Nottm Forest 1, Norwich City 2
David Cuffley Ten-man Norwich City at last gave their travelling fans something to cheer when the secured a vital victory over Nottingham Forest in their televised Championship match at the City Ground. The decisive goal came after 73 minutes when Forest's Norwich-born midfielder Chris Cohen turned the ball into his own net.
Ten-man Norwich City at last gave their travelling fans something to cheer when the secured a vital victory over Nottingham Forest in their televised Championship match at the City Ground.
The decisive goal came after 73 minutes when Forest's Norwich-born midfielder Chris Cohen turned the ball into his own net.
City had been a man short from the 20th minute onwards when Gary Doherty, captain for the day, was shown the red card for pulling down Nathan Tyson on the edge of the area.
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Two minutes after Doherty's exit, the Canaries went ahead when Matty Pattison scored his first goal for the club on his 43rd appearance, firing in a volley from a cross by David Bell.
Forest equalised seven minutes before the break when Paul Anderson latched on to a pass from Kelvin Wilson and turned Elliott Omozusi to fire past David Marshall.
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Marshall was the Norwich hero, however, with no fewer than five outstanding saves, three of them from Joe Garner.
Not far behind him was Sammy Clingan, playing against his old club, and having to switch to the centre of defence when City lost Omozusi with injury in the second half.
For City's 1,600 travelling fans on a bitterly cold evening, it was just reward after seeing their side beaten in their previous four away matches.
City boss Glenn Roeder made three changes from the team beaten 3-2 by Swansea at Carrow Road last week,
Lee Croft returned after a bout of flu and there were also recalls for fullback Elliott Omozusi and forward Wes Hoolahan.
Mark Fotheringham, who was skipper last week, Arturo Lupoli and Jon Otsemobor were all relegated to the substitutes' bench.
Antoine Sibierski was still sidelined by a knee injury and midfielder Darel Russell was serving the second game of a three match ban, while there was no place in the 16 for defender Adam Drury.
In the absence of Russell and with Fotheringham on the bench, Gary Doherty was named as captain for the day.
Forest manager Colin Calderwood named the same 11 who drew 2-2 at Bristol City last week, but made three changes to his substitutes.
Former Norwich striker Robert Earnshaw recovered from a calf injury to take his place on the bench, while Joel Lynch and the on-loan Lee Martin were also recalled.
There were two more players in the Forest side with Norwich connections, midfielder Chris Cohen having been born in the city and goalkeeper Lee Camp spending three months on loan with the Canaries two seasons ago.
It was very cold in Nottingham by the time of the early evening kick-off but there was none of the snow experienced in Norfolk today.
Forest were forced into a change on the bench when Earnshaw was injured in the pre-match warm up and could therefore take no part against his former club.
City began brightly with Clingan and Hoolahan combining well but the offside flag was raised against Croft.
With only two minutes gone, there was a real opening for the Canaries when a cross from the right found its way through to Bell but his first time shot was blocked by Camp.
As Forest attacked, Heath crossed from the left and Marshall had to have his wits about him to collect at the near post.
City forced the first corner after four minutes but Bell's kick was a poor one and did not get beyond the near post.
Marshall was then forced into action twice in quick succession, punching away a header from Cohen after a free-kick and then having to grab the ball under pressure in the goalmouth scramble that followed.
There was a delay after nine minutes when Garner needed treatment following a strong challenge by Kennedy, although referee Oliver did not deem it to be a foul.
Hoolahan tried to put Lita through with a delicate lob, but Morgan managed to head the bouncing ball back to the keeper.
Forest produced their best effort yet after 11 minutes when Cohen crossed from the left and Tyson was just off target with a near post header.
There was a narrow escape for Camp when Clingan found Croft on the right and the winger's cross took a deflection, almost creeping in at the near post, with the keeper diving to his left to concede a corner.
Bell took the flag-kick from the right but the referee blew for an infringement.
As Forest counter-attacked, Doherty had to concede a corner when he headed clear from a cross by Cohen. The kick was taken by Cohen but City were able to clear their lines.
There were jeers from the home crowd for Forest old boy Clingan when he aimed a through ball towards the penalty area but straight at Camp.
Forest had a golden chance in the 18th minute when Cohen got the better of Doherty and played a square pass to Garner but his shot was saved at point-blank range by Marshall.
It was an end to end contest and when a cross from Bell was half-cleared, Bertrand should have done better than fire high into the crowd.
There was drama after 20 minutes when the Canaries were reduced to 10 men by the dismissal of Doherty.
Doherty brought down the last man, Tyson, on the edge of the area and was shown the red card by referee Oliver.
From the resulting free-kick, Anderson touched the ball to Thornhill and his low drive was goal-bound until Marshall dived to his right to tip it onto the post.
Roeder immediately made a change by sending on another defender in Otsemobor and withdrawing Hoolahan.
It was all happening now and after 22 minutes, the Canaries took the lead when Pattison scored his first goal for the club.
Croft and Otsemobor combined on the right and when the ball reached Bell, he showed great patience before floating a cross towards Pattison, who scored with a powerful left-foot volley which gave Camp absolutely no chance, much to the delight of City's big contingent of travelling fans.
