rams' winner after City keeper David Marshall had raced from his goal but only succeeded in running into the back of defender Adam Drury, leaving Ellington to slide the loose ball into an empty net.
Norwich City conceded a disastrous goal six minutes from time to crash to defeat at the hands of 10-man Derby at Carrow Road.
Substitute Nathan Ellington scored the Rams' winner after City keeper David Marshall had raced from his goal but only succeeded in running into the back of defender Adam Drury, leaving Ellington to slide the loose ball into an empty net.
It was a match which produced one red card and five yellows with Derby goalkeeper Roy Carroll sent off after conceding a second half penalty.
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Derby had taken the lead after 26 minutes when Rob Hulse headed home from a corner from Steven Davies.
The Canaries levelled six minutes after the break when Sammy Clingan scored from the penalty spot after Carroll had brought down striker Leroy Lita with a high challenge and was sent off for his trouble. It was Clingan's first goal for the club on his return to the side after missing five matches with a shoulder injury.
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City's reshuffled defence coped reasonable well against a big Derby side but their hard work was undone by Ellington's bizarre winner and the Canaries go into a fortnight's break with just two league wins under their belt.
Skipper Mark Fotheringham was dropped from the City side, with Darel Russell taking over the captain's armband.
There were three changes in all to the team which started Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Southampton with centre half Dejan Stefanovic starting a two match suspension for the red card he received in midweek and on-loan Jonathan Grounds recalled by Middlesbrough because of their own injury problems.
Sammy Clingan made his first appearance since the end of August after missing five games with a shoulder injury, Adam Drury was recalled in defence and striker Leroy Lita, starting a month's on-loan from Reading, made his debut.
There were further surprises on the bench with David Bell included in the 16 for the first time since his summer move from Luton, but no place at all for Wes Hoolahan.
Fotheringham was among the substitutes, along with two strikers, Arturo Lupoli and Jamie Cureton.
Derby manager Paul Jewell made two changes to the 11 who started the 1-1 draw with Birmingham on Tuesday. Defender Martin Albrechtsen was ruled out by a hamstring injury and midfielder Stephen Pearson was also missing.
Into the starting line-up came Lewin Nyatanga and Steven Davies.
City kicked off, defending the Barclay goal, and it was immediately clear that Drury was playing alongside Omozusi in the centre of defence with Bertrand at left back and Koroma appearing to be playing in the wide left role. Clingan was back in his accustomed position in midfield as a straight swap for Fotheringham with Lita, as expected, partnering Sibierski up front.
Clingan was soon in the action, sliding in to concede a throw in as Connolly tried to overlap for Derby down the right.
The visitors were awarded a free-kick on half way, which was taken by Leacock and aimed at Hulse, but the striker's header was fairly harmless and drifted wide.
There was an early yellow card shown by referee Deadman to City skipper Russell for a foul on Addison just inside the Derby half, a decision which did not please the home crowd.
Russell was soon back in his own penalty area, making an important challenge on Davies to prevent the Derby man getting in a cross close to the byline.
Davies threatened again after nine minutes when his long throw was knocked straight back to him and he almost surprised Marshall with a stinging left foot shot from a narrow angle which struck the keeper's body and flew out for a corner.
Leacock earned a lecture from the official for kicking the ball away as City prepared to take a free-kick but this time Mr Deadman kept the cards in his pocket.
Lita did well to keep the ball in as City pushed forward with a neat back heel to Koroma but the youngster was crowded out as he tried to get in a cross.
Marshall had to race out of his goal and head clear a long kick by Carroll as Derby tried a swift counterattack and then Clingan was angry with what looked like a late challenge by Green which left him hobbling, but play continued.
The crowd came to life after 14 minutes when a move down the right almost produced the breakthrough. Croft found Lita and, at the second attempt, he managed to thread a low cross through to Koroma but the youngster was unable to get in a shot as the ball became stuck in Connolly's midriff as he lay on the ground and eventually Derby scrambled it clear.
There was another chance for Koroma after 19 minutes when Marshall's long ball up field was nodded on by Sibierski into the path of Croft and the winger's low cross found Koroma but he managed to scuff his right foot shot a yard wide of the target.
The yellow card came out again when Leacock was booked for a clumsy challenge on Russell.
Croft was earning applause for some of his defensive work and he produced an excellent tackle on Stewart to concede a throw after a misplaced pass by Clingan set Derby on the attack.
The Rams were then awarded a free-kick for a foul by Sibierski and they took it quickly but the cross from Davies from the left was easily cut out.
Koroma was also paying attention to defensive duties and conceded a corner with a challenge on Connolly.
Alas for Norwich, that corner produced the opening goal as Davies swung the flag kick to the far post where Hulse scored with a simple header.
The home crowd were incensed soon after the restart when Hulse caught Otsemobor with a late challenge and became the third player to be booked. Otsemobor needed treatment before being able to resume.
A foul on Bertrand gave the Canaries a free-kick just outside the Derby area and Koroma's curling shot was chipped over by Carroll for the home side's first corner. Clingan took it from the left but it was comfortably cleared.
Bertrand tried to get City moving with a through ball to Lita which the striker did well to control but his square pass to Croft slipped under the winger's foot and the promising move broke down.
