Premier League: Norwich 2 Queens Park Rangers 1
Norwich City scraped past Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at Carrow Road on Saturday, with captain Grant Holt scoring the winner off the bench.
Russell Martin had put the Canaries into the lead after 15 minutes when he capitalised on a scramble at a corner, but Luke Young levelled it on the hour for Rangers, putting away the rebound when Jamie Mackie hit the post.
But, just minutes after being introduced, Holt first had an effort cleared off the line before putting away a cool finish on 73 minutes which proved decisive – the Canaries getting their season back on track after a run of four winless games.
Steve Morison should have put Norwich ahead in the opening minutes. Tussling competitively with Danny Gabbidon as he chased the ball, Wales’ Morison did well to break free and bear down one-on-one with QPR custodian Radek Cerny, but he dribbled an unthreatening shot into the goalkeeper’s waiting arms.
After the half-hour mark, the hosts’ superiority began to dim, though Warnock’s men could not find a genuine opportunity to capitalise.
Just before half-time, the chance to get back into it finally arrived for QPR. Wright-Phillips delivered with an excellent probing free-kick from around the left flank which bounced awkwardly near the far post, but Shaun Derry wasted the opportunity.
On the hour mark, Mackie drove forward centrally and unleashed a rasping shot that beat Ruddy and came back off the post, finding Young, who needed only to slot the ball into the net.
Playing with their tails up, QPR had all the momentum, which forced Lambert to gamble by playing his hand early and introducing Holt and Wes Hoolahan with 20 minutes to go, his final substitutions.
It paid off immediately, with Holt first having a headed effort cleared off the line from Morison’s cross, then immediately set up in the aftermath by Hoolahan for a cool six-yard finish.
QPR streamed forward in search of another equaliser but saw an attempted cross bounce just on top of the far post before Alejandro Faurlin wasted a promising position by shooting high over the bar.