Scunthorpe 0, Norwich City 1

Skipper Grant Holt headed a dramatic stoppage-time goal for Norwich City to give them their first Championship victory of the new season.

Their clash with Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park looked destined for a goalless draw until late substitute Simon Lappin produced the cross from which Holt produced a powerful header to spark wild celebrations among 1,200 travelling fans.

The home side had the better openings in the first half when Chris Dagnall fired wide and City goalkeeper John Ruddy made important saves from Martyn Woolford and Jonathan Forte.

But the Canaries had much the better of things after the break, when Chris Martin was desperately close to putting them ahead and Holt had a goal disallowed.

City's second-half dominance looked set to go unrewarded until Holt struck with his third goal of the season after scoring twice in the 4-1 Carling Cup win over Gillingham.


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City boss Paul Lambert made two changes to the eleven who started the Carling Cup tie against Gillingham with David Fox and Simon Lappin making way for Andrew Crofts, back from international duty with Wales, and Andrew Surman, who missed the 4-1 midweek win after suffering a knock in training.

Matthew Gill and Stephen Hughes were omitted from Tuesday's 18 to make way for Fox and Lappin on the bench.

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City won the first corner in the third minute and Crofts was close to getting his head to Surman's kick before Woolford hammered the ball upfield.

There were appeals for a penalty from Chris Martin as he went down under challenge from Jones as City worked their way into the Scunthorpe area, but referee Sarginson was unimpressed.

A long-range effort from Drury took a deflection on its way through to goalkeeper Murphy as the Canaries continued their bright start.

Scunthorpe began to get into gear and won their first corner after 17 minutes, Surman heading clear from O'Connor's flag-kick.

A low cross from Holt was cut out by Murphy as City built patiently, but with 20 minutes gone, neither 'keeper had been seriously threatened.

The Canaries produced their best effort yet when Holt's header set up Hoolahan and his cross to the near post was met by a glancing header by Chris Martin that hit the side netting.

Midway through the half, Scunthorpe went close to taking the lead when Ruddy produced an important save from Forte's header, tipping it round the post as the striker rose to meet a cross from the right by Josh Wright.

It was then Murphy's turn to make a fine save as he dived to his left to push away Chris Martin's low shot.

Ruddy was forced into action again in the 34th minute when Woolford let fly left-footed from more than 25 yards but the 'keeper was right behind his well-struck effort.

The home crowd were almost celebrating a goal when Dagnall's determined run took him past Smith and Nelson and he struck a left-foot shot past Ruddy but also just past the 'keeper's left-hand post.

Forte then fired over the top after bringing down a cross by Nolan around the penalty spot.

As the hosts sensed a breakthrough, Ruddy dived to cut out a cross from Dagnall after Forte put him clear on the right.

Forte threatened again when he latched on to a long clearance by Mirfin, cut in from the left and tested Ruddy with a powerful shot that the keeper held to his chest.

Hoolahan had the final shot of the half with a long-range effort that Murphy held at the second attempt.

HALF-TIME: Scunthorpe United 0, Norwich City 0

Less than two minutes after the break, City were agonisingly close to taking the lead when Hoolahan picked out Chris Martin in the Scunthorpe area and he worked his way into space before firing across the face of the goal from a tight angle with Holt sliding in at the far post, just unable to apply the finishing touch.

With 53 minutes gone, Jones headed over from Nolan's deep cross towards the penalty spot.

At the other end, Jones conceded a corner when he just got his head to a powerful drive from Hoolahan that was heading for the top corner, Smith having set the chance up with a clever change of direction.

Russell Martin fired over the top from long range when he might have done better with three team-mates in the penalty area.

Smith's battling set City up for another attack, which ended with Hoolahan's left-foot shot swerving wide.

With a quarter of the match to go, Scunthorpe made a double change with Andrew Wright and Collins replacing Josh Wright and O'Connor.

The Canaries had the ball in the net in the 68th minute when Holt headed home from Surman's free-kick, but the 1,200 travelling fans' celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.

City were well on top and Murphy was grateful to cling on to Nelson's header when a dangerous inswinging corner by Surman found the head of the centre-half.

Lambert made his first change with 10 minutes left when Jackson replaced Chris Martin.

Jackson's first contribution was to waste a useful opening on the right with a wild shot that flew out for a throw-in.

Substitute Collins earned the first yellow card of the afternoon five minutes from time for a robust challenge on Hoolahan.

With a minute left, Crofts was booked for a foul on Dagnall and Hoolahan was replaced by Lappin.

Nelson made a great block to deny Forte and that proved vital seconds later as Lappin's introduction paid immediate dividends when his cross was headed home powerfully by Holt for a dramatic stoppage-time winner.

Askou replaced Surman as City used five men at the back to hang on to three points.

RESULT: Scunthorpe United 0, Norwich City 1

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