Southampton 2, Norwich City 2
David Cuffley SLIDESHOW: Substitute Stephen Hughes scored within three minutes of coming on to earn Norwich City a League One point as they came from behind twice in a thrilling contest against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.
Substitute Stephen Hughes scored within three minutes of coming on to earn Norwich City a League One point as they came from behind twice in a thrilling contest against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium.
The Canaries were on the receiving end for most of the first half and trailed at the interval to an 11th-minute goal from Adam Lallana.
Wes Hoolahan levelled nine minutes after the break, scoring from the rebound after his penalty was pushed on to the post by goalkeeper Kelvin Davis.
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A superb David Connolly goal restored Southampton's lead after 64 minutes, but back came City again after 75 minutes when Chris Martin's shot was saved by Davis but Hughes slid in to score from the rebound, his second goal of the season.
It was a pulsating second half in a match played in torrential rain and City's improved display after the break earned them a valuable point.
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City boss Paul Lambert was able to name an unchanged line-up after the 2-0 victory over Tranmere with defender Jon Otsemobor making his 100th appearance for the Canaries.
The only change to the squad of 18 was 17-year-old Josh Dawkin's inclusion on the substitutes' bench in place of Jamie Cureton.
Saints manager Alan Pardew kept faith with the eleven who started last Sunday's home game against Brighton, despite the surprise 3-1 defeat.
Southampton were led by new captain Dean Hammond, who skippered Paul Lambert's Colchester team when they won 7-1 at Carrow Road on the opening day of the season before his move to the South Coast.
The contest began in blowy conditions and light drizzle that gradually became worse as the half wore on.
City forced the first corner of the match after four minutes but Lappin's outswinging kick just eluded Holt on the edge of the six-yard box.
The Saints threatened for the first time in the seventh minute when Lallana got away from Otsemobor but his shot struck Doherty on the chest.
But Lallana was celebrating after just 11 minutes when he gave the home side the lead. Hoolahan, under pressure, played a poor square pass that was intercepted by Connolly and the striker's well-judged through-ball enabled Lallana to advance and beat Forster with a low drive just inside the post.
It was almost 2-0 in the 18th minute when Askou conceded a corner, under pressure from Antonio. Rickie Lambert met the flag-kick from James with a firm goalbound header but Forster tipped it over the bar.
Lallana had another effort blocked as the hosts continued to press.
Midway through the half, Otsemobor picked out Holt around the penalty spot but he was unable to keep his shot down.
Doherty made one important block from Antonio and then a powerful effort by Hammond ricocheted off Otsemobor and flew wide.
Holt reacted angrily to a late challenge by Hammond and the Saints skipper was lucky to escape with only a lecture.
Home keeper Davis had been under-employed but 10 minutes before the break he did well to cut out a low cross by Holt, the ball reaching Russell, but the midfielder ballooning his follow-up effort into the crowd.
Askou was next to try for goal but his header from Otsemobor's free-kick cleared the angle of post and crossbar.
t Half-time: Southampton 1, Norwich City 0
The Canaries began the second half with more purpose and Hoolahan levelled the scores after 54 minutes.
Hoolahan picked out Martin on the left side of the penalty area and when Martin was brought down by James, referee Penn pointed straight to the spot and showed James the yellow card.
Hoolahan's kick was saved by Davis, who pushed ball on to the post, the but he followed up to score from the rebound, his ninth goal of the season.
Holt had the ball in the net with a header from Russell's free-kick but the flag was up for an infringement.
Rain had become torrential by this stage and the tackles were flying in with Russell catching James and then Lallana was the second player booked after 62 minutes for a foul on Russell.
Two minutes later, the Saints restored their lead when Lallana found Connolly and he cut inside before curling a superb right-foot shot beyond Forster into the top corner.
Russell was booked for tugging Lallana's shirt as the hosts pushed forward again.
The game opened up and Martin had a low drive beaten away by Davis, Russell sending his follow-up effort over the top.
Another incisive Southampton move ended with Lallana firing just wide after good work by Connolly.
City made a double substitution with 18 minutes left, Hughes and McDonald replacing Lappin and Hoolahan.
The move paid immediate dividends when Hughes equalised within three minutes of coming on.
Martin's long-range effort was saved by Davis but he couldn't hold on, and Hughes was first to the rebound to slide the ball home.
Lambert almost restored the Southampton lead with a powerful from outside the area that Forster dived to his left to keep out.
With eight minutes left, Holt flashed an effort just wide from Drury's cross as City looked to grab a winner.
As the game entered four minutes of stoppage time, Otsemobor made a fine block from Connolly to keep City on terms.
t Result: Southampton 2, Norwich City 2
t Southampton: Davis; James, Trotman, Jaidi, Harding; Antonio, Hammond, Scneiderlin, Lallana; Lambert, Connolly.
Subs: Bialkowski, Thomas, Murty (for Antonio, 58), Mellis (for Lallana, 89), Mills, Perry Waigo (for Lambert, 85).
t Norwich City: Forster; Otsemobor, Doherty, Askou, Drury; Russell; Smith, Lappin; Hoolahan; Holt, Martin.
Subs: Theoklitos, Nelson, Adeyemi, Hughes (for Lappin, 72), McVeigh, McDonald (for Hoolahan, 72), Dawkin.
t Referee: Andy Penn (West Midlands)
t Attendance: 21,362
t Goals: Saints: Lallana (11), Connolly (64). Norwich: Hoolahan (54), Hughes (75)
t Bookings: Saints: James (54), Lallana (62), Jaidi (81). Norwich: Russell (66), Martin (69)