Norwich City 3, Huddersfield Town 0
SLIDESHOW: Norwich City turned on the style with three second-half goals to chalk up their seventh successive home victory at the expense of League One promotion rivals Huddersfield Town. The Canaries were second best for much of the first half against the team managed by former assistant boss Lee Clark, but they took command once Wes Hoolahan had given them a 57th minute lead with his 12th goal of the season.
Norwich City turned on the style with three second-half goals to chalk up their seventh successive home victory at the expense of League One promotion rivals Huddersfield Town.
The Canaries were second best for much of the first half against the team managed by former assistant boss Lee Clark, but they took command once Wes Hoolahan had given them a 57th minute lead with his 12th goal of the season.
Chris Martin, who had earlier missed an open goal, made it 2-0 after 74 minutes to atone for that bad miss early in the second half.
Then centre-back Gary Doherty hammered home his fourth goal in three matches after 79 minutes to complete a vital victory and give a 25,000-plus crowd the perfect early Christmas present.
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The only negative from the game was Doherty's fifth yellow card of the season, which means he will be suspended for the Boxing Day home game against Millwall, subject to FA confirmation.
With defender Jens Berthel Askou (foot) and midfielder Korey Smith (thigh) ruled out again by injury, manager Paul Lambert fielded the same starting eleven as in Tuesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie at Southampton.
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It meant Michael Nelson and 18-year-old Tom Adeyemi kept their places, while there was a recall on the bench for midfielder Stephen Hughes after he recovered from a calf problem.
Huddersfield were without the suspended Antony Kay after he picked up a fifth booking in last weeks' 2-1 win over Gillingham, but welcomed back Anthony Pilkington after a one-match ban.
Jim Goodwin was preferred to Lionel Ainsworth in midfield.
The visitors, wearing not their traditional blue and white stripes but a strip of red with dark blue shorts, started more brightly and won the first corner inside a minute. They kept up the pressure and a cross from former Ipswich winger Roberts swept dangerously across the six-yard box.
City finally threatened in the seventh minute when a touch from Chris Martin set up Hoolahan for a left-foot shot from the edge of the area, but it was a yard wide.
Adeyemi was only just away from getting on the end of Chris Martin's cross, but Huddersfield went desperately close to taking the lead after 11 minutes when Pilkington's cross was met with a powerful header by Rhodes, but Forster was in the right place to make an instinctive save and keep City on terms.
The Terriers were well on top and after Roberts drilled a free-kick into the wall, Nathan Clarke had a shot blocked by Doherty, appealing in vain for handball.
It took City 18 minutes to win their first corner, winning two in quick succession, but failing to trouble keeper Smithies.
A slip by Russell Martin let Rhodes in for a shot in the 25th minute and his effort whistled past Forster's right-hand post.
Nelson attempted an overhead kick on the edge of the Huddersfield area after good work by Holt, but his effort was blocked.
City produced their best effort of the half eight minutes before the break when Russell's excellent diagonal pass found Chris Martin and he weaved his way inside before hitting a left-foot shot narrowly wide.
Doherty was shown the yellow card four minutes before the break for a foul on Rhodes on the edge of the Norwich area.
When Pilkington's free-kick was taken, after much dispute over the position of the ball, it finally reached Goodwin, but he hooked a left-foot shot wide.
In first-half stoppage time, Collins worked his way into the Norwich area before firing right-footed over the top.
t Half-time: Norwich City 0, Huddersfield Town 0
Lambert made a change at half-time with Hughes replacing Adeyemi.
A foul by Drury three minutes after the break gave Huddersfield a free-kick on the right-hand edge of the City area and Pilkington drilled it low into the box, where Rhodes flashed a right-foot shot wide.
In the 52nd minute, Chris Martin was guilty of a terrible miss when Hoolahan cashed in on a mix-up between two defenders and crossed to the far post, where Martin sliced wide with the goal at his mercy.
Peltier was booked a minute later for blocking Lappin's attempt to take a quick throw-in.
City's brighter start to the second half was rewarded in the 57th minute when Hoolahan gave them the lead with his 12th goal of the season.
Lappin won the ball with a solid challenge in midfield and Chris Martin fed Hoolahan, who advanced towards the edge of the area and, with Hughes free on his right, chose to keep going and beat Smithies with a low drive just inside the keeper's left-hand post.
As Huddersfield tried to hit back, Roberts' free-kick was met by Peter Clarke's header, but straight at Forster.
But City had their tails up and Russell had a powerful shot deflected wide with Smithies wrong-footed.
With 25 minutes left, Rhodes squandered a useful opportunity when he curled a tame effort straight at Forster.
A late challenge by Roberts on Hoolahan, right in front of the dug-outs, angered the home crowd and earned him a yellow card.
Holt had a half-chance but was unable to get any power behind his effort after a one-two with Chris Martin.
But with 74 minutes gone, City made it 2-0 and it was Chris Martin who atoned for his earlier miss. Hoolahan's pass was missed by Peter Clarke and left Martin through against Smithies, keeping his cool to tuck home his 13th goal of the season.
Huddersfield immediately made a double change with Robinson and Tom Clarke replacing Novak and Goodwin.
But a 79th-minute corner made the game safe and it was Doherty scoring his fourth goal in three matches.
Lappin's corner was met with a firm header by Holt, which was blocked by Roberts, but the rebound fell to Doherty, who blasted his shot past Smithies.
Martin almost had a fourth after 81 minutes, Smithies diving to his right to keep out the striker's long range effort.
Pilkington was booked for a foul on Russell Martin with six minutes left.
Holt came close to making it 4-0 in stoppage time.
t Result: Norwich City 3, Huddersfield Town 0
t Norwich City: Forster; Russell Martin, Doherty, Nelson, Drury; Russell; Adeyemi, Lappin; Hoolahan; Holt, Chris Martin.
Subs: Steer, Otsemobor, Gill, Hughes (for Adeyemi, 45), McNamee, McDonald, Dawkin.
t Huddersfield Town: Smithies; Peltier, Peter Clarke, Nathan Clarke, Skarz; Pilkington, Goodwin, Collins, Roberts; Rhodes, Novak.
Subs: Glennon, Butler, Berrett, Tom Clarke (for Goodwin, 75), Drinkwater, Ainsworth, Robinson (for Novak, 75).
t Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffordshire)
t Attendance: 25,004
t Goals: Norwich: Hoolahan (57), Chris Martin (74), Doherty (79)
t Bookings: Norwich: Doherty (41). Huddersfield: Peltier (53), Roberts (72), Pilkington (84)