In the reshuffle after the substitution, Omozusi had switched to the centre of defence alongside Kennedy with Otsemobor in his usual role at right-back.
The home crowd were much quieter after that goal and were becoming a little impatient, not helped when a cross by Anderson went straight to Marshall.
Despite having 10 men, City were looking spritely and Otsemobor's persistence forced Anderson to concede a corner. Bell took it, but it was a comfortable catch for Camp.
Anderson and Cohen had swapped flanks more than once as Forest tried to find a way through but another poor Anderson cross was comfortably gathered by Marshall.
The home side threatened again when Tyson found Perch on the right and he crossed towards the penalty spot, but the header by Garner was a comfortable height for Marshall.
The City keeper excelled himself again when his defence froze and he jumped to his left to turn a header from Garner round the post.
Morgan got his head to the resulting corner but he was wide of the target.
Seven minutes before the break, however, there was a real blow for Norwich when Forest drew level through Anderson.
A through ball down the left found Anderson and he turned neatly on to his right foot inside the penalty area and, as Omozusi slipped behind him, he managed to squeeze a right-foot shot beyond the helpless Marshall and inside the post.
As City tried to hit back, Bertrand had another opportunity to shoot, but fired weakly across the face of the goal.
In the two minutes of time added on at the end of the half, Health played a one-two with Cohen and advanced into the City area, but the defender was unable to kept he ball in play.
t Half-time: Nottingham Forest 1, Norwich City 1
Forest made a change at the break when McCleary replace Thornhill and they were soon on the attack, but a timely challenge by Kennedy stopped Tyson from getting within shooting range of Marshall.
A poor header by Morgan almost let Lita in as City pushed forward, but the striker was penalised for a push on Chambers.
The home crowd were yelling for a free-kick moments later when it appeared Kennedy may have stopped Tyson's progress with a raised arm, but the referee waved play on.
McCleary got into the action five minutes after the break with a determined run but his final shot had the sting taken out of it by a deflection off Omozusi and Marshall collected it easily.
Cohen and McCleary combined as Forest attacked again and gave Chambers oceans of space to shoot, but his low drive rolled nearly a yard wide when he might have done better.
Clingan, now wearing the captain's armband, had to concede a corner nine minutes into the half as Tyson for once got the better of Kennedy, but the inswinging kick by Anderson was a poor one and Bell was on hand to volley clear.
As the Canaries were guilty of one pass too many as they tried to find a way through in the Forest half and when Pattison lost possession, Anderson sent Tyson racing away. His progress was halted by Omozusi and the home crowd appealed for hand-ball as the City defender tumbled, but the referee gave a foul against Tyson.
With nearly an hour played, Marshall made another brilliant save to deny Garner at the expense of a corner.
The keeper then had to punch clear from the flag-kick and there were groans from the home crowd when Cohen hooked his follow-up attempt high over the bar.
City made another change after 62 minutes when Fotheringham replaced Omozusi who took an eternity to leave the field, much to the crowd's annoyance. Clingan slotted into the centre of defence, where he had played a few times in pre-season games, while Fotheringham took up his normal midfield position.
Croft earned Norwich sixth corner 20 minutes into the half and Lita managed to get in a shot from Bell's flag-kick, but the ball was slightly behind him and his effort lacked power.
A foul on Pattison gave City a free-kick midway into their own half but there was a delay before it could be taken while Cohen received attention for a knock.
Tyson showed his pace again to get away from Kennedy and get in a cross, but Clingan was on hand to cut it out and prevent any damage.
City won another corner but Bell's kick was a gift for Camp.
Croft burst through the middle to good effect before finding Bell, but the winger's cross was too strong for Lita and Norwich were soon defending again as Marshall turned away a powerful effort from Cohen.
Cohen took the resulting corner, but Perch headed wide of the target.
City's 1,600 travelling fans were singing again in the 73rd minute when their team regained the lead, courtesy of an own goal.
Pattison and Fotheringham were involved in the build-up and when Fotheringham threaded the ball through towards Lita, it was Croft who crossed towards the far post where Cohen knocked the ball past his own keeper as Fotheringham challenged from behind.
As Forest hit back, Chambers crossed from the right but the ball landed on the roof of the net.
With 14 minutes to go, Forest made another change with Martin replacing Heath.
Clingan, still sporting a patch above his left eye from his midweek injury with Northern Ireland, was performing well at the back and made an important interception when Anderson tried to thread a pass into the penalty area.
Forest won a corner with 10 minutes to go when Otsemobor cut out Cohen's cross but it was Clingan again in the right place to head clear from Cohen's flag-kick.
Some Forest fans were beginning to make their way towards the exits at this stage, disillusioned by what they had seen.
There were more moans and groans when McCleary, given a shooting chance in the area took far too long and lost the opportunity and as City broke through Croft, he was upended by Cohen, clearly frustrated with things.
With four minutes left, Forest had a dead-ball opportunity but Cohen curled his free-kick straight into Marshall's arms.
Anderson then set off on another run before curling in a left-foot shot but Marshall was right behind it.
As the game entered the final minute, Bertrand conceded a corner when he headed clear but Anderson took a terrible kick which City were able to bundle away, prompting more of the home crowd to rise from their seats.
Result: Nottingham Forest 1, Norwich City 2