With 33 minutes gone, there was an unexpected hold up when one of the referee's assistants appeared to have an injury and had to be replaced by the fourth official. While both teams took a drink, City boss Roeder came down from his seat to make a few points to referee Deadman.
City's attacking pair were clearly still getting to know each other, summed up by the fact that Sibierski and Lita both jumped for the same header on the halfway line as Marshall lofted the ball up field.
There was another narrow escape for the City defence when Davies sent a glancing header just wide from a cross by Stewart.
As Derby pressed again, Barazite had a shot deflected wide for a corner but this time Marshall made a clean catch from the kick by Davies.
Croft and Russell worked a neat passing move down the right hand side before the midfielder turned in the area and dragged a low left foot shot wide of the target.
Hulse was a constant threat to the City back four and got on the end of another cross from Davies but headed just wide.
The next Derby attack was brought to an abrupt end by a blatant handball by Hulse but the visitors had generally enjoyed the better of things as the interval approached.
There was another delay when Drury went down, clutching the back of his head and the referee checked on his welfare before allowing the game to continue.
There were a few boos as the half-time whistle was blown after a half which had almost been as grey for City as the skies above.
t Half-time: Norwich City 0, Derby County 1
In the third minute of the second half Otsemobor and Croft combined on the right to provide Lita with a shooting chance and his effort was squeezed out off Nyatanga for a corner.
The resulting corner from Clingan was headed clear by Davies but City were soon on the attack again and there was drama when they were awarded a penalty.
Clingan floated a pass into the Derby area and as Lita attempted to flick the ball past goalkeeper Carroll, Carroll caught him with a high boot and he went down, Mr Deadman pointing straight to the spot.
After consulting his assistant, the referee walked back and showed the red card to Carroll. Derby immediately sent on substitute keeper Bywater to face the spot kick and withdrew striker Villa.
Clingan then stepped up to blast the penalty past Bywater for his first goal for the club.
With a one man advantage, City set about attacking with new purpose and a cross by Croft had Bywater stretching to palm the ball away as Koroma jumped for the header.
Norwich were then temporarily reduced to 10 men when Otsemobor needed treatment by the corner flag but they continued to threaten and Bywater, enjoying a busy start, had to rush out to hack the ball clear under pressure from Lita.
Otsemobor was unable to continue and, 12 minutes into the half, he was replaced by Fotheringham, who took up his usual midfield position with Clingan dropping to right back.
As the game got underway again, Otsemobor was carried off on a stretcher, earning a generous round of applause as he was conveyed round the perimeter track.
Fotheringham and Clingan combined to send the busy Croft racing away on the right and Bywater did well to gather his cross as Lita waited to pounce.
With 62 minutes gone, both teams made a change with Bell coming on for his Norwich debut and immediately taking up the wide left position in place of Koroma, while Derby replaced Barazite with Kazmierczak.
Kazmierczak had been on the field just a couple on minutes when he was shown the yellow card for a foul on Russell.
Fotheringham played the resulting free-kick out wide to Clingan but it was totally wasted when the goal scorer was caught in possession by Addison and had to concede a free-kick of his own.
There was danger for Norwich when a pass from Hulse almost put Davies clear as it took an excellent challenge by Clingan to deny the Derby man a shooting chance.
Lita's persistence very nearly earned City a corner when he twisted past Nyatanga in the Derby area but he was a shade unfortunate when the ball deflected out off his shin for a goal kick.
Derby had not abandoned their attacking intent despite going down to 10 men and Stewart set off on a determined run before his cross was cut out by Omozusi, then Davies created space for a left foot shot which was blocked by Drury.
The yellow card was produced for the fifth time when Stewart was booked for dissent and, two minutes later Derby made another change when Ellington replaced the impressive Davies.
Bell got into the action when he cut in from the left touchline and curled in a cross towards Lita, but the striker did not make clean contact and his header flew wide.
Bell was involved again when he found Sibierski and the big striker threaded a pass through to Lita, but he had strayed offside.
Drury, performing well in his central defensive role came to City's rescue with a timely challenge on Hulse to deny the striker a shooting chance after good work by Ellington, Drury doing just enough to enable Marshall to come out and smother the ball.
Roeder made City's final change with 10 minutes to go when Lupoli replaced Croft with Bell switching to the right hand side.
Lupoli quickly won a corner, which was taken by Bell, but Lita was unable to get in a header. Still Norwich pressed and Lita headed over the top from a Bell centre, although it appeared Leacock may have got the final touch.
With just six minutes left, City fell behind to a disastrous goal, scored by Ellington. As Stewart knocked a long ball forward, Marshall raced out of his area but only succeeded in running into Drury, who was already closely shadowing Ellington. Realising his error, Marshall tried to race back into his goal but Ellington had managed to squeeze in a low left foot shot which rolled agonisingly into the net.
As City looked for a quick reply, Fotheringham fired over the top after a touch from Lita.
In the final minute, a touch from Sibierski presented Lita with a reasonable chance but he stretched out his right foot and poked the ball wide.
Many of the home crowd had begun to file out of the ground but those who remained were given a glimmer of hope when the fourth official signalled five minutes of time added on.
With nearly three minutes additional time played, City forced a corner and Bertrand's kick reached Bell on the edge of the area, but the substitute's shot was blocked.
t Result: Norwich City 1, Derby County 2
t MoM: Croft
t Attendance: 24,771